Tuesday, 20 July 2010

No.53 'Red stars' bento and the start of summer break

This red stars bento was made as the last bento for the school year and I've been very late blogging about it! The noodles are thai green curry flavoured after I combined a little of the base I had made for the meal with them (garlic, coriander, galangal, white pepper, green chillies, onions). The meatless balls are vegetarian and in the second layer the children had crackers with grated cheese and carrot to top them with. Because it was the last day of term I knew they'd be eating all sorts of chocolates and cakes that people had brought in, and also the school was putting on a French breakfast of croissants and toppings, so I didn't expect them to eat their lunch. I was surprised though, because the boxes came back empty! The noodles were a big hit.

The children are in their second week of summer holidays now and we had planned picnic bentos. It has rained so heavily though, that even when it's not raining the ground at our favourite playing places is sodden. We did manage to get one day out playing, and took some expertly designed paper aeroplanes to try out. These came in a pack, all the way out of the eighties. They were bought for my husband when he was a child and we've been given the rest of them to make with our children. They fly brilliantly, but my favourite bit about them is that it takes about twenty minutes for the children to cut out all the layers for just one of them! A great way to keep them busy for an hour or so when we're not busy with other things.

Another small project I've come up with for our trapped-indoors-by-the-rain period has been our pet pigeon's indoor vegetable plot. Our rescued wood pigeon has been with us for almost a year now, and since we don't yet have an outdoor aviary for him, I've been thinking up ways to make his indoor environment more interesting for him and encourage some natural behaviours in him. I started by providing him with hanging parrot toys in the room he stays in most of the time. They went down well. Next up was the vegetable patch, that you can see in the picture below. In the wild, a wood pigeon would graze for edible vegetation, fruits and shrubs, and even pick at the soil for nutrients and seeds. The little indoor veg plot lets him do all those things and he has been so pleased with it! before he would walk back and forth on the carpet, grazing for the occasional dropped seed from his bowl, and although he still likes to march around and do that, he also spends a lot of time in and around his veg garden, picking at the soil and eating the greens. I hide seeds and sweetcorn in the pots and he hunts them down as an added bit of enjoyment for him.

The first day I set the boxed garden down for him, he inspected it very proudly. Taking a strange offence at where I had placed his miniature watering can, picking it up and throwing it about with his beak. I think it was his way of telling me he's in charge of the indoor garden now. He'll decide where the watering can is kept!

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