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Saturday, September 25, 2010

harvest moon bento

This post is something of a bentoversary, as my first-ever post (and bento) was made in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival last year...

This is such a beautiful and tender season, with saffron light falling over late-summer flowers and the leafy green sprawl of herbs and vines. It seems fitting that Tsukimi carries romantic connotations as this lovely light softens and illuminates everything, a sentiment nicely expressed in this little card with a sweet rabbit couple:
I'm just back from a NY visit and brought home some special items from Kiteya, a lovely shop on Broome Street in Soho that specializes in handmade items from Kyoto. Cards, fabric charms, silk scarves and hangings, all vibrating with radiant traditional textile patterns are a delight to browse in a truly welcoming store with warm and engaging staff.

Displays highlighted the harvest moon and fall's flora and fauna:
This harvest moon bento features a special grain blend with purple barley, black rice, red rice, brown rice and rye berries. A shiso leaf, dark purple eggplant pickles, amber ikura, mushrooms, golden beet "moon" and tofu bunny are edible tributes to the new season:
 The white bunny is from Kiteya, as is the floral silk ribbon (and the golden box). Lunch was made with several items from NYC's Sunrise Mart Japanese grocery (on the same street as Kiteya, awesome!)...

 Octopus salad with sesame dressing, togarashi, mitsuba and a dash of green chili sauce:
The multigrain rice/barley blend was delicious and autumnal combined with roasted sweet potato, green shishito peppers, golden beets, mitsuba, mushrooms, tofu and eggs:
Happy autumn!

20 comments:

Lyndsey said...

Everything is so beautiful and festive! I love how many rabbits, I know they believe they see a rabbit in the moon not the man in the moon! Your salad looks scrumptious and I want the recipe! :D What seasoning did you use? Looks so yummy! I started my Tiny Skillet blog just around the Mid-Autumn Festival or the Mooncake Festival and that is when I first saw mooncakes and I vowed that I would make some for the next year, so I did! So funny that we started around the same time. I love how much thought really goes into every one of your bentos. I'm just lucky to fill it up!

Cheers! Have a lovely weekend!

bentobird said...

Lyndsey dear, that is just too cool that you started the (incredible, craving inducing) Tiny Skillet during the same time of year, wow!

The salad involved slicing pre-cooked octo into thin pieces, and adding this amazing and hard to find "deep roasted sesame" salad dressing from Q.P. of Japan (same folks who make the Japanese squeeze mayo)...hubby and I are really addicted to it!

Added some togarashi pepper and fresh green herbs, plus spicy serrano pepper sauce from the farmer's market and that was it.

Wishing you and family a wonderful autumn, my friend!

Jennifer and Jaclyn @ sketch-free vegan said...

Beautiful! Never had octopus salad before...you make it look really appetizing

bentobird said...

hello Jennifer and Jaclyn @ sketch-free vegan, thanks for visiting with your nice comment, its a refreshing salad you may enjoy trying :)!

Lia Chen said...

Festive bento looks so beautiful! That shop is very nice ... I feel like to walk in into that shop. I wish your blog is a magic portal LOL :D (keep on dreaming Lia!) Always enjoy your gorgeous pictures ♥

bentobird said...

Lia dear, thank you! I love your idea of a "magic portal" which in a way our blogs really are, letting us bentoists share and celebrate together across such great distances :D!

Robin said...

I must add these ingredients to my pantry. I see a trip to the specialty markets in San Jose soon. You inspire my tastebuds in a whole new direction. What a wonderful trip to NYC you must have had!

Megg said...

Such a beautiful tribute to the season! That tako salad looks phenomenal! I love summer so much that the onset of autumn is always bittersweet to me, but as I read more and more about Tsukimi it reminds me to savor this season. Thanks for sharing!

bentobird said...

Hi Robin, I'm thrilled to read this and can't wait to see the results of your San Jose market visit! Wishing you a great week ahead and happy cooking :D!

bentobird said...

Megg, you write such kind and reflective comments, thanks for sharing! Hope you will find much to savor and celebrate this autumn...your recipes and kitchen explorations really inspire me.

babykins said...

Gorgeous and elegant bento! It's really appropriate for a romantic mood of Mid Autumn festival. Japanese ppl consider bunnies are making *omochi* on the moon on that day.
I like octopus salad, yours really looks and sounds mouth-watering!!!

Journal Mommy Yenny said...

Very nice. The feeling of mid Autumn festival is in the air by only looking at your bento :-D

bentobird said...

Hiya Izumi! Thanks for your sweet comments and it was fun to learn more about the traditions of the mid Autumn celebration from them...hope it was an enchanting one for you :D! I love this time of year...

bentobird said...

Thank you Journal Mommy Yenny!!

OhayoBento said...

Another beautiful bento! Congratulations on your bento-versary :) Your nature infused take on life, food, and fun is always so refreshing. Here's looking forward to many bento anniversaries to come!

bentobird said...

hi OhayoBento! I love your expression "nature infused", what a lovely compliment! Also wishing you many more fun and creative bentos explorations to come :D!

megan said...

happy bentoversary dear! this box is so thoughtfully filled, from the healthy-sounding and rich hued rice mix to the brightly contrasting beet moon and perfectly simple bunny. your joyful exploration of the season is a pleasure to behold.

bentobird said...

megan hello and thanks so much! looking back, I see that you shared kind and encouraging comments on my first-ever flickr bento last fall...what a wonderful bento pal you have been! loving the warm September-light glow of your recent photos :D

KidsDreamWork.com said...

This is so beautiful! Love the bento so much, the harvest moon, the bunny and everything!
Happy bentoversary Jenn!

bentobird said...

Dear Ai Ping, happy happy autumn and thanks so much for your bento friendship my dear!