Sunday, January 27, 2013

Curiouser and Curiouser... - Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland

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January 27th is the birthday of Lewis Carroll, author of the well-known Wonderland books, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. To celebrate, I made an homage in bento!

Check out some other fun Carroll-inspired lunches at Bent On Better Lunches!

Curiouser and Curiouser!
Strawberries, watermelon and grapes, mini Unreal candy bar; edamame, beets, kohlrabi, and carrots;
cream cheese, ham, and cheese on whole wheat sandwich thin with fruit leather, beet, and olive details. 

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This is my very first lunch in our new PlanetBox! I got mine through Pottery Barn Kids (with an adorable owl print bag and magnets!) but it's really hard to open. Friends who got theirs through PlanetBox say that is not normal. So it looks like something's different with the PBK ones. No way could Z open or close this herself (*I* had a hard time with the clasp!) so I planned this lunch to be eaten at home. So keep that in mind, since there's no way all those picks would fit in there with the box closed, unless I'd pulled them out and stuffed them in nooks and crannies. (The clock fit, and the strawberry roses did, if I flipped one upside-down. The rest sat in a cuppie on the counter until I stuck them in right before lunch.)

"Eat Me": I trimmed the ends off the wrapper of a mini Unreal 5 chocolate-caramel-nougat bar (like Milky Way, but with no fake junk! Available at Target, as well as other stores.) I used some really tiny letter cutters (found at a Japanese shop in California... Ichiban?) on some Colby Jack cheese. I had originally planned to just put them on the bar itself, but I thought the design on the wrapper went well with the Wonderland theme.

"I'm Late! I'm Late!": I spread cream cheese on the inside of the top slice of sandwich thin, and kept it inside-up. Slices of uncured ham and Colby Jack cheese rest between the bread layers.
To make it look like the White Rabbit's pocketwatch, I stuck a ring pick in the top and a matching dot pick on the right side, to look like that thing you twist to wind it.
I used mini number cutters to cut the numbers from some Betty Crocker Simply fruit roll-up (all-natural thin fruit roll-ups, available at most stores!) and I just cut the "hands" freehand. As a nod to the cards and such near the end of the story, I used tiny card suite shape cutters on some black olives and red beet. Since I'd packed this the night before, the beet bled a little. And the cream cheese cracked. Oh well.

And of course I had to include a white rabbit pick! The daisy picks and mushroom pick were a nod to The Caterpillar, who she also meets near the beginning. I had planned on making a caterpillar out of peas, but forgot to thaw them, and I didn't have time the next day.

"What Kind of Flower Are You?": I used large and small veggie flower cutters on an assortment of carrots, Chioggia beets, and kohlrabi. I told her they were rainbow carrots. Teehee! I used leaf picks and a flower stem pick to make them look more like a garden. Meh.
I popped out the last of our edamame beans to help fill up the "ground."

"A Very Merry Unbirthday To You!": A party hat cupcake topper to celebrate Alice's "Unbirthday," a top hat cupcake topper for the Mad Hatter, and teacup and tea party cupcake picks (found at a bakery supply shop,) stuck in some watermelon cubes for a fun tea party!

"We're Painting the Roses Red!": I got the idea to make strawberry "roses" from seeing the white tops on the out-of-season berries. I used more flower stem picks and turned the strawberries into rosebuds. I made sure to choose ones with white, since the Queen's men paint her white roses red, since they'd accidentally planted the wrong kind! I stuck a heart crown cupcake pick in the back to represent the Queen of Hearts. Simple and fun! 

Mama's Adventures in Wonderland
This lunch was cursed or something. It did not want to get made! First the girls ate all my strawberries on Wednesday. I only needed them to save three! But no. So Hubby got me more on his way home from work. Then the next day Z was home sick (really bad cough and she'd kept waking herself up, so needed more rest.) And the girls ate them all again! So he picked up another carton. Except they looked terrible. It was hard finding three decent ones. Oh well. 
I had planned to pack this lunch on Thursday night for Z to eat at home on Friday. But I fell asleep with Baby. And then Friday morning Baby started blarching all over me. So I didn't really have the time or energy to put this together Friday morning, what with a clingy sick baby.
So I packed most of it Friday night (after scrubbing down!) for Z to eat before heading off to see Phineas and Ferb Live the next day. But she still had her cough, and not much of an appetite. She ended up eating it for lunch and dinner. And ate almost none of the safe treats I'd sent with her to the show [they've been really good about letting us bring our own foods when I tell them up-front, and it's clear they're just for her. And no drinks - I bring a safe drink mix packet (Trader Joe's, Crystal Light Naturals, or TrueLemon) and buy their $5 bottled water.]

At least I remembered to take pictures! But when I sat down to start typing this up Saturday night, I suddenly got dizzy and weak and had to lie down. Yup. Mama caught Baby's flu! Good thing she got to eat this Saturday though. Sunday (today,) poor Z started blarching too. It seems I've gotten this the worst, with muscle aches and dizziness. The girls urp up all over my side of the bed, then are chipper and energetic the rest of the day. Yay.

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  1. Good job, Momma! I especially love the flower garden!

  2. It's amazing! And I've been sick too, so I can definitely relate to that part.

  3. It's AMAZING! So many tiny details. Love it!

  4. Gorgeous! Love it! Great details!


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