Monday, December 30, 2013

45 minutes...

Note:  This post was writen last week and I forgot to post it.  Oops.  Who cares right

This morning I got up at the butt-crack-of-dawn and decided to fix my lunch.  It bears noting that this was not on purpose but since I was up I decided to pack a bento lunch.  Thankfully I was up early as it took me an unbelievable amount of time to prepare.  45 minutes to be exact.  45 MINUTES!!!  That is not acceptable and clearly a good place to start trimming the fat, and by “fat” I mean Time.

Problem #1: I cooked everything from scratch.  Today’s lunch consisted of shredded hoisin chicken with roasted bell peppers, cooked broccoli and carrots, sliced cucumber, and rice with furikake.  The only thing that was prepped was the shredded chicken. 

I have pinpointed 2 major flaws in my prepping process.  1.  Not enough pre-prepped items.  2.  Poorly organized supplies. 

So my initial idea for today’s lunch was to boil some ramen noodles, but in the mist of prep I found that I was out…what…how can I be out of ramen noodles?  Who’s been eating my ramen noodles?  Anyway, I had to come up with something else, but I didn’t have many options so I settled on sushi rice.  Don’t feel too sorry for me, I love plain ol’ sushi rice.  Although an easy task to rinse and cook, it does take some time.  I’ve come up with on time suck so now for the solution: check the panty before planning or starting and make sure you have what is needed for the meal.  This could also mean prepping the rice the night before to save time in the morning.  I just rinse the rice and fill with proper amount of water and allow to soak overnight.  I have seen people make large batches of rice and freeze it for easy prep, but in my experience I haven’t enjoyed the texture that resulted from the freezing.  Overnight prep of rice is my preferred method. 

Next time suck: mise en place, actually the lack of mise en place.  Granted I did mise en place this morning but a better solution would be to have some bento staples already chopped, sliced, or steamed.  Here is also where a freezer stash would have been handy (good info and more good info on freezing bento staples).  So for this bento I could have used some individually wrapped steamed broccoli florets and roasted bell peppers.  Some may like the roasted bells from a jar which would have worked but I don’t like the taste.  Guess I’m kind of a picky eater.  It would also have benefited me to have the cucumbers and carrots already sliced and ready. 

Problem #2: lack of organization.  This is an easy one to describe…I need one place for all my bento supplies.  Even if it means having duplicates of some gadgets and tools to ensure they are available and not in the dishwasher or put in the wrong place.   I would also like to have pre-portioned items on hand to toss in as needed (kinda like this but an adult version).  This will be more helpful when I’m packing Scooter Bug’s lunches but could also be a benefit for my bentos.    

Ok, I think I'll better success in bento making and lunch packing if I can incorporate theses things into my routine or process. I'll update with my progress. 

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