Today I made bento for both kids, but I'm only showing one (hers looked basically the same minus the painstaking lettering). They got cool striped ravioli filled with mushroom, spinach and ricotta; mandarin, strawberry, yogurt with black- and raspberries, and some broccoli. At first I was going to decorate the ravioli like a shipping box, since I took my two #Bento4Japan auction items in to the post office today to be shipped to my generous buyers/donors. I even went so far as to cut a stamp and address label out of cheese (and even wrote some words on them) -- but then I remembered my tiny pasta letters and thought that would be cuter. When I opened the bag I saw there were numbers in there too, so that's when I decided to make a tribute to the grass-roots fundraising effort that began as an idea between a few bentomaking buddies about a week ago and has since expanded to include participants all over the world. It took me a lot longer to find all the letters I needed than I thought it would, and I never found a "J" at all so I used a "U" and altered it. It also took me forever to find a "4" because I didn't even realize that was a "4" until I had passed it over about 20 times! Sheesh. Since the ravioli is green I didn't dye the letters. I also added twin watermelon radish hearts for contrast.
We're really pleased with the success of #Bento4Japan, which has so far raised $2000 in the 9 days it's been operating. I attribute its effectiveness to the power of social media, driving people to learn about the situation in Japan and realize the dire nature of the living conditions in the hardest hit areas. It can be hard to separate the facts from the hype, and much of the information I've been getting has been from Maki of JustBento, who has dedicated the past week and a half to culling the news from Japan and numerous other sources via her twitter account @makiwi. Along the way she's encountered a great deal of hysteria and misinformation, so she's posted a message on her site detailing what she feels is important for caring members of the world community right now: in short, to interpret the news thoughtfully and respond rationally. Yep, always a good idea.
Anyway, #Bento4Japan is still going strong. These auctions are all by donation, and 100% of sales goes to disaster relief. We've had several corporate donors join us, which makes for exciting new merchandise. For example, this LunchBots Uno I used today. You may have noticed I use it quite frequently; at least once a week. There's a reason for that-- it's a fantastic box! All stainless steel, sturdy and practical. And, it's up for auction right now. Want to skip over there and take a look? Go ahead. I don't mind. ^_^
I am a former research scientist turned stay-at-home-mom of 2 who got started with bento in an effort to help my kids learn that eating healthy and nutritious foods can be fun and cute. I make a bento lunch for my 9yo (4th grader) son & my 5yo kindergartener girl every school day, and post the pictures on my sherimiya ♥ flickr photostream. Here in this blog is where I describe each bento, and you'll also get a peek inside our family adventures. Thanks for taking a look, and please let me know what you think ^-^!