03 April 2008

Bento for a party

"There's a party for the graduating class later this month," Aditi's teacher tells me, "and there's a special lunch for that day."

That sounded nice... Not the graduation bit.. the special lunch, a party-Obento! I have this arrangement with Aditi's teacher. Since Aditi is a vegetarian, and the school cannot accomodate her dietary needs in their thrice-a-week lunch program, they give me a whole month's menu at the start of each month. All I need to do then, is adapt it to a vegetarian diet. Actually, those 3 days of the week when the other kids get lunch at school, are easier for me. I don't have to think about what to make.. from scratch. Suitable substitutes for the non-vgetarian items in the menu are all I need to think about.

Initially the other half and I did considering just sending anything in hr lunch box, but I began to feel that she might not feel left out if she were eating from the same type of lunch box as everyone else, and food as similar as possible to what her friends are eating. Some days thinking of a suitable vegetarian alternative can drive me up the wall.

For the party, sensei not only gave me a lunchbox, but also this....

The menu, and also a picture of what the final bento was supposed to look like. And believe me, that made life way easier.

Here, I have to admit that I misplaced my notes, and totaly forgot what a couple of things were. That brown thingie peeping out from beneath the tempura for one. Most of the menu is rather obvious. All I had to do was think of substitutes for shrimp tempura and hamburger. And for salmon filled Onigiri.

This was my vegetarian version of the party lunch.

Kabocha tempura instead of shrimp.
Potato croquette instead of hamburger.
Ongiri with carrot chunks instead of salmon.
And a packet of ketchup instead of the brown thingie.

And yes, the little one came back from school.... and said that lunch was nice... and thinks that sensei makes cute lunches for her.. why can't amma do the same?


evolvingtastes said...

wah wah amma and wah wah sensei! pranaam to both of you. what a neat job of recreating the bento, vidya.

Nandita said...

Lovely vegetarian adaptation there Vidya- I think bento boxes are so appealing to the eye, especially some blogs dedicated to these boxes, cant take eyes off them

Ashwini said...

I remember reading an article on how there were bento competitions among moms - most aesthetic looking lunchboz etc. If there were ever such competition in Aditi's school, you'd win hands down!

Richa said...

very creative of you!

geoff rogers said...

That's a great idea, will try this :)