Lately, I’ve been getting a lot more translation assignments. It’s a client driven business, so it’s highly due date sensitive. Because of that, I couldn’t post any of the bento pics last week, working my head off to meet the deadline.
I work freelance from home, primarily because I want to be flexible enough to have ample time with my daughter. She’s the only child, and I don’t want to miss a thing and don’t want to regret at a later stage of my life that I should’ve spent more time with her when it’s too late.
Having said that, I also think having a career is very important for one’s life. It is a great part of who you are, and gives you confidence as well as an independent mindset. Doing freelance was the choice I made, so that I can manage to have both.
The downside is I don’t get paid so well. The rate of freelance translation projects is not something you can brag about. But I take pride in doing this job. I hope one day my little girl will look back at this period of her life and remember her happy time she spent with her mummy, who always gazes at her computer, typing and mumbling something weird.
Tuesday 7/Nov – Bi-color bento with grilled salmon flake & scrambled egg
Wednesday 8/Nov – Onigiri for 2 (the school closed before lunch and it was raining outside, so we had a indoor picnic on the living room floor at our apartment)
Thursday 9/Nov – “Omuraisu” Omelet rice bento
Friday 10/Nov – Grilled Spanish mackerel bento
I wish I had one more ingredient to add more green to the bento today. I only had garlic chives in my fridge that was green… which ended up in omelet.
Later on I went to a grocery store and replenished my fridge with green ingredients. Only then have I realised it’s actually weekend and there’s no need to make bento for the next 2 days. Well, it happens…
Menu: Garlic chive omelet, Coleslaw salad, Cherry tomato, Grilled Spanish mackerel in saikyo-miso, Rice with sesame sprinkle
Japanese Nashi pear for dessert
Grilled fish in saikyo-miso (Kyoto-style sweetened miso) marinade.
Due to the marinade containing sugar, I always end up burning a fillet of fish in the morning, and today was no exception. I try to put the heat of the fish grill to minimum, but if I place my mind elsewhere for just a quick moment, it just always gets burnt. I scraped off the burnt skin off of the fillet and packed it in the bento box. My daughter, used to this ordeal by now, emptied her bento without complaint.
Menu: Grilled “Sawara” Spanish mackerel in saikyo-miso marinade, Boiled green beans, Potato salad, Rice with black sesame sprinkle
Apple bunnies for dessert
Menu: Grilled Sawara (Spanish mackerel) in saikyo-miso, Tomato omelet, Steamed broccoli, Cucumber sticks, Wakame seaweed rice
Apple for dessert
While I was at the kitchen preparing her bento in a rush, my ever so grumpy daughter demanded that I come to her room to help her put on her school uniform. “Not Papa, Mama. I want Mama!”
I must admit that it’s a little flattering that someone so wants me, but in a busy morning it can also be quite annoying. The outcome of that this morning was a burnt Spanish mackerel.
Menu: Grilled Sawara (Spanish mackerel) in saikyo-miso, Cherry tomato/broccoli omelet, Green beans, Stewed chicken & veggies
Strawberries for dessert
Today’s Sawara fish came from our freezer. I just threw it into the fish grill frozen, and after 8 minutes or so, it revived itself to this beautifully golden brown grilled filet (and admittedly a bit burnt as well…). Marinated frozen fish is highly useful for my daily bento preparation, and I always keep a few filets in our freezer. The downside is the washing up the fish grill afterwards… Saikyo-miso marinade contains sugar and thus tend to get burnt quite easily, especially when you are multitasking and not paying good attention to your fish grill. Today was no exception, and I had a joy of scrubbing the stainless steel fish net.
Menu: Grilled sawara (Spanish mackerel) in saikyo-miso, Roasted sweet potato, Steamed broccoli, Simple omelet (only with a pinch of salt), Cherry tomato, Rice
Apple mousse & banana for dessert
My daughter went back to school after being absent for a few days due to some stomach bug. Following the doctor’s advice, I avoided using heavy ingredients that might upset her sensitive stomach once again.
Well actually, over the weekend we took her out for lunch since she was already feeling much better and had too much energy to stay inside. It was very crowded everywhere with the holiday season, and we took a seat at the first restaurant we found a table, which happened to be a French crêperie. She & I shared a gallette complete and a crêpe with Nutella. She ate them contently then, but after a while she had to go to the toilet, and we had to cut a long queue to barely make it. It’s totally my fault…. so no butter no sweets no cheese no grease for a little while…😭
Today and tomorrow, I am out during the day to exhibit at a charity bazaar at an international school near by. I don’t know if I’d ever mentioned here, but I promote Japanese art and craft as my part time job. At the bazaar this time, I am representing a Japanese ink artist, and we are selling some of her accessories such as scarves and greeting cards, along with a few artwork pieces from her accessible range of collection.
Anyway, it’s Monday today, but my daughter’s kindergarten happens to be closed as a substitute holiday for this “art exhibition” they had had at the kindergarten on last Saturday. I totally missed this important piece of information when I registered for the bazaar… Oops. What do I do with her while I’m out? I can’t take her to the bazaar as I wouldn’t be able to focus on the sales, and I cannot put her to daycare because it costs a fortune. The same for babysitters. My husband of course has to work, and my mum (the most reliable person when it comes to babysitting my daughter) couldn’t change her work shifts. After a moment of panic I surrendered and called my dad for help. He is semi-retired and has plenty of time free, but he is an old type and has almost no capability to take care of a child, let alone our super active 4 year old, and himself also perhaps. But I considered he should be able to spend a few hours with a little girl if I prepare everything for them in advance. I’m sure nothing disastrous would happen. I’d just have to accept some chocolate and icecream stains on my little girl’s sweater later today.
So here it is, I made a bento for my daughter on a holiday along with a bento for my dad so that they wouldn’t starve during my absence.
Menu: Grilled sawara fish marinated in saikyo-miso, Tofu omelet, Stir-fried spinach & bacon, Boiled green beans, Cherry tomato, Rice
Apple for dessert to share
* Just to give my dad some credit, he successfully completed his first mission to babysit his granddaughter. Thank you Jiji (‘grandpa’ in Japanese)!
Menu: Grilled sawara (Spanish mackerel) marinated in saikyo miso, Asparagus bacon roll, Cucumber sticks, Boiled egg, Cherry tomato, Rice with goma-konbu
Mandarin “mikan” and banana for dessert
The grilled sawara (Spanish mackerel), marinated in sweet Saikyo miso, was the leftover from our daughter’s dinner last night. When she ate the fish yesterday she shouted in joy, “Mmmmm! Mama, you make yummy fish!” Only she was unaware all I did was to grill the fish… I cheated and bought the filets that had already been marinated…