Bento 99: The really, REALLY bad ochazuke
Today I had ochazuke – or I ‘tried’ to have ochazuke. I have received adorable packs of pokemon ochazuke seasoning from Sheri, and thought it perfect for the weather – plus it’s cute! So I packed an ochazuke for today, like I had packed a number of times previously. Precooked tofu, octodogs, tsukenomo and some lightly blanched beans. Come lunch time, all I have to do is mix the Pokemon ochazuke with hot water and pour it over – lunch is served!
However, I think (not 100%) that the bento might got left out way too long…..I usually let the bento cool and then place it in the fridge the night before. This time around, I think I left it to cool, and asked bacon to pack it away later that night in the fridge, which I think he must have forgotten to until morning..and I thought he had taken out the bento from the fridge for me. There might be another reason though. I don’t place my bentos in the fridge when I get to work as it always comes out way too cold to consume, so it remains on my desk until lunch time. Now, I only do this because my office is pretty chilly anyway, but it was unseasonably hot…and therefore did not help the bento lifespan. Or another reason might be that the tofu, beans and hotdogs were leftovers, and probably I kept it a day too long in the fridge. Or a combination of all three. Upon cracking open my mini tiffin, a strange smell emated from it…..and then I spotted the white mold growing from my beans. Hm.
So lesson no. 1 in bento packing; pay attention to food safety guidelines!! No cross-contanimation, make sure the food is completely cooled before closing the lid, always keep cold until it is time to eat. This is especially important if you are packing for children, the mold on the bean was pretty fine, I only spotted it because I wanted to rearrange the bento to snap another picture. A child with a short lunch break would probably not pay as much attention to the mold, or even know what it is.
After packing bentos all this months (This is the 99th bento!!!) – this is the first time I have actually experienced a gone off bento. Wow. I had to get some microwave food for lunch instead as it was past mid day and the cooked food counter was packed. Maybe this is punishment for my lack of bento in November…heh. The Bento Gods had conspired against me, I tell you! Ochazuke…I shall be back for you…..