Back from the easter break with bentos! I need to buy new vegetables tomorrow, since my fridge is yawning empty. I was lucky to even have this much!
Being an expatriate, I suffered the fate of not having painted eggs of my own this easter… so I made a tea marbled egg for tomorrow! (“Hey, brown is a color, right?”)
This box is not actually a bento box. It’s a plastic box from IKEA that has a metal cheesegrater top, but also a lid for storing things later. I was looking at it the other day and thought “This is the perfect size and shape for a bento box!” So here it is.
The lid isn’t very tight but closes fast enough if you use a bandana as well.
Rice, the last of my broccoli patties (which I froze before the easter break), a marbled egg chick and some sweet pickled radish which I also made to use it up before leaving for the easter break. It came out rather nice, even though I can’t judge if it tastes like it is supposed to. I like it, though.
Carrot flowers for decoration.
Pickled radish and tea marbled eggs are some really simple recipes that I dredged from the internet pretty much on a whim. They are rather nice and effective though! I love the smell and taste the marbling added to the egg. :D
Tea marbled egg recipe
Hardboil eggs, take them out of the water and cool them down so you can hold them without burning yourself. Don’t peel!
With a spoon, break the shell so there is a pattern of cracks all around it.
Add 1-2 teaspoons of black tea, 1 teaspoon of five spice powder, 2-3 teaspoons of soy sauce, salt and some star anise pods to the water.
I didn’t have five spice powder, but I made some myself by grinding some roasted Szechuan pepper, star anise, cloves, cardamom (the recipe asks for fennel seeds but I don't use them as people in my family are allergic to it) and cinnamon. I stored the leftovers in a box for later.
Boil for another 30 minutes and then let soak for at least 3 hours.
I read in a science mag the other day why hardboiled eggs sometimes get an ugly, greenish border between the yellow and the white. The explanation is this: When you boil an egg, iron and sulphur is released from the egg yellow. Those react at the yellow’s border, creating greenish iron sulphide. The longer you cook the egg, the more of the elements will react and the more noticeable the border will be.
It isn’t dangerous or unhealthy, just chemistry at work – and sadly, you can’t get pretty marbled eggs without it! I carefully scraped off most of the off-colored border from my chick with a knife edge before adding the decoration.
Pickled Daikon Radish recipe
To be found here.
Update from the window sill garden:
The self-watering pots seem to have held well over the easter break – there’s only one casualty, the basil which seems to have drunk more than we thought it would. It was not entirely dry yet though, so maybe we can save some sprigs.
Here’s a picture of the chilies, which really thrived while we were away!
They grew a good 10 cm and went from 4 timid leaves to this in just 4 days! I’m amazed!
As you can see, the self-watering pots are really simple constructs made with simple storebought pots, leka balls, some fibertex, a PVC pipe, dirt and a fast-food restaurant straws corked with some foam. I may ask the BF to make a diagram some day, but I’m too lazy now…
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