Now, you may ask why I gave this “subtitle” to Today’s bento!
“Hail” for bento? Unless it is an ice-cream bento…

Actually we had a good 10 minutes of hail in Shizuoka City yesterday afternoon, and this only in our city! On the other hand some people were blocked for the night in the vicinity of Mount Fuji.
If I recall properly, itis only the third time I witness such an event in 34 years of lif in this town. No wonder the TV crews were out in force downtown!

Now cherry blossoms are easier to understand.
Japan, like many other countries in the Northern Hemisphere has gone through a very unseasonably cold winter. At long last cherry blossoms are litterally exploding into full bloom around us.
The above picture was taken along the moat of Sumpu Castle.
On the other hand I don’t know if these flowers will last until the Shizuoka Festival starting on the 1st of April as the next two days will see more rain…

For today’s bento the Missus used the other cedar wood box she bought from Akita Prefecture. Contrary to yesterday, this box is made of sturdy lacquered cedar wood. The two tiers can be used a single box with the second tier becomeing the lid. A “belt” is also provided for securing it.
It is also cheaper, but still expensive at a little less than 50 US$, but it is very resilient.

First the rice or staple “dish”.

The Missus steamed plain rice with a piece of konbu/seaweed.
Having filled the box with it, she sprinkled the middle first with “katsuo soboro/鰹そぼろ/”, that is coked bonito “powder” (not dry) and then with Japanese-style (chopped) cucumber pickle for a colourful contrast.

She added two types of pickles: home-made sweet (sweet vinegar) carrot pickles and pickled daikon slices I got from a friend who travelled to Niigata Prefecture on the other side of Japan. The latter is very crunchy and tasty.

And then for the garnish “dish”.

The meat is Japanese-style char siu/kakuni pork she cooked in a jiffy in a pressure cooker, and the egg is another specialty of hers, half-boiled and sprinkled with roasted/black sesame seeds.

The opposite extremity was filled with boiled peas in their pods and home-made sweet pickled myoga ginger.

The middle is occupied with what justifies the third element of the title: imo.
She simmered yellow and violet satsuma imo/sweet potatoes together with a dash of honey (she wouldn’t tell me more…).
Cetainly makes for great colours and taste.
Sorry for the slightly fuzzy pictures (the Missus is giving me hell for that, but that gives her an incentive to take her own ics!LOL).

For dessert, Shizuoka-grown Benihoppe/Red Cheeks strawberries!

Do I need to tell you I’m looking forward to next week?

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