Tuesday, October 23, 2007

From chaos comes bentos

I'm still adjusting to this schedule of creating so many bentos on back to back days. I make two bentos one on Monday and one on Tuesday. Originally I was aiming for a Monday/Wednesday schedule, turns out that Wednesday was the day everyone went out to lunch and Thursday was way too far out so the food from the weekend might not hold. So Monday and Tuesday it is.

It's been a learning experience for me, I have to learn how to prepare these meals ahead of time with minimal prep work in the mornings (as I value my sleep), but to my surprise one of the larger headaches is actually cleaning the dishes for the bentos from Monday such that I have something ready to "plate" for the Tuesday bentos. My wife has been instrumental in helping me out on this problem. But I still feel the need to sprout some more arms in order to get everything done. My initial bentos were a harried mess in the kitchen, but I think i've learned at least some corners to cut in order to make my life a bit easier.

What I've learned: (so far)
  1. Never bank on the morning of to do anything
  2. Keep building blocks of ingredients ready (the more prep via a can or soup packet the better)
  3. Monday's bento can be really fresh stuff, Tuesdays needs to be able to hold.
  4. It is possible to have Monday/Tuesday bentos done and ready all in one night
  5. The devil is in the details, a coordinated plan of cooking is a must
  6. Learn what can freeze so you can reuse later (pesto, tomato paste, noodles)
  7. Sushi rolls (non fish) can hold over night
  8. Cold food still photographs well
  9. Stews, soups are always easiest to hold over

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