Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bento Thursday - The Mother of All Bentos

Every fall, it seems that each school in Japan holds an Undokai (Sports Festival). It is something the kids spend weeks preparing for and if you are like me, the moms spend days working on the bento for. I suppose it really is just like any other bento, except it is for the whole family to enjoy. I ended up making way too much, but just as well.

K's Undokai was meant to be held on a Saturday last month. The whole week, the forcast predicted rain the afternoon. Since this is a morning thing and the school hadn't made any announcements, I figured it should be fine. I started making bits of the bento on Thursday night. I believe I started with the carrots and broccoli, but I don't quite remember. Friday night I did a bit more, and Saturday morning all I had left to do was cut up an apple, make some onigiris, fry up some shrimp and put it all into the bento boxes.

Because T's sleep is weird and he can wake up in any sort of mood, I set my alarm for 5 on Saturday morning. When I woke up it was just barely drizzling, but we were still three hours away from game time. I figured it might stop and the weather at the Undokai would be just glorious. I got the whole bento ready and was packing up the stroller, when Y checked his mail - Undokai cancelled. Are you kidding me!?!! Not to let an entire bento go to waste, we had an indoor picnic on the living room floor.

The Undokai was rescheduled for the following Saturday. Again, starting on Thursday night, I did the veggies. On Friday, K came home from school with a note saying that instead of Saturday (as it was still meant to be raining), the Undokai would be on Sunday. I put off the rest of the prep until Saturday night. Sunday morning rolled around and I did the exact same bento as I had done the previous week - dude, I was all out of ideas.

The big box contained onigiri and proteins. K got a plain onigiri in the shape of a bear. Y got two salmon furikake pig onigiris and I got an umeboshi heart onigiri.

I made fried chicken, Japanese-style omelet, and fried shrimp.

The next layers were the fruit and veggies - apples, grapes, broccoli, carrots and cucumbers. I cut the carrots into bears, flowers and hearts and also decorated with little ham flowers and banners.

The Undokai day was really nice. It was quite chilly in the morning, but as soon as the sun came out, it was nice and warm.

K's class did a few songs and a race - they are two and three years old, it was adorable. In the end, each kid was given a medal from their teacher.

The little dude was stoked. Adorable.


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