Thursday, March 25, 2010

All in a Day's Work: Top 100 Baby Purees, an SV Moms Book Club post

Last week, my friend Heather came over with her almost three year old boy and eight month old baby girl. She came over earlier than she had originally planned because I had called her at 11 begging her to come by 11:50 so she could watch the kids while I went to pick up my three year old H from preschool. Another friend C had dropped off her two daughters with me earlier that morning so she could go to the dentist for an emergency root canal. Heather came, and, as I drove as quickly as I (legally) could to get H from school, the thought, "it takes a village..." crossed my mind. I picked up H and then it was back home where the mom/child ratio was now 2/6 (so yes, while I went to get H, Heather was watching 5 kids by herself).

I had no time or energy to be creative, with the kids demanding lunch, so I went to my go-to kid friendly meal of chicken nuggets (all white meat and whole grain breading, so hopefully not bad for them) and ABC tater tots (at least they're educational!). Five out of six were set. But in the rush to help me out, Heather had forgotten to bring her baby's jar of organic baby food. I tried to remember whether I had any of R's old baby food still in the pantry. We were thinking maybe one of us would have to rush out and get a jar or Baby V would have to get extra breast milk to get her through the day. Then it hit me--I had received Annabel Karmel's book, Top 100 Baby Purees, just a few days before as part of the Silicon Valley Moms Group book club. We could MAKE our own baby food!

I took the book off the shelf and turned to the first page. Carrots. Perfect! I had that in the fridge. Sad to say I had never steamed carrots for my own sons (I hadn't even owned a steamer basket back then), but it was either this or little Baby V would go hungry. When the carrots were done, I put them in the blender with a little rice and tofu (Baby V is Korean, after all). The first attempt came out lumpy and Heather suggested I follow the recipe's direction to add water to the puree. I think that's why my past attempts to make baby food for my sons failed miserably. I never added water! As Baby V ate the puree, I kept thinking how funny it was that I've been conditioned to think babies eat food out of a jar. I remembered taking six jars of baby food with me on a two-week trip to Korea when H was a year old. I think he ate half of one and we threw the rest out. I thought it was even funnier that I was so proud of myself for making the baby food. Really, it was the crowning achievement of the morning, two women taking care of six kids AND making baby food.

C came by shortly afterwards to pick up her daughters and then we were down to a more manageable number of kids, four. The afternoon was filled with screaming as we attempted to take our first dips in the pool this year (still too cold!) and mad frantic cleaning for the Bunco game that was to be held at my house that night. Some people think that stay-at-home moms have long stretches of time when they do nothing but eat bonbons. Anyone who has spent even one day taking care of a child and home knows that is impossible. There is always something going on, and many times something unexpected happens to add onto your already full day. This particular typically crazy day was made brighter by the sight of Baby V eating my first carrot puree. Thank you Annabel Karmel!

This post was written in honor of this month's Silicon Valley Mom's Group Book Club selections: Annabel Karmel's Top 100 Baby Purees and Top 100 Finger Foods. I was sent these books from the publisher for review purposes.


Erica said...

Seems like everyone found something to like in this book. Your post reminds me that I used to puree my own baby food for my son (now 6) but never did for my daughter (now 3). Guess I had more time then! I remember thinking it was easy, cheap and healthy.

Glad I'm not the only SAHM who sometimes ends up watching 4-5 kids at her house. It's fun but exhausting right?

heathergothitched said...

Hey Aunty-Good-Cook-Eunice!

Vivienne definitely enjoyed her homemade baby food that day! I ate some of her leftovers and it was pretty good! (And doesn't the name Annabel Karmel just sound yummy?) Totally honored that you went through the trouble to do that for us, especially when you didn't even do it for your own boys!

Anyhoos, we had such a wonderful time at your house that day and you were a fantastic host! Harrison has been begging for another playdate with H & R...

Love always,

P.S. Oh, and 5 kids under the age of 3 (or 4?) - hmmmm... I may need to start using birth control! Just kidding, they were angels!

Eunice said...

Erica-everyone keeps telling me that I'll miss these days when they're older. Not much comfort when you're walking around tired all the time!

Heather-come over soon. hopefully weather will turn soon and we can really go into the pool!