The Laughing Otter- because life’s just too short


Posted on: October 18, 2008

So, I’m cleaning today. Or, I will be. I woke up this morning and the little things that usually don’t bother me are driving me insane! (The handle on the oven has some grey grime at the very edges. There’s a few drips down the side where someone’s pasta boiled over on the stove. The bathroom baseboards are dusty.)

So instead of obsessing, I enlisted the help of my ever-loving and VERY good at cleaning mate. Go Orion! It’s like… hurricane reversal. He’ll whirl through and make with the organized, which lets me make with the toothbrush and Q-tips to get into the corner cracks.

In other news: Abby went to Puppy-Playtime today, but didn’t play with anyone. She just hung out by the edge of the pen, as close to us as she could get, and looked at everyone like they were insane. We’ll try again next week.

I have two bento for you today, although I can’t really call them ‘bento’ I guess. They’re just box lunches. What’s the difference, anyway? Is a bento something different than a lunch packed in Tupperware? Well, either way, here’s the lunches from the 16th and the 17th:

Orion's Lunch
Orion’s Lunch

From the top: That’s four slices of bread, some provolone cheese, and two containers of ‘sauce’- Miracle Whip and Dijon Mustard. Next box down has ham and turkey, enough for two thick sandwiches, and some leaf lettuce broken into sandwich size. The bottom is a … hm… I think it was a Grilled Steak and Vegetable chunky soup. Two sandwiches and a can of soup was a hearty, thick meal for Orion that was hot and easy to eat. The verdict: Filling, but not overfilling. I didn’t have anything else to put on the sandwiches or I would have- maybe next time, sprouts or something. The hot soup was nice, since he works early in the mornings.

Ennosuke's Bento
Ennosuke’s Bento

This one qualifies as a ‘bento’ I think. Sort of. Anyway, from the top:
Iceburg salad mixed with Romaine, and a container of Thousand Island dressing. In the bento itself is a bed of rice in the top, and beef curry in the bottom. (Beef, onions, carrots and curry mix. I don’t make mine from scratch.) The verdict: Delicious. He ate all of it at work, it reheated very well, and the giant salad was excellent as a filler. (He’s watching what he eats, so I try to pack more veggies and salad than heavy food.)

All in all, they were fairly good lunches. I need to look into gyoza wrappers, though, because Lunch in a Box has great instructions for turning leftover curry into curry gyoza. I know I’ll have to drain off a lot of the liquid so that they don’t get soggy, but if I make the filling from the solids I can bottle the sauce into a little container to use as a dipping or flavoring sauce in the lunch. I also think I can ‘deep-fry’ my gyoza or other things in my wok. (Neither of the guys are particularly fond of steamed stuff, unless it’s certain vegetables. They say it ‘doesn’t taste cooked’ unless it’s crispy.)

In the meantime, I got some new equipment for packing lunches. We have a ‘cheap store’ that’s… insanely cheap. They get old, broken, damaged, or stale product from normal stores and sell it at tremendous markdown- which is good, but you have to check expiration dates on EVERYTHING, just in case. In any event, they had ketchup and mustard bottles, the sort you see at picnics, on sale for 39¢ each. They make excellent sauce bottles- not for in lunches, but for holding dressings, sauces, oils, or seasonings in the fridge. Most of the prepackaged stuff I use comes in wide-mouthed bottles that make controlling how much goes into my cup or pan a real terror- I always wind up oversaucing because I’m in too much of a hurry or I get distracted.

Don't pick them up by the lid-loops...
Don’t pick them up by the lid-loops…

With these, I can just squirt the right amount of sauce into my pan, and the long nozzle on them makes filling sauce containers a breeze. I wish I could afford the nice, clear-plastic ones that they sell for chocolate-making or whatnot, but for 39¢ you can’t beat these. They fill easily, and they dispense wonderfully.

Anyway, I think that’s all I’ve got to say today- oh! No! I got a membership at the YMCA, which is perfect because I can now swim every day if I want. Not today. Probably not tomorrow. But Monday through Friday, I can get in on the lap swimming and that will be spectactular. I’ve already gone Thursday and Friday (I got the membership on Thursday), and I’ll probably hit the lap swimming if it’s open on the weekends. I’ve noticed it’s mostly family and open swims on Saturdays and Sundays, though. Not really my thing.

Anyway, have a great afternoon!


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