Summer holiday starts at the end of this week (usually 21st of July) in most of the public schools in Tokyo. Our daughter’s school is one of them, and today is the last day for me to prepare a bento for the next 40 days. Despite the joy of bento making for my dearest daughter, it is such a relief not having to do so every day for a while.
Menu: Onigiri with grilled salmon filling, Omelet, Boiled edamame, Boiled vegetables in chicken stock
Kiwi & banana for dessert
The daily bento making will resume in September. Until then, I will try to write some essays on cultural topics I’ve meant to write for a while…
Thank you always for visiting my blog. It means a lot to me.
After two weeks of early summer holiday in Holland visiting my husband’s family, we came back to Tokyo a couple of days ago and have been suffering with inevitable jet lag. This morning our daughter went back to school, but still not totally recovered from the fatigue caused by our long journey and time difference. Since she woke up at 5:30am this morning, she continued to be grumpy at every little thing she could possibly find. Also exhausted with sleep deprivation, I had a hard time dealing with her tantrums. Great start of a school morning.
When I was preparing her bento this morning, she peaked over the kitchen counter and said,
“I don’t want salmon rice, I want omame (edamame beans) rice! I don’t like the mashed pumpkin like that, I want it with egg! I don’t like my bento today!”
This complaint never happened before. She was always very happy with whatever I cooked for her. Her comment stung my little heart. I want to blame it for her jet lag, and sincerely hope this behavior will not last going forward. I hadn’t expected it from our 4-year-old, I’m just not prepared for it…. Well, at least until she becomes a teenager.
For this school term, bento making will continue until her school closes for the summer in mid July. Can’t wait🤣
The bento preparation needs to be done everyday when the school is open, no matter how busy I am with work. I’ve been working on this subtitling work for a UFO documentary (not my field at all!), and hence very tied up. But it doesn’t really matter as far as my daughter is concerned with her kindergarten program. I just have to somehow work around it. That involves a lot of multi-tasking followed by inevitable sleep deprivation (for me).
In an auto-pilot mode, I managed to get myself out of bed this morning after a short night of sleep, prepared a bento for my daughter in my pjs, while thinking about the extra-terrestrial activities. Oh I love my life!
Menu: Edamame rice, Tofu omelet, Grilled snapper in Moromi marinade, Stir-fried spinach & potato, Cherry tomato
Apple for dessert
Today is the last day of summer holiday at our daughter’s kindergarten (in Japanese schools, summer holiday usually starts at the end of July and ends at the end of August). I promised her to take her to the jidokan, public play room, in our neighborhood, and she requested to eat our packed lunches there. So here it is, our summer holiday bento.
Menu: Edamame rice, Tomato omelet, Baba ham kyuri
Japanese pear for dessert
Baba hamu kyuri is just sliced ham (hamu) and cucumber (kyuri), sandwiched as shown in the picture. No seasoning at all. My mum (my daughter’s grandmother and she calls her ‘Baba’) used to make this as kids’ appetizer for my and my sister’s birthday parties. She used blocks of ham and cucumber rather than slices, and put them together with a toothpick, making them a nice, bite sized appetizer. I know it’s nothing special, but it still brings my sweet childhood memory to my mind, and wanted to share it with my little girl. I told this story to her once, and ever since then she started calling it ‘Baba hamu kyuri.”
Menu: Edamame & jako rice, Spinach omelet, Bacon & green bean roll, Mased pumpkin and carrot combo, Goma-konbu
Apple wedges for dessert
The Japanese kindergarten our daughter attends to is closed for the summer as of today until the end of August. Not sure exactly why, but it has always been 21st of July when the summer holiday starts in the Japanese school year even since my time (ugh, more than 3 decades ago😳).
Anyway our girl is off school, and making the most of this opportunity, we decided to send her to summer school to an international preschool near by. Unlike her Japanese kindergarten, this preschool offers lunches for those who wish (that come with a fee). I asked our daughter which she prefers, as I thought she may want to eat the same food her friends eat. But to my surprise she replied, “Mama’s obento”, and this means I’d have to continue to cook in the morning during her summer holiday, too. Well, maybe it was stupid of me to provide her the choice, but I must admit, when she said so, this warm sensation flew all around my body and I hugged her tightly and didn’t want to let her go (but she wriggled herself away). She likes it – my bento, my cooking. It assures me that she is happy with what I present to her. And that is a good thing to know because bento making can be a bit cumbersome and time consuming, but it’s worth it when you know it makes someone happy.
So here it is, her summer school bento, in another bento box that she used to use at her daycare, just to give her the sense of summer holiday that is somehow a bit more special than the other seasons.
Menu: Edamame rice, Simmered sword fish, Boiled egg, Cucumber & cherry tomato salad
Apple wedges for dessert
Menu: Stir-fried chicken, coleslaw salad, edamame/shirasu rice with scrambled eggs on top, broccoli and cherry tomato
Kiwi and banana for dessert