What I like most about bento boxes is that they seem like little lunchtime gifts. Most aren't elaborate art, they're simply lovely food divided into small containers in a lunchbox. Simple enough isn't it? But how many of us take the time to package our lunch so it's a wonderful treat when the clock strikes noon? I don't. I throw things into baggies with one hand as I use the other to pour water into the cup that goes with me everywhere. Then I dash out the door to work. When lunchtime rolls around, I eat at my desk and hope people have the decency to leave me alone for at least 30 minutes while I wolf down whatever happened to land in the lunch bag that never keeps anything cold or warm enough.
No longer. Bento boxes have made me realize lunch isn't just about satisfying the gnawing little hunger in my stomach I keep trying to ignore. It's about taking a break, breathing deeply, relaxing, enjoying what I'm eating, reading a book, writing a story, talking to a friend, listening to music. Perhaps one of the things that's keeping me from truly being satisfied at lunchtime is that I'm not stopping to actually participate in the art of taking a lunch.
So I purchased my own version of a bento box, and today I filled it with my favorite yogurt, apple slices, carrots, cucumbers, spinach, tuna salad, veggie chips, pita bread, and string cheese. I brought a placemat, real silverware, and a cloth napkin with me to complete the experience. It's the same lunch and snacks I had yesterday, but it was so much better today. Music played as I relaxed and enjoyed my meal, which was arranged nicely in burgundy bowls. I didn't think about photographing it until I was finished, but this is the lunchbox I'm using, purchased at Amazon.
Thank you, little bento boxes!