When I was a teenager my sister and I used to love looking at the seed catalogue to see what kind of plants we could grow. During our earlier childhood we’d lived in seaside fishing villages in Newfoundland where not many things would grow. I still remember my amazement at seeds sprouting up through the dirt, as if by magic! One of my fond memories from the catalogue was a type of flower that grew in clumps called “hens and chicks.” My sister and I wanted to be farmers when we grew up…our favourite outfit was our overalls with the apple embroidered on the front :). Well, I didn’t turn out to be a farmer, but my sister did. She has an amazing farm in Nova Scotia, Canada, called Turtle Hill Farm. You can visit her, and read a blog post about one of her chickens right here, on her blog. She has goats, chickens, and ducks not to mention two cats and two dogs. Her farm is the inspiration behind my entry into the Bento and Co. annual competition. I called it “hens and chicks bento.”
The competition requirement was for two onigiri (aka, rice balls). What do you think of my ginger chicken rice speckled hens? Their babies are quail eggs. The side dishes are crispy tofu and enoki mushrooms with honey soy glaze, grilled chicken, carrot and daikon flowers, tomatoes, and edamame skewers. This is my first serious attempt at a charaben. I’m rather proud of myself! And I had so much fun making it. But it took me a long time. I have so much admiration for mommas who get up every morning and do this kind of thing!