Tuesday, April 8, 2014

When did my love for bento start?

Good question me. 
My love for bento was created before I had ever heard the word "bento", knew of Japanese culture, or seen any photographic evidence of a boxed lunch. Lunches as I knew them came on a tray in the cafeteria (which is a bastardization of a bento, in my opinion), or a brown bag that contained a sandwich, a whole piece of fruit, a soda, and maybe a treat.

So how was this even possible, you ask? From an unlikely source: a book written in 1909 titled A Girl of the Limberlost, a favorite read from my childhood.

I wanted to write an "origin story",as it were, for my bento passion, and of course this book came to my mind right away. 

Though thinking about it, why have I never tried to recreate the lunches in this book? You would think that would have been first on my list!

This lead me to do some researching online to see what other people have created. Surprisingly, I came up empty handed on the bento front. There were plenty of mentions of the book and the lunches, but no actual reproductions!

Anybody that has read the novel knows of the intricate details of Elnora's lunch box and the lunches that are packed therein. The description of her lunch box was just so perfect and ideal, it's hard to forget.

This is the best lunch that I was able to find. It is more of a "homage" than a reproduction of Elnora's lunches:
This settled it in my mind not just to recreate the lunches in this book, but to make a series of bentos with literary links. There are plenty of books in my arsenal that mention food throughout, so I am very excited about this venture. This means I get to re-read some childhood classics, and make some lists! Super smiles :)


  1. I look forward to seeing your updates!

    1. Thanks! I hope I can keep up this theme. Usually I just go with whatever I make for dinner so having to plan it out more with grocery shopping and all is a bit tough :)

  2. Very cool to learn how it all began. I am looking forward to seeing the literary/bento linking happening. Also: cool pic.

    1. Yeah, it was weird once I started thinking about it. I didn't really start making quasi-bentos until I started working but most of the time I would just bring a bag of skittles for lunch or get the dollar chicken sandwich from McDonalds and drink the free water from the break-room :) poor girls lunch! It's only been since the last four years that I have gotten more "serious" about them.