The literal meaning of Japanese word “tenuki” is pulling your hands out (te = hand, nuki = pulling out). It means being lazy or cutting corners. A great expression for my daughter’s bento today.
There are times when you just don’t feel like doing anything. It was one of those days for me, and I fixed up this bento in haste with only the leftovers in the fridge and some stocked up food in the freezer.
Menu: Roasted sweet potato with chicken soboro, Steamed broccoli, Baba hamu kyuri, Jako (dried baby sardine) & wakame sprinkle mixed in rice
Grapes & banana for dessert
My daughter did not complain 🙂
Menu: Simmered “kajiki” sword fish, Hijiki, Boiled broccoli and egg, Rice with sesame sprinkle
Apple for dessert
I cooked the simmered sword fish and hijiki last evening for dinner along with a couple of other dishes. When my daughter sat down at the dining table and had one look at what I prepared she said crossly, “Why do you always give me the same food as bento? Why do you always use leftovers for dinner?” 😳
Of course I intended to reuse the fish and hijiki for her bento the next day, but didn’t realise that my clever 4 year old was quite aware of what I put in her bento and feed her for dinner. She got the order wrong, but still she’s right, usually there is at least one dish duplicated between lunch and dinner within the same day.
Being a little miffed I asked, “Is there something wrong with the leftovers? Do you not like what I cook for you? Do you want me to stop making you bento????? (yes, I was getting more childish at this point against my 4 year old daughter) ” – and her response blew my mind away and stunned me.
“I love it! You are the best chef in the world, Mama!”
This, made my day 🙂
Menu: Simmered taro potato & chicken thigh, Boiled Moroccan green beans, Ham omelet, Rice with “shirasu” baby sardines
Apple wedges (in bunny shape) for dessert
Apologies for my little girl.
Hi my honey bee, what you see in your lunch box today is almost exactly the same as you ate last evening for dinner. But Mama made an extra effort to cut out the bunny shape out of your favorite red apple for dessert. Hope you’ll enjoy your lunch today.
Menu: Fresh corns cooked with rice (with ‘ao-nori‘ seaweed powder on top), Cabbage millefeuille, La salade a la maman (mama’s tomato salad), Green bean omelet
Japanese ‘kyoho‘ grapes for dessert
Last night we had our good friends over for (early) dinner. Our daughter was so thrilled to have her friends over that she had a hard time focusing on eating at the dinner table. Inevitably her leftover has ended up in her bento box today.
The dishes I cooked this time somehow had a touch of French cuisine but with Japanese seasonings. I think our European friends liked this combination very much 🙂
– Fresh corns cooked with rice, in a Japanese “dó-nabe” earthware pot – I used this recipe from the website called Cookpad (sorry all in Japanese). I doubled the portion.
– Cabbage millefeuille – here is the recipe, also from Cookpad.
– La salade a la maman is a recipe passed on to me by my best friend’s mum who unfortunately passed away seven years ago. I’ve recreated her tasty salad numerous times since she taught me this wonderful recipe. It is one of the simplest, yet the most delicious salads I’ve ever tasted to this day. She told me she almost felt embarrassed to tell me the recipe because it was nothing special. But she always made delicious but effortless dishes. Everything she cooked for us, including this plain sandwich with ham (Jambon Beurre á Paris), was purely divine.
Menu: Leftover chicken burger, Kiriboshi daikon, Jako wakana rice with egg crumble on top, Diced cucumber
Frozen Apple mousse and kiwi for dessert
I used all the leftover from the dinner the previous evening as we leave for our summer holiday the next day. Ended up like that above.
No bento for the next three weeks, which means no need to wake up early for the bento making. Hurray!
Menu: potato with bolognese sauce, Hijiki, Boiled egg, Spinach & jako (small semi-dried fish) rice, cucumber and cherry tomato
Watermelon for dessert
This morning I prepared our little big girl’s packed lunch, making the most of our leftovers in the fridge. Bolognese sauce from last evening, hijiki from two evenings before (usually it lasts for a good few days given all the seasoning).
I’m sure my mother-in-law in the Netherlands would dismiss this leftover bento immediately with her strong preference to eat up all the food she cooked within the same day: another possible cultural difference in our lifestyle, or maybe just another usual in-law battle 😉