Mr Bento has arrived!

My Mr Bento tried to arrive last week, but since we weren’t here to greet him, he stayed with friends at the post office. Susan, however, drove out to pick up him for me while I was at work this afternoon. She kept him all wrapped up so I could have the pleasure of opening the box, and oh what a pleasure it was! 🙂

I was surprised to find that I had received the “chopstick version” of the Mr. Bento, whereas I had somewhat expected the “spork version.” Apparently you don’t really have any say in the decision, its at the whim of the distributor. I’m okay with chopsticks, though… but will my co-workers be okay with my slurping soup? We’ll find out!

To celebrate Mr Bento’s arrival, we took a stroll through the Flickr group’s photos to get some ideas and then we drove to the grocery store. While we only went to the neighborhood Kroger, I think I covered the basics. I grabbed a good bit of fresh fruit, some salad greens and veggies to drop into that, along with nuts, chocolate and the all important muffin tins. (You’ll see…) I also grabbed two pounds of chicken breasts so I could immediately prepare them for use in my Bento.

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When we got home I pan grilled the chicken, seasoning it liberally and cutting into strips. I then decided to go ahead and use the time tonight to pack my very first Mr Bento lunch. My second look at the bowls had me a little shocked – they seemed much, much too small. As I dropped a muffin tin into the smallest bowl, though, I found that it fit comfortably inside.

I filled two muffin cups, one with peanuts and the other with chocolate chunks. This completed the small bowl. I feel good about this… it’s not too hard.

The next sized cup was slated for fruit. I washed four strawberries and a handful of blueberries. The strawberries were sliced in half and placed around the perimeter of the bowl, with a muffin cup in the center holding the blueberries. Not bad, I thought to myself. As a bonus, as a little time passed, the cup relaxed into the strawberries, creating a bit of a star shape.

The soup bowl still looked a little on the small side and I was worried. I prepared some oriental flavored Ramon (I swore the stuff off years ago, but my brother-in-law inspired me on Saturday night.), making the soup version instead of my previously preferred dry flavored version. I dropped a few chopped carrots into the mix and let it simmer for a while. Eventually I pulled out a bundle of noodles and laid them into the bowl. Reasonable enough… so I added some “soup” and carrots. After lifting the bowl, I realized it was pretty full after all.

The largest bowl was my salad bowl right from the start… but then I realized I didn’t have a place for my chicken! That chicken was destined for the soup, to add flavor and fun, but now… now where would it go? Oh… on top of the salad, maybe? I washed a handful of the greens, arranged the chicken around the top perimeter of the salad and then cut off one slice of tomato that I then quartered. The tomato was arranged inside the ring of chicken, where I then added a grouping of sliced black olives that were subsequently topped with cheese. Not bad, I thought.

I showed my creation off to my wife and took a batch of pictures, all ready to show to the internet. Until I found that Flickr is down for scheduled maintenance. I had seen the warning when I was cruising the group earlier, but I didn’t think it’d affect me – what would I need to do at 10pm tonight on Flickr? Oh well… you can imagine what it looks like until I get it uploaded.

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