Bento 101: Getting Into The Bento Habit course materials and further notes

The response to the Getting Into The Bento Habit course announcement has been overwhelming! I'm really glad to see so many people interested in participating. I'm busy getting things ready now.

Reading through the comments, there may be a little bit of misunderstanding about the objectives of this course, so I just wanted to clarify them here.

  • This is a course for total beginners - or, people who has never made a bento in their lives. If you've already been making bentos for some time you may find it too basic for you, or you may pick up some tips anyway.
  • It will not be a how-to-cook course per se (I'll have courses about how to cook specific things later on, if this course goes well.) It's about arranging your life and your cooking habits to incorporate bento-making into it without a whole lot of strain.
  • I won't really be focusing on Japanese foods or ingredients. Again, I may have a course that focuses on that kind of thing later on. I am going to assume that a lot of people are interested in boosting the quality of their take-along lunches, but aren't necessarily into eating mostly Japanese food. Of course bentos in Japan use a lot of Japanese food, but that's rather impractical in other countries. My belief, as I've expressed in The Just Bento Cookbook as well as several times on this site, is that bentos are a way of thinking - a compact, tasty, appetizing and hopefully healthy portable meal - rather than traditional Japanese food per se. Getting to the point where you can assemble such portable meals at least once a week is the objective of this course.
  • While this course isn't going to focus much on cooking, I am going to assume that participants do a least a bit of cooking, and access to basic kitchen facilities. By basic I mean: a sink, a refrigerator/freezer, a cooking range or hotplate, and maybe a microwave and/or conventional oven. I won't assume for this course that you have a rice cooker.

Equipment and materials required for the course

I did say in the announcement that I'd have a list of required materials and supplies. It may not be what you thought it would be!

You will need:

  • A PC or other device for following the course (which you should have if you're reading this!)
  • A digital camera (a cellphone camera is fine)
  • Some place to upload your photos online where they can be linked to. This can be your own blog, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, or whatever - as long as the photo is publicly viewable. (Due to the large number of expected participants, I can't accept photos emailed to me.)
  • A notebook may be useful to keep track of things, although there will be printouts made available. (You could keep track on a blog or on Facebook, etc. too)

And that's it! You don't even need a bento box to start with for this course. As I wrote above I am going to assume you have a kitchen at least.

So, he course will start during the week of February 4th (Note: I'll post the first lesson on the 5th, due to an unexpected technical glitch caused by Google Ads). I'm very excited, and hope you are too.

If you have any questions please leave a comment here.

(A note about the forum here on the site: A couple of people asked if they needed to sign up to the forum (or requested to do so). Unfortunately due to my long absence from blogging actively and so forth due to my illness and lack of updates to the system that runs this site (other than security updates), new user account registrations aren't really working. So we won't be using the forum this time -- hopefully for future courses we can get it back up and running again. Note that if you already have a JustBento user account you can log in and post to the forum, but since we can't accept new user accounts we won't be using it for this course.)

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