Tag Archives: bento box

Two new bento boxes for 2015-16 school year

An ECHlunch box and a cute bunny box from Japan.

An ECOlunch box and a cute bunny box from Japan.

We anticipated coming out of the finical pit this year, so I got myself two new bento boxes. I went extreme on both ends of the useful–cute scale. Because I love my daily cupcake of yogurt, I seldom use the bunny box. It is about a sixteenth of an inch too short to put a silicone cupcake into and still close the lid. The ECO box is HUGE and it takes a little thought to fill it up without putting too much food into it.

Soup Day Bento

Soup Day Bento

Bunny bento on soup day… I just squished in the yogurt.

I went vegetarian on this day. The upper box held yogurt with blueberries and bananas in a cupcake. I took the picture before I smooshed on the lid. It also has ground cherries (those yellow balls), concord-thompson cross grapes, watermelon hearts and sugar pear (seckel) slices. Raw almonds fill in the spaces and add some crunch. The bottom layer holds a hard-cooked egg with broccoli, plum tomato slices, lemon cucumber, cooked squash, and beets, all from the Toy Box. The soup is lentil with extra Toy Box Vegetables tossed in.

Steak and egg with the works.

Steak and egg with the works.

The ECOlunch box is easier to fill. It is also easier to over fill. It comes with a fun little inner pod. I usually put my protein snack into a separate container but with my ECO box I use the inner pod. The lid just sets on instead of snapping on (no problem keeping it closed, but just in case…) The protein snack this day was a hard cooked egg, raw almonds and (blush) pumpkin-snickerdoodles. The yellow around the egg is broccoli blossoms (edible flowers are one of the perks of growing most of my own food.) I must have been craving sweets on this day. Usually I top my yogurt with berries but on this day I have Trader Joe’s chocolate covered sunflower seeds. There is Toy Box broccoli and more of Ray’s cookies to fill out the top box. I’m sure that is TJ’s baslamic dressing in the “To Go” container. The bottom box has left over steak slices, Toy Box broccoli, Juan Flame (orange) tomato slices, lemon cucumbers and unhusked ground cherries. The watermelon for the stars, and the black berries came from TJ’s.

Salmon and.....

Salmon and…..

Slow cooked smokey salmon was too good to not center it in a Bento! I’ve actually had people suggest that I write a bento cook book. That is so kind, so flattering. You would be wasting your money on me if you bought my book. What I know about bento I learned from hepabento (I think I have the name wrong because I cannot find a link to give you) She makes it so simple. Start with a starch (carb). This one has smooshed garlic potatoes. Add a protein. This one has smokey salmon that my son made. Next you add the five colors. Red, yellow,green, black and white. That’s what makes a pretty bento that peeps either want the recipe for or they want to hire you to make their lunch. It helps if you live on a suburban farm so that you have plenty of unusual items. But if all you have are boxed berries and a package with carrots, broccoli and cauliflower bits you will be fine! I always add a little bit of plain greek yogurt. Chopped bananas go on the bottom, then the greek yogurt (plain yogurt is too runny and sour for me) topped with berries. This one has tiny frozen blue berries (because in November they are less expensive, taste better and last longer then so called “fresh” blue berries from South America). This one also has a few pomegranate seeds. By the way, I eat these with chopsticks. At first it was to slow me down, but as I got good with chopsticks, I realized that I like eating bento with them better then I like using a fork or spoon. Chopsticks are another reason I prefer greek yogurt.

Gathering Gold Nugget Tomatoes and fresh broccoli before school starts.

Gathering Gold Nugget Tomatoes and fresh broccoli before school starts.

On a side note; living on an urban farm was how we lived for the last four years on less then 20,000 without government assistance. I work as a private contractor at a small Christian School making 800 a month before taxes…. and boy-oh-boy do we ever pay the taxes! My husband took early retirement from the company he used to work for, that added 1000 a month. We live under the poverty level but pay taxes through the nose because no matter how little you make as a private contractor you still owe the government 18.75%, we still paid a tithe, we still had to pay tax and insurance on our house. We didn’t go anywhere, we stopped eating out, made coffee at home, saved seed and supplemented the chicken food with clippings and leaves that we grew specifically for them. We bought beans, baking items and hamburger in bulk Our son is a bachelor and pays a third of the mortgage,  buys all the dog food, hunting and fishing licences and treats like Sabbath roast or the occasional pizza or bag of chips. We were never hungry and we ate VERY well because of living on an urban farm. It is really nice that my husband is now old enough for social security after 4 years of not finding work. It is like being able to take a deep breath again. Even so, we will continue to urban farm (and make bento) for as long as we are able.

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Morning Devotions: Acts 4: 13-31

Read through Acts chapter 4, verses 13-31

Religion and Politics

Acts 4:13-17 Now when they (the rulers of the people and the elders of Israel vs. 8) saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they (Peter and John) had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they (the politicians, vs 8) could say nothing against it. But when they  had commanded them (Peter and John) to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying,”What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name (Jesus).” nkj

Devotion and power.

September on The Toy Box Sub-Urban Farm. Summer is winding down but even though they grow slowly, winter and fall crops are coming along. Meanwhile the last of the summer crops are being put up for later.

September on The Toy Box Sub-Urban Farm. Summer is winding down but even though they grow slowly, winter and fall crops are coming along. Meanwhile the last of the summer crops are being put up for later.

Men with political power are often confused and angry because of men of religion who are devoted to the Almighty. It happened in today’s passage when the rulers of Israel were angry about the effect Jesus had on the people, people whose hearts were already embracing Jesus instead of the glory and pomp of the powerful rulers of Israel. The same thing is described in this week’s Psalm.

Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us. “Psalm 2:1-3 nkj

Apple pie jam from our McIntosh, Golden Delicious and Gala Apples. All from our Multi-apple tree.

Apple pie jam from our McIntosh, Golden Delicious and Gala Apples. All from our Multi-apple tree.

The Almighty works through his people; he heals their bodies and souls. He gives peace that is difficult to understand unless you have also experienced the peace of the Almighty. The person who is born again has the Holy Spirit, the power to live according to the Word, the Bible. The Holy Spirit makes the impossible, possible. Men who only have political power do not understand the power we have in the Spirit of the Almighty. The best they can do is try to regulate religion, which is exactly what the chief priests and elders (political people with power) try to do to the men “who had been with Jesus.”

So they (the political leaders) called them (believers in Jesus) and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. Acts 4:18 nkj

Pickled peppers and green tomato relish. We have never had so many tomatoes that we've started looking for different ways  to use them. The relish is amazing!

Pickled peppers and green tomato relish. We have never had so many tomatoes that we’ve started looking for different ways to use them. The relish is amazing!

When believers today stand against political people who legislate and rule against the Bible, we are accused of being like the most vicious of religious extremists such as ISIS or Boko Haram; people who do not even know our God and the life he freely gives to us. Yet we are threatened with punishment just as Peter and John were threatened (Acts 4:21) What should our response be? First, know what you believe, and walk The Way by the power of the Spirit of God.

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, Acts 3:19 nkj

Why do we who believe need to repent? Because we sin and the Almighty cannot fellowship with the darkness of sin.

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7 nkj

Not all of The Toy Box food is being put-up. Every school day I make bento for lunch. This time of year, most of it still comes from our sub-urban farm.  We are still getting loads of broccoli side shoots. They are small, which is perfect for bento. The last of the cherry tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, ground cherries, potatoes, squash, pears and hard-cooked eggs from our hens. We eat amazing food for dirt-cheep.

Not all of The Toy Box food is being put-up. Every school day I make bento for lunch. This time of year, most of it still comes from our sub-urban farm. We are still getting loads of broccoli side shoots. They are small, which is perfect for bento. The last of the cherry tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, ground cherries, potatoes, squash, pears and hard-cooked eggs from our hens. We eat amazing food for dirt-cheep.

What is fellowship with God? In Matthew 18:20, Jesus told us what fellowship is. Two or more believers, who are together in his name. When we come together in his name to pray his Word, which is his will, we are in agreement with him. Fellowship is something supernatural, it is Jesus in our midst. Peter and John, with others who believed got together, not to brag about their own power, but to pray about what the political men said, the threats they made and to seek God;s will (Romans 13:1-2). How did God respond to their prayer? He shook the house with the power of the filling of the Holy Spirit. And they spoke the Word of God with Boldness. How about you? Are you ready to stand firm for God in prayer and in The Way (how you live). Then pray! Pray with other believers. Pray the Word of God with rejoicing. Now that is real power!
Mrs. Hagerty September 15, 2015

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A Pumpkin and a Monday Bento

Just before the Polar Vortex (November 2014) Ray found and brought inside one last pumpkin.

The last pumpkin of 2014, unceremoniously dropped into the potato bucket.

The last pumpkin of 2014, unceremoniously dropped into the potato bucket.

This is where the pumpkin landed about a week ago, I forgot that we even had it… until I came home from school today.

The pumpkin formerly known as Cinderella

The pumpkin formerly known as Cinderella

Pumpkin Snicker Doodles, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Pie and roasted pumpkin seeds. The house smells AMAZING! We have the puree of four other pumpkins in the freezer… it’s gonna be a yummy winter! I bet there is some left for next year when we do not plant because of the Sabbath Year.

Monday Bento, Nov. 17

Monday Bento, Nov. 17

Beautiful blue sky but who shut off the heat? Burr! MSN is saying the high will be 50, but I don’t think it got that warm today. I do believe it will get down to 26 tonight. Sunrise was at 7:18, it’s fixen to set at 4:29 (9 hours and 11 minutes of daylight)

About the Monday Bento, slim pickings today. No starch in this one but I’m sure the two cookies I wolfed down after school make up for that! By the way, it surprised me that peeps were liking the last bento post. It is my everyday and I forget that bento is interesting to some of you. Thanks!

Protein from chicken salad left over from our Sabbath dinner.

  • Red = tomatoes and strawberries (on the yogurt)
  • Green = broccoli
  • Yellow = cantaloupe flowers
  • white = cucumber slices and cauliflower
  • Black = grapes, blueberries and blackberries

Todays hydration came from lemon-mint infused water. The morning snack was sliced apples, dates and almond butter for dipping.

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School Spirit Day Bento

What does School Spirit Day and Bento have in common?
Nothing.

My one and only two-tiered bento box.

My one and only two-tiered bento box.

Everything was all purple and Gold at school today so I used purple and yellow silicone cupcakes to hold some of my bento foods. The true theme of the day was Taco Thursday!

Ray made the most fantastic Tacos for dinner last night, so this morning (Thursday, November 14, 2014) I made a taco bento.

Bottom tier for taco fixens, top tier for yogurt, celery and fruit.

Bottom tier for taco fixens, top tier for yogurt, celery and fruit.

I was really looking forward to lunch today… and isn’t that the way it should be. I splurged on the yogurt, adding purple and yellow cupcake sugar to keep with the Spirit Day theme (my socks were purple too). I tried to cut my strawberries into the rose bud shapes I saw on someone’s facebook page. They just looked mashed when I opened my box. The bottom tier held a cupcake of bean mix that I removed to heat up in the microwave. Last year I went a whole year without using the dreaded microwave BUT it was freezing cold out today. If I want something heated I pack it in the silicone cupcake, microwave it for 40 seconds + 10 more seconds with the tortillas set on top of the bean mix. Then I set the beans back into the bento box so that everything fits neatly into my lap.

Lunch in my lap!

  • Protein: Taco Beans,
  • Starch: tortilla (cut with a big cookie cutter into 3 minis)
  • Red=Strawberries and tomatoes,
  • Green=broccoli and celery,
  • Yellows=dry ginger & almonds,
  • White=cucumbers,
  • Black=grapes and blueberries

Plain yoghurt with bananas and blueberries for dessert, blackberry infused water for yummy hydration rounded out my lunch.” Extra cheese was a gift from a student who was also having Taco Thursday. Thanks Nic! An earlier snack was sliced turkey and orange slices.

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