thank you all for sharing so many wonderful links in your contest entries! i had a wonderful time this weekend browsing through them — some took me to blogs i already know and love, and some took me to totally new sites i had never even heard of.
tomorrow’s bento has a few sources of inspiration: one is the luxirare shikai maki bento that brenda posted in the comments, and another is the beautiful work of my good bento pal jenn (bentobird). i tried to echo the natural elegance that her boxes epitomize, and it seemed fitting to incorporate her style into this meal, since her boxes often include sushi. for the sushi component, i tried my hand at this interesting square-format sushi (using a handy how-to video on youtube!). my roll contains shiso rice, kiwi strips, cucumber, and fried tofu… i need some more practice (the kiwi layer, in particular, didn’t hold its structure because the kiwi was so slippery), but i have the general idea and am sure i can improve!
another source of inspiration this week was a long-postponed first trip to minamoto kitchoan, the fine purveyor of gorgeous wagashi (japanese sweets) located on manhattan’s chi-chi 5th avenue. here is a photo from their display case (these are plastic, but do look just like some of the items they are selling):
alongside tomorrow’s box i have a shobumochi packaged to look like a beautiful iris. this will cap off my dessert fruit section (kiwi slices, pomegranate seeds, two juicy blackberries and one ripe cherry), which will in turn balance my veggie section (peppery arugula, a tiny sweet red pepper, two asparagus tips, two carved takuwan flowers, and a quail egg). to fill up the empty space in the box, i placed a bottle of soy dressing and a pair of disposable chopsticks (both decorated with washi tape in complementary colors). the box is packed in a pretty red-patterned furoshiki that i received from another sweet bento friend.
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getting back to the contest… i edited the entry comments in order to number them, and then used the random.org website to generate a random integer from 1 to 95:
the winning entry, number 79, is abby of totoro bento! congratulations! please get in touch with your mailing information and i’ll mail your prize package right away.