Make a bento resolution for 2011 (with year-end bonus)

2010 was pretty event-filled for me. I went to Japan twice, after many years away, for a total of nearly 5 months, re-acquainting myself with my roots. Both my parents went through serious illnesses and operations. I moved into a new (old) house in a French village, then promptly got a serious infection and was hospitalized for weeks. And last but certainly not least, I finished a little book that so far has been way more popular than anyone anticipated.

2011 is the Year of the Hare or Rabbit (usagi) according to what’s commonly called the Chinese Zodiac in the west (in Japan, the 12 animals symbolizing the years are called eto 干支). That will make me a toshi onna, or woman who was born during the year of the bunny. (If you’ll be 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, etc. next year, you too will be a toshi onna during the Bunny Year, or a toshi otoko if you’re a guy. And of course, babies born next year will be Bunny Year Babies.) Being a toshi onna (or otoko) is not necessarily considered to be all good; you may have good luck, but you may be in danger of running into bad luck too. Either way, if I am to believe such things, it may turn out to be an even more interesting year than 2010.

I know that we can make resolutions at any time of the year, but New Years Day is really the perfect time to shake off the past and make a promise to oneself to start something new, or continue a good thing. I’d certainly like to shake off the bad things about 2010, and arm myself with some good intentions and plans for 2011.

Bento-wise, I’m interested a accomplishing number of things: exploring some traditional Japanese foods more deeply, researching the world of ekiben further, using bentos as a continuing tool towards keeping my blood sugar in check (it’s working well so far in that respect, barring some lapses such as extended mochi testing sessions) and improving my decorative food cutting skills. But above all, I want to continue spreading the word of bento around the world, and introducing people to the fun and versatility of the portable meal in a box.

So, how about you? Do you have any bento-related resolutions for 2011? Share them with the world right here!

A hidden bonus giveaway

One of the people who share their bento related resolution in the comments here will get one precious advanced copy of the 2nd printing of The Just Bento Cookbook, signed of course. The book is sold out on Amazon.com right now, and getting scarce in other places until they can receive new shipments, so if you didn’t get one in your Christmas stocking, now’s your chance. Your resolution/comment must be posted here (and it must be a comment, not an email reply if you’re reading this by email) by the end of 2010 - that is, until 11:59:59pm of December 31st CET (Central European Time). Good luck, and let’s ring out the old year with a bang!

(Comments are now closed. The winner of the book will be announced soon! Happy New Year!)

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

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Re: Make a bento resolution for 2011 (with year-end bonus)

I have two 2011 bento resolutions. First is to actually use all of the adorable bento supplies I purchased during my two trips to Japan when I was in college. I was so intrigued by the bentos I had in Japan that I loaded up on supplies, only to return home with no actual knowledge of how to make them or what to do with it all. Now that I have discovered justbento.com, this should be an easier resolution to keep--and the book would guarantee it!

The second resolution is to stock a bento with healthy snacks four days a week to fuel me through my 10 hour days as a preschool teacher. It is a new job that I am blessed to have, but it is rather exhausting to keep up with 15+ four year olds for ten hours! I'm committed to not eating packaged foods, so I have been subsisting on apples, nuts, and homemade yogurt--tasty, but not cutting it! I want to learn to make balanced bentos that will give me energy and nutrients so I can be the best teacher I can be.

Re: Make a bento resolution for 2011 (with year-end bonus)

My 2011 Bento Resolution is to make bentos five days a week, even though I don't have a job to go to at the moment. I figure it will give me great practice, maintain the portion control I desperately need, and help build and keep my bento stash fresh and current (especially the freezer stock). Thank you, Maki, for the continued inspiration and support ^_^

Re: Make a bento resolution for 2011 (with year-end bonus)

My bento resolution will to bento 4/7 days a week, in addition to making dinner myself at least once a week.

I also want to broaden my bento food horizons and get maybe not all kyaraben crazy, but to start adding some cute touches to my bentos more often. (:

Re: Make a bento resolution for 2011 (with year-end bonus)

My New Year's resolution is to improve my veggie cutting and garnishing skills for my bento lunches.

Congrats on your second printing - I was so happy to see that your book is sold out on Amazon!

Re: Make a bento resolution for 2011 (with year-end bonus)

My resolution is to begin bentoing for myself.. I pack lunches for my husband and daughter everyday, and always ending up scrounging around for something to eat myself:p Packing for myself while putting those lunches together each morning will save me time (and help me cut calories!!) in my afternoons at home.