Bento lunches and home cooked fourths

One of the things I was rather excited about with all of this extra time spent in doors during the days was cooking. Of course, I thought I would have an entire kitchen to some 2 bedroom apartment. But since there was no move, the kitchen and storage space is a little smaller than I thought it would be. This didn’t stop me from cooking.

It seems that part of my house-wifery experience includes waking up at “normal” work hours (6-6:30 AM) to make lunch for Ray, bento lunches. I haven’t quite learned how to make those super cute ones. (Too much effort for me.) So far I’ve packed deconstructed sandwiches, salads, and soba for Ray to take for lunch. My first foray into packed lunches was the sandwich.
Photo Jul 03, 11 48 26 AM
Since we only bought a bento box for his lunch, we had to manage with it in the packing process. As a result, he gets the deconstructed sandwich that he puts together at work. Fun time lunches!

What I’ve learned from this is that Eataly is quite awesome for deli goods. We bought spiced coppa and applewood smoked ham at Eataly. It goes pretty well with Kewpie mayonnaise (please try this, you’ll never go back to normal mayonnaise!), Sir Kensington’s Classic Scoop Ketchup, cow’s milk soft cheese, and Dijon mustard. Add some greens and you get a pretty decent sandwich.

Another decent lunch idea has been soba.
Photo Jul 06, 11 47 07 AM

I first tried making cold soba on the fourth of July. I think it turned out pretty well and it was super cute with the dishes we bought from Muji and Fish’s Eddy.
Photo Jul 04, 3 31 52 PM
Photo Jul 04, 3 32 07 PM
It’s actually ridiculously simple to make, so I feel a little silly writing about it. Apparently, what makes it special is the cold washing of the noodles. And when I say ‘washing’, I really mean it. I had to rinse the soba 4-5 times in cold water before the starch from the noodles was not clouding out the water. The obscene amount of rinsing is supposed to give a pretty clear clean taste to the soba. I kind of get that, but I would also say it doesn’t matter too much once you dip the soba in the tsuyu. Soba tsuyu is also pretty easy to make, although you can buy it at the store too. It’s just mirin, sugar, dashi, and soy sauce.

The only problem with packing cold soba for lunch is that apparently it clumps.
Photo Jul 05, 11 57 21 AM
I tried adding some sesame oil in the noodles after I washed them. Ray said it only marginally helps, mehh. But, shichimi seasoning in cold soba with sesame oil is a good idea.

I contemplated making yakisoba, but when I realized it was basically Chinese chow mein, I decided it was kind of lame.

I also tried making spaghetti. I added some applewood smoked bacon from Eataly. It turned out pretty good. Although, apparently I added too many jalapenos (3).
Photo Jul 06, 6 30 09 PM
Photo Jul 06, 6 51 07 PM

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