There are few surer signs that spring has arrived than the lovely pink blossoms that mark Cherry Blossom Festivals around the world. In Japan, families celebrate the arrival of spring with hanami, which means “viewing flowers” parties that celebrate the blooming of the country’s numerous sakura, “cherry blossom trees”. For families, this means bringing picnics and bento boxes, an assortment of small tasty bites, usually with a nod towards what’s fresh and in season, to eat under the flower-laden branches.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Washington DC in spring, the National Cherry Blossom Festival runs from the end of March through mid-April and you can witness of the cloud of pink that surrounds the Tidal Basin from the 3,000 trees that were a gift from Japan in 1912.
Or, you can take a look at Japan’s official Cherry Blossom site, which offers a fascinating glimpse of the country’s cherry trees as they bloom.
Even if you don’t have the fluttering flora near you, you can still celebrate spring flowers with an outdoor garden picnic and our fun, kid-friendly bento boxes featuring “sandwich sushi” that’s sure to have your kids saying Un, oishii! or “Mmm, it’s good!”
What You’ll Need
- * Soft square sandwich bread
- * Any of the following spreads:
- -Nut butter
- -Spreadable Cheese (ie, cream cheese, Neufchatel, Laughing Cow, etc)
- -Butter or butter spread
Then add crunch if you’d like:
- *Pepper slices
- *Carrot sticks
- (The sky’s really the limit here!)
Roll it all together:
- First, slice the crusts off the bread so that you have a perfect square
- Then, using a rolling pin, flatten bread
- Choose a spread or two and thinly layer on the bread
- Choose a “crunch” if you’d like and place horizontally along the top edge of your spread bread
- Now roll from top to bottom until you have a log, then slice in 1/3 inch rounds
Take your sandwich sushi and place in cupcake liners in a square or rectangle plastic container. Fill empty spots with other liners filled with bites of fruits, veggies, sweets or cheese. Tabeyou! (Let’s Eat!)