I think I may have found my favorite place in the world.
Actually, make that two places. Recently, Kenny and I went to The Fresh Market in Macon. It's just up the street from the Starbucks that I used to work at, and I could kick myself for never going in before! I was able to find lots of Japanese cooking ingredients that Kroger doesn't carry, such as ponzu and mirin. (Their Asian section is actually pretty small, but it's packed with lots of neat stuff.) The fresh produce section is quite impressive, as is their bakery and coffee selections. I think The Fresh Market will have to be added to our round of stops the next time we go to Macon!
On Monday, Wyatt and I drove to Warner Robins with my parents to shop at Hobby Lobby, the greatest place on earth. (Seriously, it's in my top three with The Fresh Market and Target.) It truly is a magical place. It's a good thing Monday was a holiday; if I'd been able to put my check in the bank, it would have come right back out. Note to self: do not go to either of these places without the intention of spending some money!
My only purchase from Hobby Lobby was a set of tiny food cutters to use in my bento-making. It was actually very hard to choose just one set as they had lots to pick from. They also had a pretty decent selection of silicon baking cups, which are good for bento as well. If I wasn't waiting for some to come in the mail (ahem, get on it Japan), I would have bought a few. I decided to use my new cutters for today's bento...
It's a Ponyo bento!
Don't know Ponyo? It's a delightful animated movie by Studio Ghibli (of My Neighbor Totoro fame) featuring a little fish who wants to be a human girl. The American title is shortened from the Japanese, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. I've probably watched it at least five times on Netflix. The English dub features the voices of Liam Neeson, Kate Blanchett, Tina Fey, Matt Damon, and Betty White. It's available to watch instantly from Netflix - I highly recommend it!
Anyway, this bento features a mini Ponyo hamburger. (I made her eyes too close together, but I still think it's recognizable as Ponyo.) Her hair and fins are pieces of apple, and her eyes and facial features are pieces of potato. There's also some roasted rosemary potatoes and a ham flower. Why? Because "Ponyo wants ham!" Mango slices are tucked in the corner for dessert.
I might give myself a bento break tomorrow. I'm in the mood for sushi, and there's a great little Japanese restaurant within walking distance of campus. They even sell restaurant-style bento lunches! I might have to snap a picture or two to show you all...
- Mother Nature Mom