The first time I went to Derek’s place, I was surprised to see that his place was filled with stuffed dolls made by his sister Clara. (Yes, Derek is manly enough to display his love for cute things and plush dolls. I’m so lucky!) She is an art teacher/fine artist and in college her boyfriend’s (now husband) senior film was a cute animation with characters based on the two of them.
Now in their free time they draw more characters, she makes plushes of all the different characters, and they’ve written a children’s book they’re trying to get published so I decided to make a bento of it!
Bento #85: Dollies bento
Created and eaten on: 5/24/2011
“Simple and honest, Dollies can express what you have difficulty saying. Whether you’re feeling happy, lazy, sad, or silly, there’s a Dolly for every side of your personality. Dollies are the most honest forms of a person’s inner being; they represent the many facets of all of us.” (From Dollies site.)
There are many different characters. Upset dolly, Patient dolly, Cyclops baby and there are also wildlife dollies. The character design is pretty simple. They all have round heads, round body, and round limbs… out of many characters, I picked Claradolly, Alexdolly and chickens.
I started off by making an egg sheet first. (see “how to make an egg sheet”) I haven’t made an egg sheet in a while so I was a bit nervous. But I strained the beaten egg through a tea sieve which worked wonderfully and I succeeded in making an egg sheet without any white spots or bubbles! I covered the egg sheet so it wouldn’t dry and put it in the fridge. To make yellow rice I made a hard-boiled egg, took the yolk out, mashed it. For the pink body of Alexdolly, I microwaved some tarako (pollock roe) and mixed it with rice. Then I cut carrots with a cutter and made glazed carrots for the flowers. And I wrapped asparagus with bacon and cooked it while I cut hot dogs for the center part of a sunflower.
I was going to use soboro (see “how to make soboro”) for the background but I had some frozen Japanese style hamburg (see “how to make Japanese style hamburg”) I made a while ago, so I decided to break them apart and cook it on a pan to make quick soboro. Japanese style hamburg has egg and bread in it, so it did taste different than real soboro, but the texture and the flavor were close enough.
After pretty much everything was prepped, I started boiling water for quail eggs and started assembling the bento. First I put lettuce all around the bento box, and put fake soboro in. To make Alexdolly and Claradolly I molded the rice using plastic wrap, and put them in. Then I put in the asparagus wrapped with bacon and some cooked broccoli. For Claradolly’s house, I used crab meat and a piece of hotdog. For the window I sliced kamaboko (fishcake).
When the quail eggs were cooked, I peeled the shell, made a comb with sliced carrot, and stuck it on the top of an egg. I then made sunflowers using the hotdog and egg sheet (see “how to make a sunflower”) and put it in. I also made a beak using the rest of the egg sheet and put it on an egg.
After I put carrot flowers and kamaboko clouds, the bento looked like it could use some more color… So I cut cherry tomatoes and stuffed it with some loose corn. To finish it off, I put black sesame seed on the quail egg chicken for the eyes, put seaweed on the Dollies and the window of the house.
I used pretty much all basic techniques to make this bento, and it was fun brushing up my basic skills. I wish I had renkon (lotus root) though. Renkon is always such a great “bottom filler.”
To read and see more about dollies, make sure to check out her site!
For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento and non-bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page. (On the photos in the “Bent and non-bento!” set on my flickr, you can see the notes on the food explaining what they are.)