The 25th round of Lasang Pinoy is all about bento (or should I say baon) and since I’ve been packing lunch for work almost always for the past 6 months, I decided to list down 10 things about it.
1. The size of my usual teeny weeny lunchbox makes my officemates worry so much if I’m eating enough.
2. The Kiwi lifestyle is that everybody eats lunch in the office. Or at least I think so. Uso ang magdala ng baon. Bakit kamo? Ewan ko but most probably because they all believe in preserving the environment. Usong linya po yan sa opis. Seriously, I think health and frugality are the main reasons.
3. The office lunchroom:
– Very baon-friendly. Clean and efficient except for the fact that the cutlery drawer is too far from the coffee station. With 2 large dining tables and a long bar counter, it is big enough for our informal meetings and gatherings. It is also a library.
– Love the kitchen. Complete whiteware. 1 big fridge and a small one full of bottles of fresh milk. (Not to mention that hot, hot, HOT 20-something Maori milkman who delivers ‘em!) There’s hot and chilled water direct from water filter tap. Easy to prepare your lunch as there’s bread toaster, oven and microwave. Cleaning up isn’t a problem, too. Everybody’s responsible enough to place their dirty stash in the dishwasher.
– Coffee (fresh or instant), tea and chocolate drink are free anytime of the day. Drinks (beer and wine), nibbles and lollies free every Friday afternoon.
4. As a result of no. 2, I am oh so conscious of what goes into my lunchbox. Sa Pilipinas, adobo ulam wow na yan sa classmates ko. O kaya porkchop pero pritong galunggong OK na din sa akin. Basta importante may kanin. Ngayon feeling ko kailangan ang baon ko ay complete meal. Sus! Daming kailangan. There should always be vegetables. There should be more vegie than my usual intake. I have to bury those yummy chunks of pork fat under the potatoes. Can’t bring anything smelly like dried fish or alamang. Blah blah blah…
5. As a result of no. 4, I get obsessed with neatly arranging my lunchbox. Once an officemate, she’s American, was totally blown away saying “Goodness! Your lunch is neatly arranged!” O ‘di ba? Designer na designer ang dating ko? Though it was just steamed rice topped with Swiss Vienna sausage, carrots and beans.
6. I do try to cook most if not everything freshly in the morning but oftentimes cooking extra for dinner is the key. When really lazy, then sandwich it is.
7. The usual suspects:
– Noodles or plain rice topped with leftovers (i.e adobo, chicken curry and the likes). I steam vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, green beans or potatoes while eating breakfast.
– Fresh salad greens with tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese. Throw in slices of ham or bacon or chunks of cooked pork or chicken. Leftover shrimps the previous night add a delightful color.
– Pasta tossed in olive oil with bacon and mushrooms.
– Sandwich. From really nice stuff in it like bacon and lettuce to simple but yummy matamis na bao. On such occasion, I eat at my desk.
8. If I eat lunch at my desk while working, I usually spend my break time wandering the streets of cosmopolitan and chic Newmarket.
9. No cute bento for the kiddo. He’s happy to have:
– A pair of white bread with cheese or chocolate spread in it.
– Rice with sausages or adobo or tuna and a banana.
– Noodles topped with few chunks of meat and little vegies.
10. Baon makes us feel better about our health and finances.
That would be my tocino bento all over this page.
Cut thin triangles around slices of carrots. Mix ‘em with green beans.
Use those tiny carrot triangles and diagonal rings cut from edges of the green beans as garnishing. Have fun! Get creative and playful as much as you like. Your hard-boiled egg can be anything you want it to be.