When Mieke was in NYC last month, she found a book on sale at MOMA about how to make bento boxes. Its pages were full of glossy pictures of rice balls transformed into smiling penguins, conniving monkeys and furry bears. So it was Mieke’s wish for her birthday on Monday to make a bunch of these adorable creatures and I went over to her house in the afternoon to help her.
Somehow we didn’t anticipate how much work it would be. Japanese moms that make bento boxes are probably making them for one or two children for a small lunch -not 25 hungry German adults for a dinner party. In the end we had 41 little pig hamburgers, 20 assorted onigiri, a sesame spinach dish, a watermelon, feta and mint salad and a green salad of foraged wisteria blossoms and mustard garlic.