Several months ago, I stumbled across Laptop Lunch boxes. They are really neat, but a bit out of my budget, especially since I would need 5 of the complete packs. They call themselves "Bentoware for everywhere", and I wondered "now what the heck is a bento?". So, I did some Googling and some reading and some more researching, and discovered that apparently almost everyone in the world knew what Bento was but me
In brief, it is a Japanese tradition of packing lunches, mostly intended to be eaten at room temperature. There are 3 distinct types of bento, but if I try to give the Japanese names I'm sure I will butcher them. There are Bentos that focus on health-food, there are "regular" bentos, and then there are the super-cute Character bentos. My favourite site so far is Lunch In a Box. Biggie is a Mom who used to live in Japan. She lives in CA now, and has a preschooler that she packs bento lunches for. She has TONS of information, tips and tricks for making things speedier, recipes, reviews of specific products, even a "shopping guide" using Google maps. Truly an awesome site.
My favourite site to shop is Ichiban Kan, my only problem is they sell out of stuff too fast
So, I ordered some basic bento stuff, and I started packing bentos for DH to take to work. (It took awhile for me to find a reasonably-priced "men's" bento box, but Ichiban Kan came through, and last time I looked they were still in stock!)
I didn't take pictures of the first few that I packed, but here's one that DH took a picture of with his phone. This one is from 10 July 2008. (Although, he ended up going out to lunch to Tijuana Flats that day, so the Bento got eaten on 11 July )
On the left side (which is the bottom tier of the lunch box), we have baby carrots, a Babybel Gouda cheese round, a little blue container of 3-cheese ranch dip for the carrots, a Laughing Cow cheese wedge, some Club crackers, and a Tupperware mini S&P shaker. On the right (the top tier), we have 2 mini quiches (ham and broccoli), and some red grapes.
Not in the picture are the oreo cookies that were placed in the lid