Ms. Susan V. and E. over at the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen blog turned us on to the Totoro love a few months ago. We rented, watched and absolutely fell in love with My Neighbor Totoro. Recently, Avery ordered the bento box.
Our favorite scene in the movie involves the very large and lovable Totoro, who has a Buddha vibe (and belly), standing under a rain-soaked tree holding an umbrella. As the raindrops gather on the tree leaves, they collect on the tips, creating heavy, larger drops of water that fall onto the umbrella, sounding out a very satisfying PLOP! Totoro makes the connection between the tree and the sound he's hearing from beneath the umbrella, grins, looks up, and jumps in place, shaking the ground, which in turn rustles the trees, and causes several drops to gather and PLOP! all at once. The look of happiness on his face is priceless. Clearly, Totoro is on the path to enlightenment.
And with this bento box, so is Avery.
We'll be hooking up with my sister sometime soon to learn how to make a proper roll, but there was no way Avery was waiting until then to use his new lunch box. We scavenged the kitchen for bento-worthy goods and came up with, from top left: stirfry (brown rice with frozen Blooming Glen greens, onions, corn, peas, broccoli and tofu sauteed in Soy Vay, caribbean spices and red chili powder), steamed carrots, toasted and cubed complet bread from Bakers on Broad, a square of Japanese caramel candy, and sticks of raw zucchini. He's also packed a clemantine on the side for morning snack.
His lunch totally kicks my lunch's ass. I love him and all, but he better keep a close eye on that bento box.