The Tiffin Tin

What\’s in your lunchbox?

Archive for the ‘Bento Boxes’ Category

Tiffin Tin Lunch: Pasta & Cherries

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Although it is not insulated beyond the natural insulation stainless steel provides, this is my favorite tin. It holds a lot and it is very attractive in its neat way. The water bottle comes from lululemon, which is hard to type but not hard to find in my neighborhood, because it’s in a HUGE story across the street from Cafe Roma in Berkeley, on the corner of Ashby and College, which is ground zero for a lot of good things.

What’s inside? This:

Whole wheat angel hair pasta, a little good olive oil and cracked pepper and some sauce from the jar with parmesan on top. The work of the moment. The greatest part of this lunch though is that it’s cherry season. Eat up!


Written by bloglily

May 30, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Oh, Oh, Oh!

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This summer, I acquired the most wonderful bento. It’s made by those masters of all things bento, Zojirushi, and I just happened to see it in a little shop on Vashon Island, in Washington State, when I was visiting my friend Karen. Here’s what’s inside:

I took these pictures with my phone’s camera, and god or someone divine must be living inside that phone, or why else would top of the bento be lit up with that celestial light? Let’s hope I can think of some heavenly things to put inside. And I’d also like to point out that the largest container is insulated — it’s metal, and there’s a nifty little plastic jar inside. None of these three containers is very large — they’re perfectly lady-like, perfectly delicate portion sizes. If you want more, get two! No one should ever, ever go hungry around here.

Written by bloglily

October 3, 2007 at 1:33 pm


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Oh, how I have missed putting things in the laptop lunchbox. This lunch went out the door a few days ago, but involved a blueberry reminder of summer, some Straus Family nonfat vanilla yogurt to dip the blueberries in, dried mango, and a turkey sandwich on the world’s best baguette, from Berkeley’s own Acme Bakery. It was for Tiniest Tiffin, who is actually not that tiny at all, being a third grader.

So here are some upcoming things:

  • the Berkeley School Lunch Initiative — I’m getting ready to check out what’s up with the new buffet style lunches
  • Some stuff about feeding pre-teens and hungry third graders,
  • Orange food.  Halloween is coming.  Last year, we made easy cupcakes.  Last year, at Halloween time, I was not my total healthiest.  This year I am feeling way better, and stronger, and might do something so spectacularly  orange that it will be spoken about in my family for generations.  Or we might just make cupcakes again.
  • Plus, I have got to show you my new bento box thing.  It is so utterly beautiful.  And also, my own lunches are much easier to photograph, because in the morning I’m just way too bleary-eyed to photograph my children’s.

So welcome back to lunch! It’s going to be such a fabulous year.

Where Would You Hide A Gummi Spider?

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Yogurt’s a pretty good place to hide an arachnid.  Across from the red guy is ham on herb bread, accompanied by Valencia oranges (on a stick — an arrangement that’s becoming very popular with the second grade Tiffin child.  I keep wondering if maybe he’s using those toothpicks to swordfight.)  And did you know that those Nilla Wafers you ate when you were a child now come in a mini size?  For a long time, I didn’t put cookies or sweets in the boys’ lunches.  And then I realized, a little bit goes a long way. So now I do.  I’ve just got to start adding some veg.

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October 27, 2006 at 9:32 am

Halloween Food

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Yes, I cut Tiniest Tiffin’s ham into the shape of a pumpkin, and below the pumpkin two owls.  And yes, I put that black owl in the box along with his fruit on a stick. I have no excuse for this behavior except that in a few years he’s not going to think this is cool anymore and then the only person whose lunch I’ll be able to use my cookie cutters on is, well, sadly, me. (Also in this lunch: applesauce and those crackers that have peanut butter in them.)

Tiffin Twin had this lunch:

Ham and raclette roll ups (one small slice of raclette goes a  long way), cantelope, Straus vanilla yogurt with sprinkles, the kind you use to decorate a child’s birthday cake with. And the last bit of apple crisp. A cheery lunch for a middleschooler.

Happy Halloween (tomorrow — what can you do with a gummi spider?)

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October 25, 2006 at 11:01 pm

New Lunchboxes

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It’s been what — six weeks? — since school started. And in that time, we’ve (well, they’ve) managed to lose pretty much all the lovely lock & lock containers I bought earlier in the school year. Plus two canvas bags. And all our water containers. When asked for an explanation, Tiniest Tiffin said this: “I don’t MEAN to lose the containers except when I forget them. ” (It’s like living with a miniature Yogi Berra; my favorite Yogi Berra-ism I’m not as dumb as I am.)

Huge digression. Sorry. Back to lunchboxes. I went to Koreana Plaza in Oakland, hoping not to spend too much money to replace the many lost lunch containers. They’re almost out of lock & lock boxes. They didn’t seem enthusiastic about ordering more. But then — in the grocery section — I spotted the most incredible divided boxes — about 9 by 9, with four individual containers and a nice-fitting lid. Amazingly, they were only $4.89. I snapped up the only two they had and felt quite good about my replacement lunch boxes. They look a little like lunchables, except of course, they’re anti-lunchables.

As a reward for my good shopping, I bought a very cute little Korean bento box, so small you imagine it’s used only by someone on a rigorous diet or a person so teensy they hardly ever have to eat. Me? I’ve got to make room for Thanksgiving, so I’ll be eating those teensy portions for a little while. And here’s what my boys are eating:

Tiffin Twin is having: 2 Korean cookies, the name of which I cannot decipher, but I can attest that they are delicious; smoked turkey baguette, cantaloupe, and nonfat vanilla yogurt, so rich you’d swear it was made with cream.

As for Tiniest Tiffin, he had something similar:

Except he likes his fruit on a stick, with cantelopes and those slightly scary cherries you can only have once in a blue moon (make that a red moon). He also doesn’t like his meat inside bread. And that closed container? Yogurt.

So, these two lunches, plus my own lunch for a teensy person, and a thermos of hot pasta (with delicious tomato sauce) for the other Tiffin Twin and we’re a family that has enough to last us to the end of the day. Here’s everything stacked and ready to go:

Eat up!

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October 24, 2006 at 10:39 pm

Sesame Tofu: Who Knew?

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Who knew indeed. A lovely Sunday at the Temescal farmer’s market inspired more tofu-buying. That’s what’s in the upper right hand corner of the lock-n-lock: strips of tofu marinated in a wonderful asian sauce with sesame seeds mixed in. Sun dried tomato pesto next to that — from the Afghani food stall. Below that, a few wheat crackers. Next to the crackers, a very nice ham, rolled around sharp cheddar cheese. A carambar (french caramel candy, brought back from Paris by one of the Tiffin Twins who, until this year, went to a French-speaking school) and cantelope with grapes to round it out. A very international lunch, come to think of it. Asia, Afghanistan, France, California, and Wisconsin (for the cheddar).

Tiniest Tiffin likes to have a lot of things in his lunch. Trouble was, some of the pesto sloshed around in the lock-n-lock and he didn’t like that so much. I don’t like my food touching either, at least not when it’s Afghani pesto mixed up with my ham, so I can understand.

Written by bloglily

October 16, 2006 at 7:53 pm