Saturday, March 13, 2010

I love food.

Not that this should come as any surprise. Really, who doesn't love food? I also love cooking. I rarely do it for lack of time, but I love to cook meals at home. What I don't like is the prep work before and the cleaning after. Seriously, I need to be a chef so I can have people to do those parts for me. I tell you all of this because I have been cooking all of Bridget's food since she started eating solids. At first, it was a breeze! Steam some veggies, puree them in the food processor, freeze, and you're good to go. Woohoo! Supermom!

However, now that she's eating things that are more complex than mashed peas and carrots, it's starting to take its toll on my time and my kitchen. Truly, making one or two meals for her takes the better part of 3 hours start to finish. And that's not counting in the time to make the stocks or whatever is needed prior to making said meal. A few weekends ago, I took on two meals: Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Apples and Mini-Minestrone (recipes from Top 100 Baby Purees which I borrowed from the library and absolutely love). Both sounded appetizing to me so I figured Bridget would like them too. She's an awesome eater and the only thing we've found so far that she doesn't like is avocado (I know, crazy right?).

Anyway, I set to work around noon last Saturday. I had make the stock needed for both recipes the day before (because holy cow, have you seen how much sodium is in store bought stock?). Cleaning, chopping, prepping, etc took about 45 minutes and then cooking and pureeing was another hour or so.

This is the chicken, sweet potato and apple cooking. Yum!

This is the minestrone. I think the potatoes sucked up more liquid than expected but eh, it still smelled delicious.

After cooking and pureeing, you pour everything into ice cube trays and let them freeze. Then, you pop them out and store them in baggies. This is the awesome part about homemade baby food. I have individual little portions of many different meals available to me at all times. No feeling bad about opening a jar that she only eats a little from. No disgusting smells that don't seem to fit the food you are serving (which for the record is why I started doing homemade food in the first place).

Bridget's shelf in the freezer. From left to right: Chicken w/ sweet potato and apple, Minestrone, greens mix, sweet potato and carrot, strawberry and apple, cauliflower w/ cheese sauce, peas, and plain carrots. (and yes, that is a sock in the freezer at the bottom. We fill it with rice and use it as a cold pack.)

So I suppose in the end, for all my whining and complaining, I still love making Bridget food. I know exactly what's in it and it makes me feel good to know that I'm giving her a good start with good foods. Because I make her food, she's been exposed to several foods even I haven't had much experience with (parsnips anyone?). It has also expanded my comfort level with cooking. I'm no longer afraid of leeks. Bridget loves them. And I'm learning to love them too. Bell peppers on the other hand...blech.

Now, the next big step is to get her to eat finger foods. She's really not a fan of anything whole except her puffs.

How/what have you all been eating?


v said...

Okay, I'm supposed to be getting ready to go at the moment, but I was so excited to see that you posted, I had to stop and read!

I love this post. My mom always made our food when we were babies (and then my mom and my grammie always cooked as I was growing up). I think it's awesome that you make Bridget's food. I was not yet into cooking when Pic was a wee one, so I didn't do this. I didn't realize how easy (although very time consuming) it could be.

(P.S. I totally can't see the sock in the freezer, but I love knowing that it's there!)

shawna said...

I was planning on the same post this week. Because I have to make Grant's food, I have started making Cade's too. I LOVE it.

We made the same sweet potato/apple/chicken stuff this week. This is the first one I didn't puree for Cade. I just overcooked it and sort of mashed it with a fork. It is still a little chunky. I am gradually leaving things chunkier in hopes of getting him to chew more.

kate said...

I'm going to make the sweet potato/ chicken/apple thing again this week and store it in some chunkier pieces for Bridget to try. Great minds think alike Shawna! :)

v said...

Oh, yeah, and I totally want to make your apples and blueberry puree thing into popsicles, like you were saying. Now, I just have to find our popsicle molds.