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bento#52 rainy day totoro June 4, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - ghibli (totoro, etc...).
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I wasn’t planning on making a bento this morning. I didn’t do any drawing the night before and I woke up late. (the time I usually wake up when I don’t make bento) I looked outside and it was raining. Again. So I decided to make a bento to cheer my boyfriend (and me) up.

Bento #52: Rainy Day Totoro
Created and eaten on: 6/4/2009

I picked Totoro for this quick bento (of course), and I even did a sketch in the kitchen as I made it. once I decided to make Totoro bento, I started boiling an quail egg for mini-Totoro. First I put sauteed renkon in the bento box. I know if you’ve been reading my blog, I almost always put sauteed renkon at the bottom. Renkon has a lot of holes in it, and when it’s sliced and put on the bottom of the bento box, it can act as breathable foundation. You can put rice and something a bit watery in the same bento, and the bottom of the rice will stay dry. Also renkon has a crispy texture, and even if you put food on top of renkon, it’ll stay fairly crispy.

I cooked chicken teriyaki the night before, so I put it at the bottom part of bento. I put broccoli I had boiled the night before, and used it to separate the chicken from the bento box to prevent the teriyaki sauce from getting all over the edge of the bento box.

I mixed rice with black sesame seed and salt, molded the rice into the shape of Totoro’s body and ears, using plastic wrap. (see “how to make Totoro with rice”) Then  made the white part of his stomach with plain rice. Then I sliced kamaboko (fish cake) and cut it out with a plastic cap for his eyes.

I didn’t want Totoro to get teriyaki sauce on him, so I put snow peas (boiled and cut with a cookie cutter) between Totoro and the chicken. For the rain, I removed the string beans I had cooked with chicken teriyaki, and put in in the background. Then I made mini-Totoro with a quail egg (see “how to make mini-Totoro”), and placed it on string beans.

I hadn’t decided what I would make the frog with, so I looked inside the fridge and realized that I had sliced the stem of the broccoli to use for later. So I microwaved it, cut it out with an oval shaped cutter for the head and body of the frogs, and cut snow peas for the legs. For the eyes I cut out cheese with a straw, and put black sesame seed for the pupils and nostrils.

I wasn't 100% sure what "typical cartoon frog" should look like...

When I made the “Animal Orbs bento” before, I really liked how the snail came out, so I decided to make the same snail. I sliced a sausage, boiled it, rolled it, and pinned it with uncooked pasta. I cut fake sausage (fish cake) for the face and put it on the other end of the pasta. For the eyes I cut out cheese with a straw.

My boyfriend especially liked the facial expression of this snail. He thought the snail looked 'worried.'

It didn’t look colorful enough, so I made carrot flowers using a diamond shaped cookie cutter (see “how to make vegetable flowers”) and put them in.

I cut seaweed for Totoro’s nose, put it on cheese, and cut the cheese around it. Then for Totoro’s whiskers I cut konbu (dried sea kelp). For the patterns on Totoro’s stomach and the mouth for Totoro, snail and frogs I cut seaweed. Then I cut out seaweed using a hole puncher for the pupils of Totoro’s eyes. For mini-Totoro, the frogs and snail’s pupils I put black sesame seeds using tweezers. To finish the bento, I sprinkled sesame seeds all over in the bento box to create a rain effect.

After I made it, I realized that none of the characters in this bento was smiling. I should’ve made at least one character smiling, especially since I decided to make this bento to cheer my boyfriend up. Still, I think this wasn’t too bad considering the fact I hadn’t planned this at all in advance. 😛 The only reason I could pull this off was because it was a Totoro bento. Not only does Totoro makes people happy on rainy days, it is great for the spur of the moment kyaraben as well. Totoro always wins. 🙂

– rice mixed with black sesame seed, and plain rice
– seaweed, konbu, and kamaboko

– quail egg, black sesame seed on kamaboko

– broccoli, black sesame seeds, cheese and snow peas

– sausage, fake sausage, seaweed, black sesame seeds on cheese

Other food:
– renkon
– chicken teriyaki
– string beans
– broccoli
– snow peas
– carrot
– sesame seed

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.