A few months ago when Jack started salivating whenever I put any kind of food in my mouth, I decided I would try making my own baby food. EVEN THOUGH I had previously declared people who made their own baby food to be INSANE. I mean, were they TRYING to make their lives harder? Didn't they know they could just go to the STORE and buy a JAR and be DONE? Of course, that was before I knew that mashing up a banana or an avocado, or throwing some peas in the blender qualified as making your own baby food. The devotees were swaying me with their talk of "less expensive!" and "healthier!" and "easy, we swear!" So I bought some fruit and some vegetables and steamed and boiled and blended and mashed and made myself enough pureed baby food to last over a month. I KNOW! I was proud of me too.
When my stash of solid food finally ran out, it appeared that I needed to branch out a little. Sweet potato was just not cutting it anymore. Besides, it appeared that other babies were much more adventurous than my little guy. Biscuits! Bits of cheese! Edamame! And I decided all over again that this second stage of solid food was too hard for me to do at home. Puree MEAT? Are you kidding me?
So I've been buying jarred food at the grocery store. I still mash up banana and avocado and I made another batch of vegetables, but I buy pretty much everything else. I give him cereal and yogurt and cottage cheese (NOT a fan of the cottage cheese) and tiny chunks of fresh mozzarella. I buy big jars of applesauce because COME ON that is so much easier than making your own. I buy the fruit blends and the carrots and the green beans (because have you tried pureeing green beans? The motor in my food processor nearly DIED trying to get those things smooth.) And I've been buying the mysterious jars labeled "Turkey and Rice Dinner". "Chicken Noodle". "Vegetable Beef". He eats them! He likes them! And I don't have to make it!
Except. Sigh. What is more gross? Pureeing meat at home? Or buying pureed meat IN A JAR?
And so, when I went to the grocery store this morning, I bought a few items with baby food in mind. A couple bags of frozen mixed vegetables. Tiny star-shaped pasta. Chicken breasts. I am going to -- I think -- attempt baby-friendly chicken noodle soup. Made at home. With actual chunks of actual cooked chicken. AM I CRAZY?
See, internet, I don't really cook. I may open a few cans here and there, boil some pasta, throw a salad together, toast some bread. Sometimes I put some chicken in a pan and hope it comes out edible. I tend to stick to my dear friends flour and sugar and butter. As someone who would have no problem eating chocolate cake for breakfast lunch and dinner, my preference for baking works out okay for ME. But now I am a Mom and responsible for a small person's nutrition and it appears that I'm going to have to make friends with Balanced Meals. Horrors.
So this is what I'm thinking: poaching some chicken. Putting some teeny tiny pieces in the soup and maybe blending up the rest to serve with my vegetable purees. Pulverizing some cooked pasta and mixing that in. I've heard lentils are good too, although I'm not quite sure what to do with those. Just boil them?
Anyone have any ideas? EASY ideas? Anyone afraid I'm endangering my kid? Anyone want to say, "Whatever, that jarred stuff is AWESOME" and I wouldn't disagree, because have you tried the baby food pears? MMMM. Yummy.
I wish I could say I'm off to begin this most exciting project, but I've used up half of naptime writing an angsty blog post about it and I still have to make lunch for myself. Good thing I have some chocolate cake in the freezer.