Music; Bento; Couchsurfing; Oh My!

October 16, 2008
This week I was seized by the strange urge to make myself a wee Bento.
Bento’s are usually made by housewives (I’m hesitant to using this word…but there it is…) for their families. Whether to show their affection or maybe partly for reasons of social kudos, they typically put rather allot of effort into their Bento making. Using a solitary piece of Nori to faithfully render a Pikachu on Kenji’s rice balls (for example) or doing terribly exciting things with Tamagoyaki.
So it felt a little rediculous but it was incredibly fun to do.

I come home from work every day for lunch (except when I’m feeling the need to communicate with someone who isn’t under the age of 5 and nip to a cafe for a sarnie…) so a Bento is pretty pointless. I’m wobbling inbetween thinking its a little pathetic making *myself* a Bento or whether it’s empowering. Certainly its traditional function reminds me of the certain lonely aspects of living alone! But on the other hand, I think it’s rather important to show myself a little bit of care and affection, especially at lunch time when I’ve typically just spent a morning being battered around by small children. And besides, maybe I am my own husband out here so why not?

So I made my first Bento:

I brought the majority of the packaging at the 100 Yen Shop (100 Yen is approximately 47p) and a specialist discount Bento place which is above the Addidas shop on Hon Dori if you happen to be in Hiroshima.

I had allot of fun making the dishes, Although I went a little bit Delia on it’s ass:

On the botton tier:
Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Curry and Tofu cooked with Chilli and Red Pepper

(which this is not…but you get the idea)

On the middle tier:
Chunks of Sweet Potato and Pumpkin and Steamed white cabbage and Basil

And on top… Tamago Yaki, edamamae and dun dun dun: HOME MADE ONIGIRI!!!!
I’m terribley proud of my little rice balls…but despite my very best efforts they had fallen apart by the morning. Maybe brown rice is too dry? Some had an edamame filling

And some had tofu and chilli.

And here it is tucked up for the night in mi fridge

I love cooking. I really love it and more than that I love cooking for people. I’ve had couch surfers staying with me the past two nights and I relished the opportunity to sit down and eat in community with people. I miss it.
I hope the word community can convey everything I mean it to.
So if you are in Hiroshima please come and visit!

Bento making led quiet naturally to photography.
I am filled with questions…these few photos are a pretty poor effort but I want to share them nonetheless. I took maybe sixty shots and maybe thirty were a blurry mess and wobbly and the rest were ok. The camera seemed to refuse to focus on the food meaning maybe only 3 shots have the kind of clarity I find appealing in a photograph. Do I need a better camera? A tripod? My abilities are certainly lacking anyway… Its much more difficult to photograph foos because of the backdrop I suppose. .. although maybe the cluttered desk provides a little context :)
The only instruction I’ve ever had is from my Dad (Hi Dad!) who showed me how to frame photographs with surroundings and try to add balance.
Photographing food seems to be a different matter though… Well…obviously…You’ll never see these shots in Woman and Home.

Finally music…the last bands I properly got into were Portishead; the Cinematic Orchestra and Efterklang. What are you listening to right now? I need some more music in my life so let me know so I can listen to them on Deezer.


  1. Wow, good work! Looks delicious! I am really ‘into’ sushi right now – lots of good places in Brighton – and I hope one day I’ll get to sample genuine Japanese sushi… in Japan.

    When are you returning to Oxford (if ever)?

    Rebecca xxx

  2. Hm…Not sure how things will play out on the Oxford front as yet. Won’t be anywhere near the UK for at least a year I think…
    Come to Japan and I’ll show you some of my favorite places :)

  3. Wow, is definitely the right word.. They look beautiful, Mizi! The little boxes look cute as, and for 47p!!! If i send you 47p in the post, may i have one? lol Ahh, i miss your cooking. And probably the rest of Stannington.. lol xxxxx

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