Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bento Lunch: hot weather picnic and a quick fix for an eco lunch box

What better way to test out my new bento box than to go on a picnic. 

The Captain's lunch (in my old Eco Lunchbox) has rice with peas and corn, ume and grilled salted salmon in the bottom and cabbage kimpira, nuka pickles and spicy cucumber on the top.  

My box has the same with a bit of mini-anchovies preserved in soy-sub, sake and honey mix.  

On top of the rice is a light sprinkling of spicy sprinkles.

I choose these bento fillings as they keep well in hot weather.  I was very careful to make everything (but the pickles) piping hot as I packed it in the bento, then allowed it to cool to room temperature before placing the lids on top.  Allowing them to cool before sealing them up reduces the amount of moisture and helps the food keep fresh longer.  

Quick fix for an Eco Lunchbox that doesn't fit together snugly any more:

At the end, when I was rushing out the door, I noticed that the metal box didn't fit snugly any more.  Not having time to re-pack into a different box, or to fix the box properly, I had to do a quick-fix which is actually quite simple.  Here's what I did:

If the clips that fasten the bottom to the top are a bit loose, and you're in too much of a rush to do a proper fix, rest the bottom of the clip on the counter and gently press in on the wires where my thumb is.  You may need to do one wire at a time as it's quite stiff.  Bend the wire just a little bit at a time and test it frequently.  This should keep well enough for the day, but then again, this box was never leek proof anyway, especially the bottom section.  

The problem with the box is that the lower section is somehow squeezed out on one end and pushed in on the other.  Although over 8 months old, it's never been banged around or received any sort of damage I know of.  In fact, I almost never use the bottom half.  I'm going to have to reshape it somehow to make it a bit less drafty down there.  But until I can get around to doing that, I guess no more rice or things that dry out quickly in that section.     

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