Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Very Scary Halloween Lunch--Failures of a Halloween Bento

Lets just get right to the lessons learned, shall we?

1) Not every good idea is successful the first time you try it

2) Include description of what lunch was SUPPOSED to be so your kids' teacher doesn't think you are crazier than you really are

3) Stick to using yaki nori as was used here

And now, for the story behind the lessons:

In light of the upcoming holiday, I thought a jack-o-lantern sandwich would be a cute idea in the kids' lunch bentos this week.  Since they both really don't like bread too much, I thought an "open face" sandwich would do the trick.  

Digging deep into my cookie cutter collection (thanks Mom) I pull out the appropriate cutter and begin my nightly 9pm routine of prepping two thoughtful, healthy lunches that the kids and the kids' teachers will think are cool.

Step one:  Cut out pumpkin shape from bread and cheese
Step two:  Spread hummus on bread so toppings will stick
            - Grant: turkey and then the pumpkin shaped cheese
            - Gwen: my little vegetarian only gets the cheese
Step three: Hunt in my "toolbox" of cake decorating supplies for tips etc to                       pipe on the jack-o-lantern face.....
                   Note to self: Need to organize toolbox of supplies..Finding a size 3 round tip was a bit of a challenge at night since I keep my toolbox in the garage closet. Additionally, I need to bite the bullet and change the garage light bulb that I've been requesting from my handyman (aka husband) to change...Wearing husband's headlamp to search for the tip may cross the line into "crazy things I do for my kids lunchboxes"

Step 4: Pipe chocolate black frosting on the pumpkin sandwich so jack-o-lantern is born.

Step 5: Add edamame for "grass" and raisins for "dark night" into the bento and "voila!"  Here's a pic of Gwen's bento (Grant's looked similar)

 And the top portion of the bento: carrots, grapes and mini- cucumbers

I decide to let the kids be surprised and I don't MENTION how cool there lunch is the next morning as they are eating their breakfast

Fast forward until 4:00pm that night when I pick up the kids from school
I was so excited to hear how he loved his lunch (and, I will admit, I love hearing from his teacher how cute/cool/fun his lunches are--who doesn't love a little praise every once in a while??)

Me to Grant (with his teacher standing next to him) "Grant, did you LOOOVE your halloween lunch today?"  
Grant says nothing and his teacher chimes in, "Where DID you find the black cheese?" 
Inner monologue "Black cheese, what is she talking about??" 
Grant: "Mom, the raisins melted on my sandwhich"

Quickly feeling my cheeks turning a fushia shade of pink, I whip out my Iphone (RIP Steve Jobs) and quickly turn to the photo I took of Gwen's lunch (see, I WAS going to post this as "how to" blog instead of a "don't do this one" blog) and I ask Miss Teacher, "Did his sandwich look like this???" Miss Teacher replied, "No....more like this" as she opened Grant's lunchbox.

OMG Poor kid. I wonder who was more embarrassed by his him??

Here's what everyone thought:
Grant--thought the jackolantern face was made from raisins which melted.

Miss Teacher-- thought I had found "black cheese"  (perhaps Whole Foods?) and  tried to make a "silhouette"  of a witch on a "moon background". Wow.
What can I say? Miss Teacher was stretching for an answer to this God-awful looking mess

The reality: The frosting face melted onto the cheese. See Lesson Learned #3 above.

Sigh. In searching for a silver lining...I pat myself on the back as I pour a glass of wine and tell myself that "it's ok, DID in fact, produce a Halloween lunch for the was just one  VERY SCARY looking lunch.

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