Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baby Food Making 101: I Freaking Did it!

sI’ve already cooked more these first three weeks of the year than I did all last year combined.

Before this week I had never bought a squash or a pot roast before. But I bought and made both last night.

This is a big accomplishment for me. HUGE. I am conquering my fear of the kitchen.


Well, a few ways. For one, I dusted off a fabulous wedding gift--My crock-pot--And put it to use.

I also owe part of my thanks to my iPhone. I downloaded the All Recipies app so I could have all of my recipes on my phone with shopping lists etc etc, plus get ideas because I’m not one of those people who can just look in my cabinet and know what it can make (but last I checked there weren’t recipes including Cheetos, Twizzlers, cereal and rice anyway).

The extremely daunting part of cooking for me is finding the ingredients at the store, so I emailed screen shots of the shopping list to my husband (who now also has an iPhone) so he could grocery shop with our daughter while I was at work, and I could cook it in my crock pot the next morning. This was how I cooked last week. I made chicken, and beef stew.

One thing he couldn’t find on the list was the top sirloin pot roast, so I looked for it at the store a couple of days ago. I had to phone a friend (aka my mother in law), to figure out which kind I wanted and decided on the rump roast.

Then I headed over to the produce isle. I wanted to buy a squash because my daughter loves the NuturMe squash I bought plus I just got this in the mail, and my friend gave me this book as a baby shower gift, so I wanted to try to make baby food myself dangit!

I didn’t see an organic option for squash so I went with the non-organic in hopes that it’s not so bad. Organic baby food or homemade puree? I’m not sure which is better. I'm hoping the latter since I'm going through all of this effort!

Did you know squash is a dang big vegetable? I didn’t. Each looked like they could feed her for a year. It was a dollar something a pound and the small one I picked was nearly three pounds so it cost us about four bucks. It had better last awhile. I thought to myself as we rang it all up.

After putting the pot roast dinner in the crock-pot and getting Lil’ J down for a nap I got to work on her squash. The directions that came with my baby food processer recommend making 1/3 the squash, so I chopped up a third of it, realized I need to peel it too, so I chopped the ends off. Then I put it in the processor, pushed the steam and blend button and let it do the rest of the work. But what do I do with the rest of the squash?
I was going to wrap it in foil and stick it in the fridge but then I realized it would probably save me a lot of time if I just made it all at the same time (am I smart or what?). I posed the question on twitter and got several ideas for how to cook the rest. One mom suggested an easy oven steam recipe.

I cut the squash in half long ways (and discovered a pumpkin-looking inside, who knew?!) scooped the seeds out, then placed it in a glass pan and filled it with water (I flipped it over after this picture).

Put it in the over at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

When it came out it was super soft. For about 2/3 of it I scooped it out and pureed it, and put it in ice cube trays to freeze for later (I've heard you can reheat it easily by warming it with water, breastmilk or just in the microwave). 
The other 3rd I sliced up, peeled off the skin, and set it aside for dinnertime and future meals where she may want to feed herself or what many people call "baby lead weaning" but I just call "feed your dang self."
I mentioned before trying a bit of this method as well as and purees, and tonight I let her eat the squash I had steamed and cut while we ate pot roast. She seems to like it (and broccoli we were eating). She sits on the table for now cause she doesn't have a high chair yet but I'm thinking of getting one of these space saver chairs for her from CSN.

And me? I feel like a Domestic Goddess! (Remember, I made pot roast too... I'm seriously on a roll).

I just bought my first sweet potato and I'm going to go at it again!