Monday, April 15, 2013

A New Start

Annie starts a new school today. We already knew we were going to switch schools next year but were worried since we were on the wait list for the new school. Low and behold, a space opened and she was able to start immediately. This all happened in the span of three days and Annie couldn't be happier if not a but nervous too. So today called for a "real" bento meaning some old Asian inspired standbys and decorations.

Soba Noodles
-Cook Soba Noodles according to package. I throw in carrot strips I've peeled with a potato peeler to add more flavor and color.
-Rinse noodles/carrots with cold water until the gooeyness (it's a real word) is gone. I really have to wrestle it with my fingers for a while until their just smooth.
-In a bowl, blend 2 parts soy sauce (or alternative) and 1 part toasted sesame oil until they've emulsified. Mostly my parts are tablespoons unless its a huge batch of sobas. I usually use a chopstick to emulsify but I think that's only because I saw a video of this somewhere and that's what they did or maybe that was a dream?
-Toss the noodle carrots until they are coated. Here, I usually like to add some chopped scallions but I don't always have them on hand so I sadly couldn't do it this time. It's still delicious though, I promise.

Dill Tamagoyaki
Really this is just a sort of rolled omelet. The Japanese version calls for some dashi and sweetener (usually sugar) to be added but I'm pretty sure there are tons of variations. My kids get enough sugar elsewhere so I usually don't add it.
-blend one egg thoroughly until its smooth.
-add a tiny amount of salt, 1 teaspoon dill, and pepper to taste.
-heat a pan (I have a rectangular Tamagoyaki pan but I just used any old pan before) to just above medium heat.
-add a generous amount of your oil of choice to pan and "mop" with a paper towel. You will use this paper towel inbetween rolls to oil the pan so keep it handy.
-pour 1/4 of the mixture into pan and spread around thinly
-when it us nearly cooked through, fold it over on itself twice. If it breaks a little, you can cover it the next roll.
-pour another 1/4 into the pan and be sure to lift your folded egg enough to flow the new pour under it. Once it's nearly cooked, fold the old folded egg twice and repeat.
-It took me a while to begin to do this and I still struggle with it but the girls love it!

The other foods in this bento are sugar snap peas, orange/apple slices, and cheese shapes decorated with seaweed (nori).

Good luck sweet girl! Can't wait to watch your spirit grow!