|I have to admit it, this blueberry bagel with cream cheese|
gives me the giggles every time I look at it.
(no one ever said that I was right in my head).
I hate making school lunches! It is the bane of my existence (o.k. that may be just a tad melodramatic). It takes a long time, especially now that I am making 4 lunches. The other thing that I hate, is that every stinking kid likes and hates something different, I have the memory of a sieve. All of that said, I became inspired earlier this year. You may recall my undignified begging for votes for the Circle of Mom's "Mom's of Multiples" contest. At the same time that my contest ran, there was a contest for mom's with food blogs. It is on these blogs that I became addicted to "bento".
|These are just loot bag trinkets and cupcake picks.|
I made a vow that I would make my kid's lunches more exciting, even if it was just once a week. I began to investigate where I could get all of the marvelous bento products. They have a gadget that you put a boiled egg in, and it shapes the boiled egg into shapes, like Hello Kitty, and Teddy bears, if that's not cool, I don't know what is! So locally I was out of luck, as I suspected that I would be. I went to Toronto, you know Toronto, Canada's largest city? No bento to be had at least where I was looking. I am stubborn, (just ask my husband), and I was not going to give up on this quest... even if it killed me, and made everyone around me wish for death.
Early this summer I began to collect cool cookie cutters, and little trinkets. We stopped at Party City, and I loaded up on the little loot bag toys. There were some really fun items. I also found cupcake picks, which would serve my purpose. I hit the dollar store and loaded up on fun and colourful cupcake liners, and fancy toothpicks (you know the ones with the sparkly ends).
I have discovered that I am in love with the Ziploc divided containers. They keep everything separate, and it reduces the amount of dish washing that I am forced to do... I like that very much. The kid's are getting a kick out of them too (I wonder where they get their sense of being easily amused?)
For Elly (she's not 4 until October) I use snap lids. They are much easier for her to open by herself. The week before school started I got her to practice opening and closing them. Elly is a really big Hello Kitty fan, so she is quite easy to please. Although it is hard to tell, the sandwich is cut using a Hello Kitty cookie cutter. I found really pretty cupcake liners at the dollar store, and I use them just to pretty up the lunches. I have ones with cars on them for Rowan's lunches.
The meal is not complete without a love note. On the days that I forget to pack one, I hear about it after school. Last year I started something really, really stupid. I began sending jokes and riddles on their love notes, and sometimes cartoons. Those love notes are too time consuming, and I have decided to forgo them for this year (so says the idiot who will in all likely hood begin the time consuming notes). It was really important when they first started school, and had separation anxiety to tell them I was still there, even if I wasn't with them.
I do not get oooohhhs and awwwws from the kids about their lunches, but I know that they notice, and I notice. I know that I am making a special effort. I go to lots of effort once a week (except for Elly's lunch which I snazzy up everyday... don't tell the other kids). I am just trying to take the monotony out of lunches. How many bologna sandwiches can eat, am I right?
If you want to see some impressive food preparation, I suggest that you visit these blogs.....
They really inspire me to do better! They make me want to create more interesting lunches.