On a recent staycation in Japantown, my boyfriend bought a how-to book about bento boxes. The cover featured a grid of crazy cute animals made out of assorted edibles.
“Miel will LOVE this book!” he said, pointing to a little rice tiger.
The next night I found him making cheese bunnies with a set of special cookie cutters he had bought in the Daiso store. He carefully placed a pink ham nose and nori whiskers using tweezers, “Specially made for this! “ he told me.
From then on, making bento boxes has been his nightly ritual. My favorite so far has been angry kitty, but I also loved the owl he pressed out of baloney, a pair of dim sum tortoises and a butterfly with spotted wings made from boiled carrots. He surrounds the animals with bits of broccoli, strawberries and other leftovers to round out the landscape, “for a balanced diet, ” he says.
And Miel? She knows she is one of the luckiest 6 year olds in town. I think, like me, her favorite part is sitting at the counter watching her dad make his masterpieces—little lunchbox dioramas filled with love.