Brown Bear & Friends in the Garden Bento (Hapabento’s Japanistic Bento Box Contest's Entry)
Okay, the contest’s theme is very interesting: in the garden. The flowers on my mini garden were inspired by one of my favorite flowers, Tulip. When I was about 8, I had ‘my own’ little garden on the front yard. My grandma gave it to me and she said that by gardening and taking care of all the plants and flowers in my little garden could train my responsibility to take care of the others and of course… it could make me strong and healthy. I could plant any flowers that I desired. Everyday, in the early morning before going to school and in the late afternoon I had to take care of and water my garden. What I like best was when I visited my garden in the early morning. I could find (as if) a bunch of fairy’s magical works through the beauty of the flowers’ blossoms and their fragrant smell, jewel of dews, the green leaves, and hard-working bugs on the morning ground. I also could inhale pure and fresh morning air – that’s what my grandma called good for kid’s health. My little garden was beautiful; it lied under a shady Starfruit tree. My garden was also my and my playmates’ secret place. We were great tree climbers that could climb many trees easily just like a monkey that we called ourselves “The Monkey Troops” hahaha LOL :D *Oh, I miss my childhood*. Our Starfruit tree had branches that served us the ‘benches’ when we were discussing or were having a secret meeting :D. We learned so many things through my little garden (especially about the growing process of flowers :D). We also like to have fun, run, laugh, and play with our pets there (that’s another positive thing that my grandma said it’s good for health :D).
One day, my mom gave me a calendar whose pictures were the beautiful blooming tulip beds. I loved the calendar’s pictures very much that I asked my mom to buy me those beautiful flowers to be planted in my garden. She said that our country didn’t have that kind of flowers and they couldn’t live here; those flowers only existed in a far far away place in Holland that she couldn’t fulfill my request. Yeaahhh… as the result *kids* --> I cried all day long *LOL*. I had to be happy with what all I already had in my little garden. But one day, my friends and I found a strange plant whose leaves looked like tulip’s leaves I saw from the calendar’s pictures grew up in my little garden. That strange plant had not had flowers yet. You can laugh at us, we gathered in the garden everyday and prayed in order that strange plant would turn out to be Tulip! LOL. And the result? That strange plant died before it showed us it’s real flowers hahaha. So, my sausage tulip flowers in the bento box are the representation of my unfulfilled wish to have the real tulip flowers :D. While the carrot flowers and chikuwa rings represent another flower and rocks that adorned my little garden :D.
About the character, I decided to go with bear since I really want to make Rilakkuma bento recently. But I don’t name my bear as Rilakkuma since I placed the bear’s ears, snout, and eyes not accurately that made my bear doesn’t look like Rilakkuma although it has already had it’s bird friend :D. My brown bear was made from tempe/tempeh (Indonesian fermented soy bean cake: rich in protein :D) that I made into steak.
In the box: Nasi Kuning (Indonesian fragrant yellow rice: the yellow color was from turmeric and the rice cooked with coconut milk and some aromatic herbs), brown bear from tempeh steak, little bird from quail egg, boiled green beans leaves, chikuwa rings, sausage tulips, carrot flowers, cherry tomato, black toasted sesame seeds and forest animal food picks that I just bought to merry up the garden :D.
So, this is it! My entry for the contest *Chef Farah Quinn: mode on hehehe*. Thanks Debra for the contest, I have fun through this contest. Can’t wait to see other contestants’ lovely entries :D. Happy contest and bentoing, dear friends! :D