I was reviewing an older post on eating lunch alone at your desk, and realized that we’ve mentioned this elegant solution to that “how to keep your homemade lunch warm” problem a TON in the past, but we’ve never run a separate Coffee Break on it — so, as we head into soup and stew season, now seems like a great time to mention it. So: meet “Mr. Bento” by Zojirushi — it’s a system of four little containers, that fit into a temperature-controlled case. The company promises that the bottom two containers will maintain their temperature — so if you want them cold, they will stay cold; if you want them hot they will stay hot. This system is ideal for times when you’re packing a lot of small quantities of things to eat, such as soup + 1/2 a grilled cheese sandwich + chips + grapes — where the hot items (soup and sandwich) can be packed on the bottom, and the item you prefer at room temperature (grapes) packed at the top. (If you’re eating something less involved, Thermos food jars are also great options, but I think fitting two of them into a typical lunch box — and still having room left over for anything else — is unlikely.) The Mr. Bento system is $43-$59 at Amazon; they’re now offering a ton of nice colors in addition to the traditional gray/white/black options. Zojirushi Mr. Bento
(Just for kicks today, let’s all share our favorite soup recipes! I tried this commenter’s lentil soup recipe a while ago (posted in our holiday recipes open thread) and it’s now in regular rotation (SO lovely and bright; have it ready for the day after Thanksgiving). Another favorite that we’re making tonight is this sausage and tortellini tomato soup from Emily’s Bites.)
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