The Tiffin Tin

What\’s in your lunchbox?

Archive for the ‘To-Go Containers’ 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.

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.

Written by bloglily

February 19, 2007 at 5:51 pm

Fruit and Yogurt on the Open Market

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Here it is then, the lunch to follow up the lunch that got dissed by the kid who hates Valentine’s Day, the kid who told Tiniest Tiffin his heart napkin sucked.

The mighty Tiniest Tiffin’s response: TWO heart napkins. Take that. And some strawberries and cantelope with really good whole milk vanilla yogurt to dip the fruit into. Creamy, yummy. UMMMM. (Not to mention some turkey roll ups, a couple of goldfish and two of those starburst things that have Valentine’s patterns on them. Oh. And carrots.)

We’re coming home and I ask him how lunch went. Apparently, on the open market of the cafeteria, fruit and yogurt is like gold during a serious inflationary period.  Here’s how he made out:

  • A gave me a chip for a piece of fruit with some yogurt on it.
  • N gave me two yogos for a strawberry with yogurt.
  • L gave me two chips for a cantelope with yogurt.
  • J gave me a cookie for fruit with yogurt.

L, I’d like to say, is the kid who said Tiniest Tiffin’s heart napkin wasn’t up to snuff.

Tomorrow I’m packing extra fruit & yogurt. I’d say three chips, two yogos and a cookie isn’t going to kill the triumphant Mr. Tiffin and is worth it seeing as how he’s winning hearts and minds through the fruit & yo program.

Written by bloglily

February 13, 2007 at 4:27 pm

The Whimsical Lunch

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Here it is tiffin fans, our new laptop lunchbox! It’s the purple version, also known as the “whimsical” laptop lunch. It came in the mail about ten seconds after I ordered it from the nice women at the laptop lunchbox website. Along with the lunchbox, we also received a nifty insulated carrying case and a very good book filled with ideas about making healthy, delish lunches.

With this new lunchbox comes a renewed push to involve the boys in the lunch process. This morning, that meant Tiniest Tiffin spent a lot of time opening and closing the lunchbox so he could do it by himself in the cafeteria at his school. (Turns out this lunchbox isn’t that easy to operate at first — the lid opens by pushing down on the latch, which is counterintuitive — but once you get it, the whole thing’s not at all difficult and very cool. Worth the effort I’d say.)

Tiniest Tiffin opted for ham and cheese roll-ups, rather than a sandwich. He wanted strawberries because they look like hearts and he wanted his Straus Family nonfat vanilla yogurt drizzled over the strawberries because … well, because it looks nice. Add some baby carrots, a little ranch dressing and a piece of banana bread and you have a very typical American child’s lunch. It’s good to be back to lunches!

Culinary response:   Thumbs up.  Two carrots left and a little ranch dressing. 

Social response:  The very cute napkin with the heart on it from IKEA was dissed by a kid in his class.  Tiniest Tiffin says this kid is jealous.  And tells people his mother doesn’t love him.  (Something sad happening in that family.)  TT determined to soldier on, demonstrating that even the most manly of second graders can still show love for his mom.  

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February 9, 2007 at 11:43 am

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.

Written by bloglily

October 27, 2006 at 9:32 am