Is anyone else blown away by the whole "Holy S**T its September already!" thing? This summer appears to have simply dissolved out of nowhere. Which means only one thing...
Back. To. School.
For 35 years, September meant Back to School for me. Nursery School, Grammar School, High School, College, Grad School and then...four years of teaching high school followed by eleven running education programs at professional theaters. When I was 37, I left full time employment as an educator for full time stay-at-home freelance writing, and suddenly my year didn't revolve around the educational calendar.
I get to September and it still feels like Back to School time. I have strange compulsions to buy back to school clothes, despite the fact that I work in my living room and spend an insane amount of time in yoga pants. (And for the record, while I am inordinately bendy for a big girl, I do not actually do yoga. I just like the pants.)
I look longingly at shiny new office supplies, and I get weirdly organized and focused on updating my Outlook. I enter all the holidays into my calendar. Some part of me will always probably be the hybrid student/teacher, and September will always be special.
September is also a weird time for food. Football is on, so I want to make chili and braise things, but it is still hot and humid, so I don't really want to have anything cooking slowly and heating up the kitchen. Despite having missed great salads and fresh veggies and juicy summer fruits and farm sweet corn during the long sad months of winter, I'm sort of bored with my summer recipes and ready to switch gears.
Since I work at home, lunch is mostly whatever I cobble together, and a welcome break from typing. But Charming Suitor gets to work and gets sucked completely into his computer, and if I don't pack something up for him, it is likely he won't eat till dinner. So I'm always on the lookout for good lunch-to-go supplies. Which strangely puts me much in the same place as my pals with kids!
So I have two new lunch containment systems I wanted to share with you...
I met the Monbento team, a lovely French company, last Spring at the Housewares show. CS and I were both taken by the simple and elegant styling of their product, a riff on the classic Japanese bento box.
Aren't they lovely? I adore the colors. The two stacked boxes both have lids that seal tight, adjustable separators, and the elastic band keeps them bound together. They are so elegant, you don't feel like you stole your kid's lunchbox, and any teenager could have their own "Molly Ringwald Breakfast Club Princess" moment in the lunchroom. They also have very cool collapsable chopsticks and flatware sets, as well as accessories like sauce containers that fit right into the boxes. And of course, everything is dishwasher safe. A very cool gift for a stylish person who has to take their lunch to work or school. You can find their products on Amazon: MONBENTO
The other company I am digging these days is Goodbyn. Goodbyn lunchboxes and containers, also inspired by the Bento concept, operate on very simple principles. Everything should be easy to open, so kids don't struggle. Mix and match, so you can get a variety of containers that will all stack easily together, and be recyclable so that when they have served out their useful purpose, they don't end up in a landfill. They even have dishwasher safe stickers so that your kids can customize their containers!
They have everything from one-piece lunchboxes with all sorts of separated sections for every part of your lunch, which have integrated handles for easy transport, to kits with different mix and match elements from flat sandwich containers to small dippers. They also make some cute insulated lunchbags and flat disk-shaped ice packs to be sure everything stays safe. You can find the full line of their products at Amazon: GOODBYN or on their website Goodbyn.com
And for a special added treat, Goodbyn has provided a lovely giveaway for one of you...an insulated lunch bag, with a three-compartment lunchbox, a two-compartment lunch box, and a smaller two-compartment snack box, as well as a set of the stickers! Happy Back to School for someone in your life...
To win, just comment below with a good back to school tip or recipe, an organizational idea, a new way to get your kids excited about carrot sticks, a delicious transitional "get out of your rut" end of summer recipe that might make some good leftovers for me to send with CS for lunch the next day! Entries must be submitted by 11:59PM on Sunday September 9, winner will be announced on Monday September 10.
Yours in Good Taste,