Thursday, January 29, 2009

Belated Week 3 Bento Challenge Goals

恭喜发财-Happy Year of the Ox!

Our week started off very busily - we attended a house party in honor of Chinese New Year on Monday, and our Korean language class at GW started on Tuesday evening. In celebration of Chinese New Year, I decided to teach my students how to make jiaozi (dumplings) this week, and have been busy with the preparations for that. The weather has also been rather nasty here in D.C. and the surrounding area (and much of the Northeast, I've heard) - we had snow earlier in the week, followed close on its heels by freezing rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning:

Close-up of snow on the Duke Ellington bridge, taken on my way to work Tuesday morning

School was canceled yesterday due to the aforementioned weather, so I thought I'd have time to update - I got started on this post, but then didn't finish it!

My Week 3 report on the Get Started Bento Challenge over at Just Bento is "due" tomorrow, so I'm posting my goals here and now to reflect upon in that post:

* Frugality - I didn't know that the theme was "Money-Saving" when we did this, but last weekend M. and I made a pot of chicken curry and a pot of black bean soup (from dried beans and a pork bone that I had saved in the freezer, very frugal!), both of which I plan to use in this week's bento lunches. Also want to use up some of the tofu we have in the fridge; I bought several packages of tofu last weekend when I thought I was going to be using them for the filling in the dumplings at school this week, but we ended up using mock duck instead, so now I have a surplus of tofu that needs to get eaten!

* Variety - To try and include more foods in smaller amounts in the same bento, and different, healthier types of protein (other than Spam, which figured more than I would have liked to in last week's lunches), such as chicken, tofu, or beans. Also, more and varied veggies.

* Try a New Recipe - Such as Maki's turnip cakes, or her tuna tofu miso mini-burgers.

So far this week has yielded several bento-related "revelations." Stay tuned...

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