Tag Archives: turnip

New Year, New Grade, New Challenge…

9 Apr

The past Saturday was the first day of the new school year. 

Japanese school runs year-round, from April to April, with a few weeks off for summer, winter, and spring break. 

A slight trepidation as we met our new teacher, as well as the new classmates (and parents…).

Saturday’s lunch, in honor of the new year+spring+Easter  holiday season, I included:

Boiled egg in bunny shape

Multi-grain onigiri with furikake seasoning, okaka filling, wrapped with a strip of nori

Pickled turnip slices (soy sauce, rice vinegar, drop of mirin, a pinch of salt)

Blanched broccoli 


Roasted beets in heart shapes

I am co-class mother for the year – my skills at janken, or rather, the lack of rock-paper-scissors skills resulted in my assignment of this position.

Amongst other responsibilities, the co-class mother must send out a weekly mailing (in Japanese) to the other parents.  I must say, my biggest concern is not the time commitment – but rather, how my Japanese email skills will hold up to the scrutinizing eyes of the other moms – whom are mostly native Japanese speakers…

Let the challenge begin!


April Monday!

2 Apr

Today’s bento included a lot of finger foods –

Carrot sticks

Cucumber sticks


Trader Joe’s Cocktail pups, the surfaces scored with a paring knife, and boiled to create a pattern

Multi-grain rice topped with turkey soboro 

Marinated turnip and celery slices in ponzu and sesame oil

Hoping the podiatrist’s prediction of only another three weeks is true – until I can return to my Tigger-esque (a la Winne the Pooh) ways.


Thursday brings us closer to the weekend…

19 Mar

Thursday bento included:

Roasted Trader Joe’s pork tenderloin – I had seared the pork tenderloin, and roasted in a covered Corningware for 25 minutes at 325 degrees.  I let it rest, and allowed it to cool before slicing. 

Steamed multi-grain onigiri with a konbu (kelp) and tarako (cod roe) center.  I had picked this goodie up at the Japanese store.  The konbu is simmered in flavor-rich, soy-sauce and mirin, and julienned. 

Blanched string beans

Pickled turnips slices  and celery rib and leaves.  These sweet, crisp slices are marinated overnight (and beyond) in soy sauce, rice vinegar, slivered ginger, sesame oil and lemon juice for today’s version…  I’ll make a used marinara sauce jar full of this pickle – but between the girls and I, we quickly munch through an entire batch within 24 hours!  Often, I’ll start over the very next day with variations in the marinade.

Grape tomatoes


Papa is off to New Orleans with some friends – I’m trying to keep my wits and patience together with my foot, and the thought of maneuvering through the weekend activities on my own.  This too shall pass!

A very tortoise-like weekend

12 Mar

I spent the weekend hobbling about, trying to avoid putting too much pressure on my foot, while trying to maintain sanity and my normal schedule.

School, lessons, chores… I somehow managed without asking too much help from people – but it was overall, an exhausting experience.  So exhausting, the girls, cats and I collapsed in a heap on my bed on Sunday afternoon to enjoy a mid-afternoon snooze in a sun-spot.  Perhaps I’m normally zipping around like a hare, but these past weeks, I’ve been lumbering like a tortoise.

Monday bento included:

Baked turkey meatball – ground turkey, minced celery, carrots, ginger, scallion, steel-cut oats mixed well and baked in a 350 degree oven for an hour

Whole wheat pasta tossed with sliced pre-cooked pork sausage, beet greens, broccoli, mushrooms and marinara sauce… similar to last week’s linguine recipe

Blanched broccoli

Sliced turnips and celery “pickle”

Grape tomatoes


The warmer weather is reminding me the garden needs to be cleaned and prepared…  Thanks T for the reminder!

End of February and a leap day 2012 bento!

29 Feb

Jiji and Baba sent over a new bento box after hearing I had inadvertently snapped off the handles to my daughter’s pink lunch box.

“I can’t wait!” she exclaimed, and bounded out of bed.

Tuesday’s bento box debut was a hit. 

Baked chicken wingette, steamed multi-grain rice with sesame seed and katsuobushi furikake, roasted beet hearts, homemade turnip slice pickles (soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and a little beet juice for color) and left over (conventional) dry-sauteed string beans from an earlier dinner.

All was well, I thought. 

Until I was running around today, the once-every-4-year visit of the 29th of February, when I couldn’t find the little black band that locked the bento box together.

As you can see in the picture below, the bento box consists of two stacked layers, with a middle insert separating the two.   The box is held together and “locked” shut with a black band…. that my younger daughter evidently pilfered and hid somewhere in the house.

Papa had picked the girls up, and had taken care of the evening routine, as I had to unexpectedly attend a wake for my daughter’s teacher’s son.

I should have realized the perils of having “loose” pieces that seem to grow legs and disappear through the house…

Hence today, I was back to the substitute tupperware until: A) the little one produces the coveted black band or B) I can come up with a viable alternative that is more than simply a rubber band.

Today’s bento included:

Chicken drumette and wingette

Sliced cucumber and carrot sticks

Turnip slice pickles

Leftover (conventional) chicken lo mein

I have to admit – my little one was extremely jealous of her older sister’s package that arrived from Japan. 

“Where’s MINE???” she insisted over Skype.

“We’ll bring it with us when we come to visit, ” promised Jiji and Baba – but at this point, my little one was shaking her head, and stomping  a socked foot.

“I want a bento box too!!” she announced.

“You can hold mine,” my older one offered – the little one grabbing the new bento box, shaking it, and saying, “Me too, me too, me too.”

This evening’s project will be to track down the missing band…