I received 4 more graduation bentos from the girls in my class: Mag from Belgium, Xia from Romania, Caroline Mit. from France and Iris from the Netherlands. This is looking like an Olympics ^^ many countries are represented. I would like to write a review for each bento and here is Mag’s.
* Mag’s bento was wrapped in furoshiki.
Box is Neko Long from Bento & co.
Mag writes : “Since you started to teach us, I was using mainly the “urume” bento and was trying to stick with your recommandations… But today I wanted to cook a bit of tasty thai food and I found that the “neko” pink and black box was better^^ I needed a long box… I made a grilled shrimps/zucchini skewer on top of salad of hearts of palm, mango, coriander, lime juice and nuoc mam sauce. Then stuffed small tomatoes with a mix of cold rice noodles, surimi, soy sauce and chive. Completed by a fish and a thai elephant made of rice colored by a bit of paprika. Here the weather was so bad that I wanted a bit of sun and warm from Thailand! Very good memories from that country! And the food is so good. One of my favourite, with Japanese and Greek cuisine!”
I can see Mag has been making bento for awhile. I see it from her way of use of the box and the type of the food she prepares. As you get used to making your bento, your bento box collection usually grows. That is not only by your passion (addiction?) for bento boxes but I think also because you have grown more capable of preparing different kinds of bento food and you realize there are boxes that could serve better for some types of your food. Mag’s graduation bento is a good example. She had a clear theme and thought about making something long (the skewed shrimps and zucchini) and used a long box. This sounds like a very simple thing, but it tells us planning and matching between the box and the food are important! Fashion is something that comes and goes, food is in a way a fashion. If you are making bento for your children you will also know that their physical growth requires adjustment of volume and food ingredients and thus you need to find new boxes to serve your need better.
Thank you for your graduation bento and I congratulate you so much. You have prepared a healthy, colorful and cute bento and it is showing a wonderful matching of the food and the box. The colors and the theme surely brought me tropical breeze from the beautiful beaches in Thailand and that inspired me too to make a thai-theme bento the other day. Thank you! I liked the colors so much here. In the box of the orange/pink shrimp and dark green zucchini skewer, I can see bright yellow mango. That is so colorful and nice. I even imagined how wonderful it will smell at your lunch time, the aroma from mango and coriander blending together with grilled shrimp must be very good. I got very hungry! In the other box, you have cute rice and I wonder how you made them (cookie cutters?) but the shapes are good and clean. Your use of silicon cups here shows that you are a veteran too. The size of the cup is matching with the size of the tomato and they are adding a look of flower petals to the tomato. Very cute!!
If I may give you one advise, it will be not about your food or the use of bento box, you are perfectly good at that, but about the composition in your photo. I say this as the contest is started now and the emphasis on the quality of photo is a big issue. When you have 2 tiers of long box, you need to plan the composition and placing the food in the box together very well. Here you have one box horizontally placed and the other vertically. It will be probably in better composition (only my opinion) to place them together side by side. But maybe you did not have enough space to place both the elephant and the fish rice in the same orientation as the shrimp skewer. I think the skewer will look better horizontally, so if I were you I will take out one tomato and place something different in the middle (the box will contain tomato-rice-something little-rice-tomato) and I will top a leaf of coriander on top of the little something to match with the other box. I give you a tip for taking a photo of two long box, that is a use of a small rubber eraser under the bento box to raise one side up.
This is my bento but can you see it? I did it to give an angle and show off the decoration. Rubber eraser grips well plastic boxes and it will not slip. So please try this secret next time you use your neko-chan boxes!
Thank you Mag, and Congratulations! Here is your diploma!!
I hope to see you one day in Belgium.