Bento Box


Have any of you ever tried a Japanese “bento box?” The other day, a good neighbor and friend of mine asked, “What kinds of occasions do you make bento boxes for?” 

My neighbor’s husband works in the film industry and often has incredibly long hours, so I have the feeling she asked me that question because she has a little extra alone time to work on and enjoy her own cooking, learning new cuisines and foods. Her little question took me back to memories of high school in Tokyo, of leaving the house at 7 in the morning, stuffing the bento box that my own mother had lovingly packed for me into my bag and taking the train to school. Later, opening up the little box that I knew my mother had gotten up early to make for my school lunch period was always one of my greatest, daily excitements. Vibrant and multi-colored seasonal vegetables, slow cooked stews along with a wide variety of pickles, pieces of seasoned meat rolled into little pockets, small pieces of fried “kara-age” chicken… all of these dishes weren’t easy; they took planning, time, and effort to make, time that started well before the hour I woke up for school. In those small bento boxes I found the greatest appreciation for my mother’s care and love. After remembering these moments of joy from my own past, I wonder if perhaps my neighbor’s desire to learn about “obento” was beyond her own interests, that it also came from a place of deep caring and love for her partner (especially during those grueling work days), just like my mother’s caring and love for me. 


The season of Thanksgiving is almost upon us! Like my mother did (and even though there are no bento boxes during quarantine), I am planning and preparing meals, trying not to repeat dishes, and always putting my love into my cooking; it has been rewarding for me. Starting this month, I will be making my favorite chocolate pecan caramel bars. I remember these were also a big hit during autumn when I was at the bakery. Once you start eating them, you can’t stop! For the week of Thanksgiving, I will be making two kinds of pie: apple and pumpkin. Please enjoy the tart flavor of the apple and the richness of the pumpkin. I’ve held back on the sweetness so you can enjoy their undertones.

Finally, I will also be making peach jam using organic peaches from Bloom Ranch. The scent and flavor of this jam is delicate and sophisticated. It’s perfect as a gift for a friend or for your own pantry, to be enjoyed at your leisure!


日本のお弁当、見たこと、または食べたことありますか?先日近所に住む友人から、日本のお弁当はどういう風に作るの?といった質問を受けました。

彼女の夫エディーの仕事が再開し、自分の腕をふるって美味しい料理をお弁当につめてあげたい、という気持ちからの率直な私への興味だったと思います。急に私の記憶は自分が高校生だったころの自分に戻り、母の作ってくれたお弁当を学生かばんにつめて朝7時に家を出て電車で通学した日々。毎朝、早起きして母が作ってくれたお弁当をお昼に開けるのがどれだけ楽しみだったか。色とりどりの野菜の煮物やお漬物、お肉のロール巻や唐揚げ、一種類作るだけでも大変なのに、何日も前から準備してそれも毎日違ったものを私のために詰めてくれたその母の愛情はどんな言葉よりも肌に感じて一生私に住みつくものだということを改めて感じた日でもありました。


あっという間にサンクスギビングの月です。いつもとは違った御馳走を作りたい、という気持ちで色々と準備を進めるのはなかなか楽しいものです。月の初めには私の大好きなチョコレートの入ったピーカンキャラメルバーを作ります。これはベーカリーでも人気商品で何度も作ったことを思い出します。このバーは食べ始めたら止まりません。サンクスギビングのためには2種類のパイを販売します。アップルパイとパンプキンパイ。甘さ控えめでフレッシュな味をお楽しみください。


最後に、ブルームランチのオーガニックピーチを作ったジャムも販売します。香りも味もいい上品なジャムです。贈り物に、そしてご家庭のパントリーに如何でしょうか。

12 views