In Japan, it is said that “toshi-no-se,” the year-end, is bound to be busy, as everyone starts acting somehow anxious to finish off things prior to the fresh start of the new year. As mentioned before, the new year is a big deal in this country, and we do everything to make sure the new year to be quiet and special.
This year was no exception for me also, and I was running around like a headless chicken without any time to stop and take a big breath… until we left for our Christmas holidays in the Netherlands to visit my husband’s family. Hesitantly we dropped unfinished errands, hurriedly packed our suitcases, left beautiful & sunny Tokyo, and arrived in the equally beautiful, but quite dark Netherlands yesterday. It is Christmas Eve here in the Netherlands, and things already seemed to have slowed down, and people are starting to relax for the festivity to begin. The sense of rush I was feeling in Japan is nowhere to be seen here. It’s an interesting realisation what a huge difference there is depending on which culture you’re in.
Looking back at the bento photos I didn’t have a chance to upload before our departure, I can vaguely remember how I managed all these bento making during my busy schedule. It’ll resume in the new year, but for now I’m relieved that I won’t have to do it for the next two weeks.
15/Dec/17 – Grilled cod in saikyo-miso
18/Dec/17 – Simmered sword fish
19/Dec/17 – Nikudon-don
20/Dec/17 – Macaroni genovese
22/Dec/17 – Chicken soboro
Unlike my “tenuki” bento the other day, I put some more effort in my daily bento making in the following days, using mostly freshly prepared ingredients.
The downside of this was an extremely short breakfast for me for both mornings, gulping coffee and toast standing up still in my pyjamas, while my husband & daughter were having their breakfast calmly and gracefully at the dining table, fully dressed and all…
Menu: Boiled chicken fillet flakes tossed with sautéed spinach, Steamed pumpkin, Broccoli omelet, Sliced cucumber salad, Rice with steamed carrot. Grapes for dessert
Menu: Simmered sword fish, Stirfried potato, spinach & bacon, Boiled okra, Cucumber sticks, Cherry tomatoes. Apple mousse & banana for dessert
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: Wakana rice with jako fish, Mashed pumpkin with soboro, Cherry tomato, Steamed broccoli & cabbage
Strawberries & banana for dessert
Feeling super lazy this morning, I didn’t cook anything except for the rice (which was actually done by the rice cooker). Everything else was either leftover or stock from the freezer, all of which I just whipped up and packed in the bento box.
My daughter said she liked the bento – well, that’s what is the most important, not the effort put in😉