Archive for June, 2011

Baby Mexican

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

The stretch of time between a baby reaches 6 months and when he hits 9 months tends to be a boring culinary scene. We were encouraged by pretty much every expert we read to introduce ingredients slowly, especially at first, giving Angstrom one ingredient at a time, both to acquaint him with the taste and to make certain he wouldn’t have an allergic reaction.

So we went through days of nothing but avocado, nothing but sweet potato, nothing but butternut squash, nothing but peas, nothing but applesauce, nothing but peaches… you get the point. Tedium in action. We were excited when Å’s culinary vocabulary was finally large enough we could mix some of the ingredients.

One of the first combinations I tried was ‘baby guacamole,’ consisting of a mix of avocados and peas. It was a success, enjoyed not only by its intended audience, but his daycare teacher, who sampled a bite when she got some on her thumb and asked that night what was in it because it was so good.

That simple combination was nothing compared to what we could start making him when he hit 9 months. With the introduction of chicken and black beans, a veritable Mexican fiesta was doable.

Baby Mexican Fiesta

  • 3 ice cubes frozen avocado
  • 2 ice cubes frozen black bean puree
  • 2 ice cubes frozen chicken puree

Combine all ingredients in a glass mason jar and heat on power level 6 for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Heat another 1-2 minutes on power level 6 if not completely thawed at the end of 3 minutes.

Yield: approximately one lunch or dinner for a 9-10 month old baby

Support the Heritage Seed Collective

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Greg Boulos of Blackberry Meadows Farms is starting a new seed bank to help preserve as many of the at-risk heritage vegetables as possible.

If you’ve visited the Farmers at the Firehouse market on Saturdays or the Farmers at Phipps market on Wednesdays, perhaps you’ve already purchased one (or more) of these heritage varieties for your garden; I bought a Sheboygan variety tomato, and I’m excited to try its fruit… it already has one green tomato growing on it!  And, I will be using the envelope provided with my plant to save its seeds and pass them on.

If you’d like to do a bit more to support the Heritage Seeds initiative, cruise on over to its Kickstarter plea and pledge financial support to the effort.  Consider perhaps joining at the member level of $100 for a plethora of prizes.  Or, perhaps you’re interested in the food tasting and farm visit available at the $250 level?  Or, what the heck, pledge twelve bucks; every bit counts.

Here’s the key: there are only 16 days left for the seed collective to raise their goal of $10,000.  If they don’t hit their goal, you don’t pay a dime (and they don’t get a dime).  As I’m writing this, they have achieved $3,682 in pledges, so they need your help.

Don’t delay.  Pledge now.

Introduction to Baby Food

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

So, yeah, the whole idea of getting something up here once a week went by the wayside pretty quick, huh?  (anybody actually reading this, I’ve been gone so long…?)

But, as you can see, Angstrom’s doing quite well:

He’d really like to be cooking those oats, but I told him he has to be able to stand up on his own without falling over before I start teaching him how to cook.

I’ve been making a good bit of his food, though; and one thing that Aurora and I have noticed from the get go is how inexact most of the info out there on feeding your baby is: one source says food x can be fed at 6 months, another says 9 months or a year; one source says carrots are high in nitrates, serve them from jars because baby food manufacturers only use carrots from areas of the country with lower nitrate concentrations in their soil; another source says that only matters for the smallest of infants.  Most of the time, we take three opinions into account and disregard 1 or 2 of them.

We’ve been making him some good meals, though–so I’m thinking rather than ignore Corduroy Orange because all I’m doing is cook baby food, I’ll embrace it and start a series of baby food posts.

So for today, just a quick tip: when pureeing chicken, it’s much easier to use a food processor to grind up the chicken breasts with some of their cooking liquid than it is to try to force the meat through a baby food grinder.  The resulting paste is easily frozen in ice cube trays (which serve as a very convenient way to freeze most baby foods in discrete units).  Just be careful in reheating the chicken, though: microwaving it on power level 6 or 7 is recommended above reheating it on full power in order to avoid turning the chicken into rubbery lumps.

Next week… baby food Mexican meals