Friday, October 26, 2012

"I Vant to Eat Your Lunch!" Halloween Vampire Bento

Tuesday, 10/16/12 - After her witch lunch, she started asking me about other Halloween "monsters." Her Mummy lunch was a fun one, but she wasn't satisfied. "Tell me about MORE monsters, Mama!"

"I Vant to Eat Your Lunch!"
Gouda cheese bats, PBJ (strawberry jelly. Bwah bwah!) with fruit leather,
Halloween gummies (in coffin box,) "bloody" strawberries, green bean "stakes"
Going Batty: A grocery near my house was going out of business, and (total fluke!) I not only heard about it, but I had some free time the day they went to 75% off on everything. Hubby happened to be home too, so we were able to tag-team in the store; one of us standing with the carts in the 2-hour line, the other out foraging. (Z was at school, so Hubby stayed and paid while I went and got her after, then back to help him load up the cars! E stayed with the carts and was pretty well behaved, all things considered.)  I got a variety of nice gourmet, all-natural foods, since they tend to cost more so hadn't already been snapped up. We ended up with two very stuffed carts, and paid a little under $300 for $1200 worth of items! (We stocked up on some expensive stuff like over-the-counter medications and vitamins, plus baby formula, which fluffed up the total without taking up a ton of room.)
There was very little dairy left, but I managed to find a few cheeses to try. Z loves Smoked Gouda, so when I saw a package of some kind of yellow-y Gouda without the red rind, I thought she might enjoy it too. It was much easier to work with. Less like a really thick paste and more like mozzarella.
I used a mini bat cutter and made a few stacks of bat shapes.

Coffin Drops: I found these cute little plastic boxes filled with bone-shaped candy at Dollar Tree (3/$1.) They had stickers with funny little "names" on them, like "I.B. Dead" and "Dawn Undah" so I bought a few packs to get different names. The stickers won't last through many washings though. I didn't care for whatever this one happened to say, so peeled it off since it didn't fit a vampire theme. The candies had fake colors and flavors, so they got chucked, but I knew that going in, and bought these just for the boxes.

Trader Joe's usually offers one seasonal gummy item for most major holidays (I'm still kicking myself for not nabbing a pack of their bunnies after Easter, when we first went dye-free last May!) For Halloween, they have a packet with purple grape bats and orange pumpkin gummies. I opted to include both, even though the pumpkins weren't "vampire-y." Even though lately she's been pretty unforgiving of things not fitting the "ftheem" of her "ylunch."

"Blah-Blah"-Berries: I'm not sure what that traditional Dracula sound is... Blah blah? Bwah bwah? You know. "I vant to sahk your blood! Blah! Blah!" Anyway... I had some strawberries to use before they went bad, and they were red like blood. DONE! I stuck in a bat cupcake pick to go with the theme.

"Drahculah": I used a circle cutter to cut out two bread circles, then pressed them as flat as I could. I used peanut butter and strawberry "blood" jelly as the filling. I used the same circle cutter on a Betty Crocker Simply Fruit Roll-Up (all-natural, and can be found at most stores! Woop!) to make a half circle for the hair, then used the circle cutter at an angle on each side to cut the widows peak in. Even though it was pretty sticky and would probably moisten overnight, I used peanut butter to "glue" it on, just to be safe.

I made another half-circle for the collar, and arranged it underneath the sandwich.

I used a smiley face from my faces cutter set to make eyes and a mouth out of scraps, and glued them on with PB as well. I really need to find my stainless steel food tweezers! There was much smearing of PB, sticking to hands instead of breads, and licking of fingers! And a wee bit of cussing!

For the fangs, I used a snippet of white taffy from an assortment from Trader Joe's (everything with their name on it is artificial-free!) to make two little triangles. I flattened and shaped them a bit, then glued them on with some PB. They melted a bit overnight so don't look as good here, but I didn't have time to photograph AND do touch-ups, so it is what it is.

Instead of being scared of the "monster," she could not have been more thrilled! She had me tell her vampire lore all the way to school. I explained how the green beans were meant to be sharpened stakes for defeating vampires (soOoOOoon. Soon she will be old enough for the awesome that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer!) And that legend says that vampires can turn into bats, hence all the batty stuff. And that they sleep in coffins (I'm kind of vague on the reasons for this... I remembered that they're initially buried and come alive after, and that they need some grave dirt. But not sure why they continue to sleep in coffins, other than to block out the light.)
I was careful to word everything as "stories say" and "people believed" so that she understood that vampires are not real. She tends to fixate on something and decide to be scared of it, no matter how irrational or imaginary.
She ended up eating everything but the sandwich. I wasn't too surprised, as she tends to dislike "chewy fruit" (her name for fruit leather and fruit roll-ups,) and it had gotten soggy and started dissolving into the bread. She did eat the fangs, after telling me she hated "that white stuff" and I told her they were made of taffy, like her Hello Kitty bow.
I was surprised that she rationed out the gummies, and only ate one before working on more of her lunch, then another after she'd eaten her cheese, then saved the last two for after school. She's usually much more about "immediate gratification."
Oh, and she did like the Gouda. She calls the Smoked Gouda "smoky cheese," and she started calling this one "Mommy's Gouda cheese. Not the white kind."

Mama's Rainbow
Croutons, spinach salad w/strawberries, golden raspberries, purple cabbage,  yellow and orange carrots,
green beans, NatureBox trail mix, chia seeds, and raisins; Special K crackers, tuna salad, cherry tomatoes
The croutons came from my October Petit Amuse box. I saw a favorable review a few months back that looked really yummy, so figured I'd try it! $10/month is low enough it was worth getting a "taste." I liked it. The foods were all good, although you don't really get $10 worth, unless you account for gourmet pricing. And while I'm willing to pay more for all-natural safe foods, and really liked their boxes the past two months, I really can't afford to be getting 53 food box subscriptions each month! I'd like to tell you these croutons were delicious, but I forgot they were in my cooler bag and haven't eaten them yet!

Couldn't find my dried soy beans, so I added some random trail mix from one of my NatureBox shipments in a Mini Dipper along with some chia seeds. It had lots of sunflower seeds and peanuts in it, along with bits of date and other dried fruits, so added nice small crunchy and chewy bits to my salad. Perfect!

   Food Decorating Pick Black Cat Witch Bat 8 pcs  Decorative Bento Cutter Ham Cheese Cutter Set 14 Facial Expression  

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