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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do your eyes fall off in transit?

Ok, probably not something you get asked every day. But (when time permits*) I’ve been making fun bento snacks for the girls, with groovy animal and flower shapes and sugar eyes (my friend Shannon turned me onto those adorable ocular gizmos). And those little bentos boxes endure some serious abuse before they get cracked open at Kindergarten. They’re tossed, swung, used as twin weapons, accidentally dropped out of the car, and stood upon (and that’s only the stuff I’ve personally witnessed). So what are the odds that my sweet, lovingly prepared bentos (like these two):DSC_8958LRPSLR2 make it to snack time in anywhere near the shape they start in? Low, eh? These are the ones I sent today, so I’ll ask the girls how things looked on the other end. But I’m picturing complete and utter chaos. In case anyone’s wondering what the heck is in those boxes, each snack today had small flower-shaped tortilla pieces, a dried apricot, an animal-shaped animal-shaped hardboiled egg with 1/4" sugar eyes and tiny salt and pepper packets, and an animal-shaped slice of provolone cheese with sugar eyes. Ro and Ree usually eat about 3/4 of the snack at Kindergarten and then devour any remaining bits in the car on the way home. And since cheese starts to get droopy and sweaty when it’s warm, I put an icepack in the bottom of each lunchbag today.

Anyhow, does anyone have any twin-proof lunch packing tips? And while we’re at it, how the heck do you peel hardboiled eggs without breaking off unsightly chunks and making it look like your cute bunny or bear eggs have mange?

 

* With all that’s going on around here, there are PLENTY of times when I grab a granola bar and apple or whatever happens to be in the pantry, throw it in the lunchbag, and call it good enough. Hey, at least I haven’t completely forgotten to send them with a snack. Yet.

18 comments:

  1. Anonymous9/16/2010

    How do you turn an oval shaped hard boiled egg into the shapes in this post?

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  2. You just boil the eggs, peel them, then put them in hardboiled egg molds while they're still warm. The molds are a tiny bit smaller than the eggs, so they sort of bend and bulge to fill the whole molds as you close them. I pop the molds in the fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes, then open them up and take out the shaped eggs. They're cute! I got my shapers at Daiso, but there are a bunch online as well (I just went back into the post and added an Amazon link to the bear and bunny molds).

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  3. Not sure if this is foolproof but I usually peel them when they're right out of the boiling water so there's lots of dipping in cold water to save my fingers and wash off tiny bits of shell. Maybe the water does it? But sometimes the whole carton is hard to peel so maybe it's dependant on the eggs themselves. The bento keeps its shape better if you stuff the box full and the food has less chance to move around.

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  4. I have the egg shapes too and they looked awesome freshly made but in 3-4 hours when my kids have lunch at school they said they look like regular (slightly deformed) eggs. They don't keep the shape. Now I just send the egg still encapsulated and hope the mold comes back home.

    Try packing the bentos fuller to keep stuff from shifting.

    -Heather

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  5. Between you and Lisa....you make me feel rather lame. Maylin is lucky if I even remember to get her lunch let alone make something cute. TOday she had a piece of corn on the cob....I even put it on a plate! Usually I just give it to her on a napkin.

    You are great!!!! Can I come live at your house?

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  6. I saw this on a cooking show and it really does work. After you boil your eggs drain the water off and gently shake your pan to get cracks in your shells. Then fill it up with cold water and let them sit there until they are fully cooled (I usually change the water or add ice to make sure it's cold). The cold water helps shrink everything away from the shell and by cracking them first the cold water gets in there and gets between the egg/shell so the shell just slips off easily (I also peel under cold water).

    My kids are boiled egg fanatics so I have had to learn how to peel them without losing most of the white (the only part they will eat).

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  7. Put salt in the water when you boil the egg. Then when your peeling the egg, do so under cold water. Wrks like a charm.

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  8. Use eggs that are a little older as fresh ones don't peel as well and as soon as they have finished their time boiling, plunge into ice water and allow to chill a bit...I know they still need to be hot to mold. To keep the eyes on, wrap the eggs with some plastic wrap, smooth on top so it looks pretty and twisted tight underneath.

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  9. Anonymous9/16/2010

    Never use fresh eggs, they should be at least a week old. Also add A LOT of salt to the boiling water (more than you think you need, like 1/4 cup or so). Then cool off in cold water, roll them gently to crack them all over, and peel. You can peel the stubborn parts under running water to help them loosen. Also, when you start peeling, very gently try to get hold of the membrane to peel it away with the shell. Sometimes I try to start from the large end because there is usually an air bubble of sorts that allows you to get part of the shell off and then kinda grab the membrane and peel away. Easy peasy!

    Julie

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  10. you put my lunches to shame!!!! those are way tooooooooooooooooo cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. Anonymous9/16/2010

    Gently crack one end, then peel under cool running water.

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  12. That lunch officially gets you the title of uber-mom!!!

    Too cute.

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  13. I have been told that brown shelled eggs are easier to peel. Something about the thickness of the shell and the membrane. I have yet to test out the theory. My Gram would take a still warm egg and, holding it loosely, smack the bottom (where the hollow is inside) on the counter. She would end up with the bottom half (membrane and all) in one piece and the top half easily peel-able. That works for me more than half the time, but I'm thinking that Gram may have been some kind of Benni-Hanna trick chef in a previous life

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  14. If you add a bit of oil to your water (helps them keep from cracking when they hit the boiling water) they will be hard to peel. Just in case you were adding oil ... that would be the issue.

    Use older eggs and add a bunch of sea salt. No oil. Should work fine.

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  15. Anonymous9/17/2010

    Tracy is right, my aunt taught me that trick and I've been doing it ever since. Makes things a lot easier at peeling time!
    Super cute snacks!!!
    Michelle

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  16. Ok, at first I thought you made the sugar eyes and I was feeling like the worst mother on the block. Thanks for having the link so I can now feel better about myself! :) kidding. I think those snack are really cute. Too bad my kids will never get that. I feel smart if I pack a pink napkin in my girl's lunch!

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  17. Anonymous9/17/2010

    All you have to do is immerse the eggs in ice water as soon as you drain the boiling water. Add a bit of cold water - and they peel like a charm every time.

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  18. Peeling eggs nicely starts with the cooking. With a push-pin poke a hole in the wide end of the egg shell then submerge in cold water and bring to a full boil. Turn off the heat cover the pot and leave for 20 minutes. Then fill the pot with cold water to cool them. Shake the pot tocrack the shells, they should peel easily. Also eggs that are really fresh do not peel well the ones closer to their expirey date work best.

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