2-door, 5-door, bento box

No.63

A Happy New Year! 

5 days has passed since the entry into the new year and I am still saying this phrase, but I really wish you all who kindly follow my blog and facebook page once again a happy new year in 2013. It was a busy and challenging and yet a good year for me in 2012 and I thank you for giving me encouragement and support. Without you readers I will not be able to produce at this speed. I hope this new year will be another year of many fun activities and exciting adventures!  How was your 2012? I hope you enjoyed the past year and are looking forward to this new year as much as I do! We live in many different parts of the world, but I hope you will enjoy cooking and bento making with me through 2013.

So, here I am sitting and writing this first blog post of 2013. The title is a bit puzzling but I just wanted to give you something to read when you are choosing a new bento box sometime in the course of this new year.

*  *  *

The other day my husband was saying that we need a new car soon. “Really?” I said, as I could not believe the fact as the car is kicking just fine with me everyday, but my husband is much more experienced when it comes to vehicles and there is no harm for me to shop around and visit beautiful car showrooms and talk to knowledgeable sales persons who offers free coffee and candies before I pick up another catalog to add to my collection. So far I have driven cars with reasonable space in the luggage room. All of them are 4-door cars, one car was a Japanese car, the other was an American and now I am driving a German car. They were all my good friends and went through different phases with me, driving and picking up a school girl to and from her school, bringing players to soccur games, doing grocery shoppings and commuting to my office. But now I maybe in a new phase again, the school girl has left her home and I do not buy so much grocery as I used to, no passengers in soccur uniforms. I stopped and thought “Maybe now a smaller car with 2 doors will serve my need? ,I always liked Mini Cooper, what about a yellow cute Mini Cooper?” I imagine my daily driving to work in a yellow Mini Cooper will add more excitement and reduce our gas costs!!

Maybe it will shape up my body and make me look prettier too! Or am I too hopeful? 🙂

But I can not help comparing this car to my 4-door car. A Mini Cooper seems so small and the luggage room is so too. We hope to be traveling time to time and you know me, traveling means shopping! and I will be carrying at least 2 bags. The school girl has inherited my shopping DNA for sure, and it will be MANY bags when we travel together. Then a Mini Cooper won’t be so ideal, and maybe we should have a wagon car of 5 doors with a spacious luggage room?



The school girl will be VERY happy and my husband will be VERY sad! Ughhh, well, I don’t think I want to risk my happy marriage for a practical but over decorated Hello Kitty 5-door car, so I may not be driving this in 2013 and we really do not have the need for a car of this size.

Buying a car is not a small shopping. You have to know what you want. To find what you want and what you need, we need to ask ourselves 1) Who will use it?  2) How many people will use it? 3) Can you afford it?  4) Can you maintain it? 5) Do you have a garage for it?  etc.etc. Get a pen and a piece of paper!!

Don’t you think this really applies when we choose our bento box. Sometimes I am asked to help someone choose a right kind of bento box. It is very nice to receive such a request and I thank them for their trust in my opinion. I will try to help as much as I can in 2013! Specially to you bento beginners, I say it is really easy to be attracted to pretty bento boxes by its appearance, I know it as I was also a bento beginner once. But don’t let your decision be carried away by the appearance too much.  Rather it will be more helpful to get to know your lunch style well, do you know how much is the adequate volume of food that satisfies you and carry you through the day? What kind of food do you enjoy at your lunch time?  And how much time can you spend for preparing your bento? Some people say they have to choose a small box as they do not have time to cook so much of food for bento. To me it is not a very persuading reason for choosing a small box as I strongly believe your cooking will come along eventually. It may take some time until you get used to your new way of bento cooking but nothing is achieved as long as you don’t try! I think we are quite better at adopting new things into our daily life than we think, so I really recommend you to try a new way in 2013 and challenge an adequate sized box and don’t stay hungry after eating a too small portion of bento everyday. Getting a bigger box may encourage your cooking and teach you new lessons. Maybe it will reform how you use your time everyday. But hey, it’s a new year and it will be fun to be able to say at the end of the year that you have had a change in your life style and it was a good and healthy change!

Luckily a bento box is not as expensive and it does not need as large garage space as a car. I have now more or less 50 bento boxes in all different sizes and shapes. My required volume of food for a lunch has not been changed so much but I just enjoy making bentos in different styles. If you are an advanced bento maker, I recommend you to try a bento box of a size you normally don’t use. You may sometimes see me make a tiny bento for a kid or a rather larger bento than usual. This I do to give myself lessons and trainings to keep up my flexibility and techniques. And I believe the origin of bento lies in giving someone else than yourself a meal to go. To become an advanced bento maker, I really recommend to make bentos for different people of varried volume of appetite.  How about making a bento for your father? your brother? or your child’s friend? Get yourself a small bento box and a big bento box in addition to your usual one, then I am sure your bento year 2013 will be full of experiments and lessons.

We probably end up with another 4-door car one day. If I had a larger garage and more money, it would be fun to drive a 2-door car to my office and a 5-door wagon from the airport. But I smile as my kitchen drawer is full of Toyota, Honda, Porche, BMW, Isuzu, Volvo, Peugeot, Ford and ……

Happy New Year!

xxx Rie, your Bento Specialist at Bento & co.


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