Tuesday, July 28, 2009

GUEST POST: Rest in Peas - A Working Mothers Guide to Not Making Baby Food

Kris and Leigh (that’s us) are on vacation this week, so we asked some of our most hilarious friends to pen guest columns for CHG. Today’s post comes from the talented and wondrous Michele.

For the last seven months of my life, I’ve been taking care of a child. To be more specific, I’ve been taking care of my child. The one I carried around for TEN months in my belly, and the one I have wanted since I was, oh, 13? The one I waited to find the perfect dad for. The one that came at the just the right time and is absolutely perfect. To me. Obviously.

Anyway, he’s seven-months-old now, and I can’t rely exclusively on the food I’ve been making for him from the ol’ feed sacks. (A.k.a. my bosom.) It’s one of those things you don’t think about when you’re 13: I have to feed him real food.

For the last month, I’ve been going with Earth’s Best and Gerber baby foods because, oh, I don’t know – it’s easy? But recently, I wanted to try my hand at pureeing steamed peas at home.

So, I opened up my internet and looked at the awesome Wholesome Baby Food website, plus a book (I know. How retro!) called Super Baby Food. And from both of these, I’ve gotten some great recipes. It is pretty much just as easy as steaming peas, throwing them in your blender, and then adding a little steaming water for consistency.

(Oh, and apparently, if you throw the hot peas into an ice bath beforehand it makes the pea jackets puree easier. Also, a blender is better than a food processor - again, those pesky pea jackets. If you think junior can't take the texture of it at the end of this process, just strain it and get rid of the lumps.)

It seems that I’ve come to the end of my, “Hi! I’m Michele and I have a baby; let’s make baby food,” segment, but really, opening up the website and the book just made me more confused. Which, I’ve found after seven months, is what motherhood is all about.

Seeing how easy it is to make the baby food was nice. It’s not this big ordeal I thought it would be. However, then? You have to store it.

Now, I live in Brooklyn. I don’t have a deep freezer, nor do I have a pantry. I have a freezer that is currently overloaded with breast milk and meat because my mom has been on this kick of sending us Omaha Steak packages that are less steak and more hot dogs and hamburgers, plus these really weird Potato Au Gratins. So what I’m saying is, room is at a premium. What’s a girl to do? Make just a wee bit of peas every day? Learn cannning?

The solution is pretty awesome – I just put them in ice cube trays.

What I’m left with though, is enough peas to skin a cat, but little else. And apparently, if you only give your child one of anything, they can develop an aversion to that one food. So, I have to go back to jars of baby food for variety.

The more I read about making baby food, the more I realize I may not be able to do this for him and you know what? That’s ok. I would rather spend the four hours a day I get with him Monday through Friday, than stress over what I’m not doing for him. The good news is that breast milk is still more important than regular food this first year anyway, so I have another five months to figure out how to feed him healthy, fresh foods and be okay with supplementing when necessary. In the meantime, I’ll give him my puree of peas sparingly and gobble up his giggles and coos.

And when those run out, I can try my hand at making mangos!

Michele O Medlin is a wife, mother, and voiceover artist. She sometimes writes on her blog over here. When she does, she generally swears. Users beware.

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