on baby food

Feeding my kid homemade baby food is both more and less annoying than I had anticipated. Before diving into it, I was thinking that the annoying part would be the act of making baby food: washing, prepping, cooking, pureeing, storing. Turns out that it’s pretty easy; I’m used to turning apples into applesauce and prepping vegetables anyway, and peeling peaches turned out to be much simpler than I had anticipated. Pureeing is also a snap with our stick blender. (Mine is a decade-old Braun hand blender that I also use for soups and milkshakes. I love it to pieces.)

colorful ice trays of baby purees

The kid is eating (somewhat) local and organic above; the green beans and spinach were from the freezer aisle at the supermarket, but the sweet potato came from the farmer’s market, and the beef is from Wagon Wheel Ranch.

Storage is also easy; after making a puree, it’s simple to smush it into covered ice trays and freeze overnight, and then plop the cubes into freezer bags for storage.

bagged baby blocks

I put them in the fridge to defrost overnight, and in the morning I mash them up and package them for daycare.

No, the issue is that the baby keeps eating, which means I need to keep cooking. He currently eats up these little cubes at the rate of about four a day, plus half a banana, and occasionally shows signs of wanting more. Back when his diet was more limited, it felt like I was making applesauce and steaming carrots all the time. Now I can mix it up.

Oh, and another thing I didn’t anticipate: the sheer volume of dishes to wash. He goes through two or three tiny containers a day. We originally bought these Oxo containers for freezing, but food defrosts so slowly in the containers that I now just use them for packaging meals for daycare. They’re the perfect serving size for him. However, each one splits into four parts for washing; they never dry all the way in the dishwasher, so we hang them on a drying rack and then reassemble them when dry. Sometimes it feels like I now spend a large fraction of my time shuttling baby food storage parts back and forth from dishwasher to drying rack to countertop to refrigerator to daycare and back again.

It’s okay; if I’ve learned anything from parenting so far, it’s that all stages are temporary. Soon I can send him to school with finger foods instead of purees… and then, when he’s older, maybe he can even pack his own lunches! Hopefully he’ll still like vegetables.

summer/fall CSA, weeks 17, 18, 19

Late, late, late, that’s what my CSA posts are. Home cooking has become even more of an adventure now that the kid is scooting around on the linoleum, tripping me up while I’m wandering around the kitchen holding hot items or knives or other dangerous things. As a bonus, he has learned to pry open the kitchen cupboards and grab an onion or a towel before the door closes on his hand (or head!). I keep meaning to get those child-safe door-blocker thingies. Someday soon.

(I try to put him in the next room, but he cries if he’s left alone too long, so I let him scoot around on the kitchen floor. So much for my lofty parenting ideals.)

Anyway, I need to squeeze this post in before we get the CSA pickup again tomorrow. I really love visiting the farm this time of year; the weather is wonderful.

Three whole weeks ago! was CSA week 17, consisting of corn, Savoy cabbage (this actually sat in the fridge, perfectly crisp, until I cooked it up this past weekend), red potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, Gala and Jonagold apples, an acorn squash, eggs, and bread (Great Harvest pecan pumpkin, mmm).

summer/fall CSA, week 17

And then! Two weeks ago, CSA week 18, bringing us more corn (I think this was the season’s last corn), more tomatoes, another acorn squash, Granny Smith and Gala apples, turnips, Brussels sprouts, white potatoes, eggs, and bread (Great Harvest challah). We cooked the corn and squash on the grill, baked the turnips with some carrots, baked the Brussels sprouts with garlic, and stashed the potatoes for later.

summer/fall CSA, week 18

Finally, last week, CSA week 19: Lovely large heads of broccoli and cheddar cauliflower (cheddar indicates the color, not the flavor), onions, mushrooms, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious apples, sweet potatoes, even more Brussels sprouts (don’t worry, I love Brussels sprouts), eggs, and bread (Great Harvest white).

summer/fall CSA, week 19

When I take home the share, all the apples go straight into the bottom fridge drawer; they can keep for weeks at a time. The kid is running out of applesauce, though, so I’m hoping to make some more tonight; as a bonus, it’ll clear out the apple space for the inevitable apple onslaught. The last few weeks of the CSA are always very apple-heavy — which is not a bad thing, at all.