Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Bento Field Trip

For our second trip (of three) to the Thomasson Pumpkin Patch this year, her school wanted us to bring nut-free disposable lunches. Ughhhh. The whole POINT of starting all this was to go all re-usable! And I like showing off my EasyLunchBoxes and other bentos to show other people what they're missing! It's not like we don't have plastic baggies. We do. We have freezer bags for freezer-y stuff, and I buy cheaper ones for storing craft supplies, toys and bits for our sensory tubs, and whatnot. Plus Unka Seesee has those cheapie fold-closed sandwich baggies (which I mostly use as gloves for touching raw meat!) But still. Ughhhhh!

I had planned on doing a pumpkin bento for this week's Bento of the Week theme, but didn't want to toss out any of my boxes. I've seen other bento-ers use plastic clamshell left-overs or salad boxes before, but I don't save those. As I was digging through my supplies cupboard to see if maybe I had kept one, I found a 12-cup mini muffin plastic tray that some frozen Trader Joe's mini quiches had been in! Two, actually! I had forgotten I had saved those to make Muffin Tin Meals someday. But I was worried that 12 cuppies would be just too much food, especially as we were tossing leftovers (I usually whip her lunch out throughout the day and let her nibble on it as snack later.) But since it was plastic... I could cut it in half! Perfect! And use the other half for myself! Even better! I had planned to cover in plastic cling wrap but we apparently have none, so I went with aluminum foil, which is at least recyclable, for places that have can recycling bins. I also trimmed the cut corners to be rounder and not so pokey.
Since we had some ham and cheese still, I didn't have to worry about using peanut butter (nut-free!) And since we were going mini-muffin-tin-style, I could make my own little version of a Lunchable! PERFECT!
Left (my lunch): Special K Savory Herb crackers, ham and scraps, cheese nibblets,
carrot flowers, apple bits, zucchini w/purple cauliflower (a dab of Ranch underneath)
Right (her lunch): crackers, ham pumpkins, cheese pumpkins,
apple bits, carrot flowers, blueberries (and apple bit)
These crackers were on sale, and I had a coupon for $1 off 2, so I thought I'd give them a try. I REALLY like the Ritz herb-y ones. I got a box of plain and of these herb ones. REALLY YUMMY. I ate a bunch plain while packing lunch the night before. My lunch originally had cheese scraps instead of nibblets, and blueberries instead of zucchini, but I cleverly knocked the whole thing onto the floor while putting crackers in it. I was willing to rinse off the carrot flowers, and had plenty of extra apple bits, but the blueberries were so fuzzy from random cat hairs scattered, I just threw them out.

I used a super mini pumpkin cutter from a Wilton Fall set on two slices of ham stacked together (these were the thin-cut stuff. I didn't have any custom-cut double thick from the deli.) I managed to squeeze six pumpkins off one slice of cheese, and called it good.
The apple (organic, no clue what type) was from our farm tour in September. It was half mushy, so I chopped that half off and chopped up the rest and sloshed it in some apple juice to prevent browning.
The carrots are a mix of some pre-cut flowers I had stored in the fridge and an organic carrot from our CSA share last week. The pumpkin flag pick is from a cupcake liner/pick set I got at Dollar Tree last year.
Making a ham and "cwacker" sandwich... with all the ham!
She ate THE WHOLE THING! I knew going in that this would be less food than I normally pack, since I usually count on the leftovers as snack, or put them in our lunch the next day too. She did trade her cheese pumpkins for my nibblets, which was fine. After the first cracker-ham-cracker sandwich, she put all the ham one one cracker sandwich and then ate the rest of the crackers plain. See? YUM!
She said she didn't want the blueberries, so I ate some, and then put a bunch on the flag pick, and then she wanted them and gobbled everything down. And then proceeded to put all her food on the pick to eat it. She had an apple-berry-cheese kebab in her mouth with just the flag sticking out when one of her teachers asked if she was eating paper, since that's what it looked like. From then on, the teacher had to pretend to be 'fooled' for Every. Single. Kebab. Ah well. SHE ATE IT ALL though!
"It's too pah-wih-kah-yee!"
She was extra cranky since we'd had to get up early to get to school on time (we do afternoon classes, since we aren't morning people, but they were combining AM and PM preschool into one trip to the pumpkin patch.) Ugh. She cried in the corn box because someone "ruined" her corn snow angel. She cried when she thought the rabbits were gone (their cage had just been moved to make room for a KITTEN too!) She cried when she slipped a little going into the hay maze. Waaaaah. Then she cried that the pumpkin stems were too prickly. So I pointed her to the tiniest pumpkin I saw and told her it looked lonely. (It's easier to pick up the small ones without the prickles bothering you. Plus since I get stuck lugging it around, it weighs less! Boo-yah!)
Muffin Tin Monday at
  Bento Lunch
Bento of the Week


  1. Cool ideas~! Eating at your house would be fun and one wouldn't even know they were eating healthy.
    Son,Rich and his family were here for the week-end. We went to a pumpkin farm and was such an adventure. So much fun and so much to do and see. I love fall ~!
    Have a Tiggeriffic Day~ta ta for now from Iowa:)

  2. Great idea for the TJ muffin holder. When I get a Whopper Jr w/o a bun from BK they have a great little round container that is perfect for a field trip. Haven't used it yet! Thanks for participating in BOTW. I have NO plans for pumpkin yet. I want to bake something w/ pumpkin.

  3. What a great idea! Thank you for linking up to the The Sunday Showcase


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