While testing this week’s recipe, I had the chance to play around with new Umbra toys in my kitchen. For those of you who don’t know Umbra, they’re a Canadian company that has grown to become a reference in modern design for the home. Not unlike other well-known European companies, they hire industrial designers to create or reinvent clever accessories, but the good thing is that their creations are super affordable. I have been a fan for many years (I especially like their bathroom collection, because finding cool and beautiful accessories for that room is otherwise impossible very hard), and last week, I had the chance to test some of their newest accessories for the kitchen.
When I cook, I’m a huge fan of doing all the prep in advance. Like in cooking shows, I put every ingredient in a small bowl, ready to be used. I know, it makes for a lot of dishes to wash (just ask E, I can create a mountain of dirty dishes in a few minutes flat), but the system just works for me. This is probably why I fell love with the Bento Cup & Prep Set at first sight. A bamboo cutting board tightly covers a tray that fits five smaller containers, which cleverly double as measuring cups. The tray itself is mounted on rubber pads making the bamboo board a safe and very stable cutting surface. Of course, the fact that the whole set looks like a beautiful Japanese lacquered bento box doesn’t hurt either.
As I prepped all the ingredients for the curry, I noticed how easy it was to incorporate the Bento system in my routine. I took the smaller trays out and lined them up in front of the cutting board. As I chopped the ingredients, I simply swept each of them in their own container, knowing exactly when I had reached the quantity I needed for the recipe. Because I was prepping in advance, I then stored all the ingredients in the tray, covered it over with the board and put the whole set in the fridge while waiting for E to come home. Now where were the cameras? I was ready to film my cooking show!
I’m usually not a fan of allowing new gadgets to enter my kitchen (my drawers are already chock full of them), but when it works, I just can’t resist. I’ve been using the Bento set regularly since; my only regret is that it’s not dishwasher safe, but I assure you, the containers’ smooth surfaces makes them a pinch to wash – otherwise I would’ve given up a long time ago.