Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Neighbor Totoro

Have My Neighbor Totoro over for Lunch!
I remember watching Studio Ghibli's My Neighbor Totoro ages ago. Back when Japanese animation was only available with English subtitles, if at all! (Just to age myself a bit here, my dad had a friend with a collection of anime on laser disc (at that time it was new and expensive and hard to find anything in the US on laser disc,) that he recorded on VHS for my dad, with printouts of the transcripts translated in English to follow along with... from a dot matrix printer!)

I've been eagerly awaiting the day I could introduce the world of Totoro to my kids as well. So to celebrate finally getting to watch it on DVD, I made Little Z a Totoro lunch!

Tuesday, 5/7/13 -
My Neighbor Totoro bento lunch
Organic apples and green beans, olives, cheese (muenster?) GF PBJ sandwiches

Soot Sprite - I could have sworn these had been called "dust bunnies" when I first saw this movie, but maybe that's just what my aunt called them. I think I saw this sometime between 1993 (the US VHS debut) and 1995 after my aunt got it with subtitles on VHS. I wasn't as good at following along with subtitles then, in my late teens, and VHS quality is often scratchy. Plus her TV was microscopic. So they might have been called soot sprites then too.
My Neighbor Totoro - olive soot sprites
These were really simple in concept, but a little harder than expected to actually make! I used a small circle cutter on the cheese scraps (a large straw might do, or you can often find nice sets of miniature shape cutters in the craft clay section of arts and craft stores too.) Then a round eye nori punch on a sheet of nori (but a small craft hole puncher would work too!) I used bits of uncooked (gluten-free) spaghetti noodles to secure the cheese to the olives, which was annoying, as everything was so small and slippery! Then I used peanut butter to stick the nori circles onto the cheese. I can't figure out how to make them stick to anything otherwise. As you can imagine, tiny lightweight bits of easily-crumbled material that can go flying off with the slightest breath is also a treat to work with...

Totoro, Totoro! - I was so thrilled to finally find a Totoro cookie cutter set (warning - don't look at that etsy shop unless you're ready to drop a chunk of money. There are SO MANY cute cutters that just can't be found ANYWHERE else!)
My Neighbor Totoro cookie cutter cheese and sandwich
The chibi Totoro cutter was small enough for the tiny size of gluten-free bread, and I happened to have a large round slice of some kind of cheese for the larger cutter. Normally I don't have slices big enough! It was tough getting a good imprint on the gluten-free bread, since it's a lot dryer, and I had to kind of push up from underneath enough to get the imprint without punching all the way through! Same with the cheese, although it was harder, since it's so thin! I used a toothpick to help define the details that didn't imprint as well.

Tools of the Trade
  Totoro Set Cookie Cutters Bento Nori Cutter Seaweed Puncher 3 Design Deluxe Japanese Bento Deco Cutter Ham Cheese Cutter Arrange Set in a Case


  1. you bought those cutters! - I did too! I LOVE them to pieces! This is an absolutely perfect lunch!

  2. I love the soot sprites! Aren't those cutters fab? Between my last order and my current wishlist, I think I'm close to putting an addition on their house. :D

  3. Your soot sprites are amazing!

  4. Oh....Totoro cutters? First time see the cutter :p

  5. Awwwww those soot sprites are amazing! So cute :D


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