Number 13: Feels Like Home

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(Chicken and eggs cooked in vinegar, rice with nori, cherry tomato, and cucumber tossed with sesame and la-yu)

This is a bento that I really like, even though it’s not very fancy or well-crafted.  Actually, I am attracted to this precisely because of its “ordinary quality.”  As indicated in my long ramble on Maruko’s Bento, I am drawn to the idea of “quotidian averageness,” to appreciate the everyday.  You can say that this is more or less similar to the MUJI (company website, Wikipedia) approach to living. 

This bento is very much a “homey bento” and a good reflection of my philosophy in bento (ooh la la).  The truth is, as a student living by herself, I simply don’t have the time to prepare something intricate and decorated.  Since I am trying to adapt bento-packing as a daily practice, I don’t want it to become too taxing in terms of time and energy.  Hence, my main goal when preparing a bento is to work with what we’ve already gotten, to focus on maintaining both balance and contrast in colour, taste, and arrangement of the contents. 

The chicken and egg dish is leftovers from the day before.  I learned about the recipe from the cookbook 基本の和食 – パート2.  My guess is that it is meant to be a home cooking dish and not something that you would see in a regular Japanese restaurant.  I had been interested in this recipe for a while, especially because I am often attracted to the idea of home cooking.  The dish is very simple in its choice of ingredients and has a gentle flavour.  And because it is so good, even when it is cold, here is the recipe if you are interested.  Let me just say that while I had it on a gentle simmer, it gave off such a wonderful smell that permeated the kitchen.

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That definitely made me happy while I was standing to the side, doing the dishes.  I had just come home that evening at around 8 pm from school, tired and starving.  This dish proved to be fantastic comfort food.  The juices that resulted from the cooking were great with rice as well.  Yum yum.

I also made cucumber tossed with sesame seeds and la-yu.  It is amazing how long this English cucumber have lasted me.

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I have used chunks from this cucumber for the sour pickles in this bento and the Japanese potato salad in this bento.  Right now I still have about 10 cm of it left.  What’s next?

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