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Me & my rabbit Bumpie in the eighties

2011 is the year of the rabbit according to Chinese Zodiac. I love rabbits — had one myself once and it is roughly the equivalent of my western Zodiac sign Pisces, so it can’t be anything but G.O.O.D. :)

It’ll also give me a great excuse to buy lots of kawaii bento goodies with usagi. ;)

Wishing all my virtual and real life friends a warm, happy hopping 2011 with lots of love. Couldn’t do without you!

2011

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Bunny Bento #96, March 30th 2010

You know how it is with rabbits… You start with two and suddenly there’s a whole bunch of them! So, bunnies galore in bento #96. Let’s make it my 2nd entry in hapa bento’s April B.O.M.B. Challenge!

Bunny Bento #96 en routeIn my usagi sakura bento box you find a Tofu Puff Bunny snuggling up to ordinary inarizushi, a bottle of soy sauce, rucola and parsley greens, a piece of snack tempeh and two avocado maki rolls. Yesh, I made all the sushi myself :) And it was goooooooood.

The snackbox contains homemade chuka wakame (seaweed salad), no.1 farmer’s cheese — nationally elected as ‘the best’ — and bunny marshmallows. On the side I had a mandarin and spicy rooibos tea.

Almost at the end of my hikeThe bunny bento hopped along on my hike today, where it got devoured on a bench next to the water. I walked the last 9 kilometers for my 2nd 100 Mile Fitness Challenge! Deadline is tomorrow so I’m right on time :) It was a nice trail called Kortenhoefse Plassen, crossing peat lands. A bit soggy at times ;) I especially liked the end, overviewing the lakes of Loosdrechtse Plassen.

So, what’s my end total for the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge?
163 kilometers = 101 miles. Yay!

100 Mile Fitness Challenge logo

Should I go for another round? I wouldn’t have gone out today if I hadn’t needed to trot those last few miles…

Meet bento #95, my Lente Bento! Lente is Dutch for springtime.
So, does it look like a Spring Bento to you?

Lente Bento (Spring Bento) #95
Mr Gnoe and I shared this snack box yesterday on our hike in the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen (dune area near Amsterdam designated for water winning). I couldn’t see the North Sea, but I did hear & smell it! :)

Contents of the top tier: cinnamon bunny biscuits (with a white chocolate layer) in an alfalfa ‘hay’ nest with capers and chives ‘grass’ in front of some SPRING onion crackers. The cookies came from elm@’s surprise packet! The alfalfa sprouts stand for seedlings and the onion biscuits depict early spring sun and blossom at the same time :) Added is a cup of homemade blue cheese dressing. And… in Holland springtime is heralded by tulips, hence the apricot & basil tulips on the right :)

Kawaii usagi thermosBottom tier: blossom onigiri with avocado-wasabi filling (soy fishie hiding). The yellow sushi rice was coloured with saffron. The other flower is supposed to be pink(ish) but the beetroot didn’t dye as well as I thought it would. Next time I’ll check out some instructibles first ;) The garden cress (more young plant life), parsley and edamame are chosen for their bright green colour; the beans sprinkled with some FairTrade African Peper spices. And next to it you find a usagi RINGO (うさぎりんご) a.k.a. apple rabbit. ‘Ringo’ in capitals because it is the name of our cute tomcat :)

On the side we brought some Shincha (first flush sencha) tea in my cute new thermos. Remember what freshly cut grass smells like? Shincha tastes like that!

I’m submitting this bento in the 2010 Spring Contest on Justbento (ending today) and hapa bento’s April B.O.M.B. Challenge which is all about bunnies (open until April 10th). Usagi are true springtime animals and we had hoped to see some live ones on our hike yesterday — but we didn’t. No matter, because we saw lots of deer! 50 at least..! (Mr Gnoe says a hundred but I think he’s exaggerating ;)

Deer grazing near water

Time flies when you’re having fun! Last Tuesday it was two years ago, on June 16th 2007, that I made my first real bento! I brought a lunch for two on a 16 km hike, in my first actual bento box. Of course I decided to use this blue usagi sakura box for my anniversary bento (#54) as well!

I like to think that the dots behind the white cherry blossoms (sakura) are full moons, since in Japanese culture rabbits (usagi) are often depicted with these mochi-tsuki. I still love this bento box a lot, but I use it less than my favourite flower lunchbox because that one’s smaller. Anyway, I’m getting distracted ;)

Upper tier:

  • sakura muscat white chocolate
  • 3 sesame-soy rice crackers
  • 3 yoghurt coated (dried) apricots
  • 3 mini plum tomatoes
  • basil
  • radish
  • pistachios
  • mix of roasted black & white sesame with a bit of walnut and nori to go on the spinach (in the other tier)

Lower tier:

  • quickly stirfried spinach with spring onion, kikkoman soy sauce and sake, topped with walnut and nori
  • (more radishes
  • scrambled egg with tomato and basil

Scrambled eggs with tomato is my favourite egg dish since childhood :) But it was all REALLY good!

ICHI, NI, SAN, SHI — on to year no.3 (&4)! :)

Hooray, my food picks from Japan arrived yesterday! They are much smaller than I thought: about 3 cm high, but that’s okay since the bamboo picks I already own are quite big.

I really love these new ones and would like to keep them wrapped and on display ;) But using them in my bento is even better :) I am thinking about a mexican themed bento with tortilla wrap, so that will be perfect! If I have the time, that is…

Which one do you like best? Usagi (bunny)? Neko (cat)? Sakura (cherry blossom)? Yuki (snow)? Kōri (ice)? I can’t decide: I think they’re all kawaii!

I got these colourful picks on eBay from Tokyo Gift, where I also bought my (first) bento box. They wrap their parcels in beautiful paper! Cool origata!

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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Gnoe herding…

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