The Tiffin Tin

What\’s in your lunchbox?

Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

Berkeley Bowl Lunch

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This was a beautiful lunch. I mean, I am aware it’s totally blurry in the picture, but it was a thing of beauty. Spicy tuna, a little bit of lettuce, crisp cucumber, and the avocado. There was rice at the bottom of the bowl. I mixed my wasabi with some soy and poured it over and it was incredible.  I’m not capable of producing something like this at home — so I’m very glad that our local grocery store (which is called The Berkeley Bowl) has it in its prepared foods case, and it is so fresh and delicious.


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July 25, 2008 at 11:06 am

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!

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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.

Before. After.

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Before:  Kiwis and purple grapes, some vanilla yogurt in the little dip container, turkey and cheddar roll-ups, and cheez-its (a nod to all that’s compelling about fake, orange food).  About 2/3 a bottle of half water/half orange juice.  All those baguette slices?  The kids in Tiniest Tiffin’s class love baguette.  And they never get to eat it.  He’s their new supplier.  At least today anyway.

After:  a couple of kiwis and a stray baguette are all that’s left.  Plus about 1/4 of the juice/water mixture.   It’s a mess, huh?  He either doesn’t know how to put the cap back on the little yogurt container or he’d rather not do it.  The good news is that the whole thing cleans up just like new.

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February 19, 2007 at 5:51 pm

Out to the Soda Fountain

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Where do you go on a sick day with a child who’s not THAT sick? To the Elmwood Pharmacy, where there’s a great soda fountain. And what do you eat? A frankenwich (grilled cheese with a hot dog inside!) and a chocolate shake. Oh, and a pickle.

Don’t forget though, if you let your child roam around the pharmacy unattended, well:

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February 14, 2007 at 10:53 pm

What Can You Say About Trix Yogurt?

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I come to you today to talk about Trix yogurt — yogurt so colorful it hurts your eyes early in the morning when you put it in the lunchbox, yogurt that’s in a small container with gaudy decorations, yogurt that’s more expensive than the kind you usually eat because it’s in single serve containers. Yogurt Tiniest Tiffin loves. Going, as he does, to a school where a lot of children pack Trix yogurt in their lunch boxes, he naturally feels that he too would like it.

I’m not crazy about Trix.  It’s expensive, and has lots & lots of sugar in it and it comes in colors and flavors that are sort of icky.  The clash between what you want your child to eat and what your child sees other children eating and therefore wants to eat gets more difficult to negotiate as children grow older. I’ve reacted to it by being flexible about an item or two in the lunchbox, not making a big fuss about it, and saying briefly what the pros and cons of Trix yogurt are. It’s a small thing, Trix yogurt, but it’s not without significance:

  • you can talk about packaging. That empty trix yogurt container is going to sit in a landfill for a very long time.
  • sugars — you might want to look at different yogurt containers and talk about how much sugar you’ll find in it, and how much you want it to have. We do this with fiber — the Tiffin kids are aware that cereals and breads with less than 2 grams of fiber a serving aren’t doing what grains are supposed to do for you.
  • the trix rabbit is sort of cute, sort of not. It’s fun to discuss what might really be going on when he says trix are for kids but not for silly rabbits. The idea of having something exclusive and not sharing it is what lunch is all about sometimes.
  • flexibility. Your child needs to know that everyone enjoys a treat, and that’s what something like this is. A treat.

So what’s in those two lunches up there in the picture today? Left over tri-tip sliced very thin and placed between whole wheat bread. A piece of banana bread, a lot of tangerine slices (it makes a huge difference to them that the tangerines are peeled ahead of time, a job they’re good at first thing in the morning — they don’t have that long for lunch and sometimes they’ll only get to eat a fruit if it’s peeled already) and, of course trix yogurt.

Written by bloglily

December 12, 2006 at 8:11 am