What was your favorite subject in grade school? Most kids would say recess, which is nothing if not honest. But what about lunch?
Lunch was the shit people.
Each August, the day my sister and I went to the store to pick out our new lunch boxes was simultaneously the most exciting and most stressful day of my life (yes, my anxiety disorder started at a young age - but I digress) The lunch box had to be super cool, but not the most popular thing because then every other kid would have it too. It had to be original. And it could not be too babyish - I mean as eight year olds we all still watched The Smurfs but we weren't going to admit it to each other and walking through the class with a public announcement that you did was social suicide. I can still remember the purple Mickey & Minnie Mouse gem that was the shining star of my third grade existence. But imagine if your parents sent you off with one of these boxes -> I mean the colors are cute enough but seriously ... L-A-M-E. But these little boxes hold a secret; a secret that would instantly make you the King or Queen of the lunch room and the envy of the entire student body. These are Bento boxes. Have you heard of Bento? If not, wiki defines it as "a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. [...] Although bento is readily available in many places throughout Japan [...],it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend considerable time and energy producing an appealing boxed lunch." But even from this definition you cannot appreciate the magic that is - Bento. Imagine now, that you opened that innocent looking box to reveal this ...
I discovered Bento several months ago on 'adventures in bento making'. I was instantly amazed. She makes one of these almost everyday. Sometimes for herself and sometimes for her husband but often for her children. Some of my favorites are the ones which were inspired by the tv show LOST. I have posted a few below but you must go visit her site and check out the gallery for yourself.
On the down side, as an eight year old I would probably rather die than eat the amount of broccoli that she includes in these things but at least I would die as the kid with the coolest lunch.