Kitchen Adventures

Something happens to my brain around this time every year, and I get into such a domestic mood. I want to bake, but since my family really doesn't like to eat all the sweets I so enjoy baking, I am always searching for other projects.

My most recent project has involved trying to make my own baby food. A is finally eating well enough that the food can have little chunks in it, and so far he seems to like my creations. So, over the last couple of evenings, I have spent a total of probably 2.5 to 3 hours cooking and blending up baby food. I discovered it is a great way to use up any unneeded produce or certain leftovers that I don't want to go to waste! I put the mixes into glass jars I have saved, label it, and freeze it for future use. Here is tonight's tally:

  • 5 jars yellow squash
  • 2 jars chicken pot pie
  • 4 jars baked macaroni
  • 3 jars carrots
  • 2 bowls green sweet peas
Making baby food didn't quite satisfy my baking need though, so I decided to try my hand at homemade soft pretzels. I don't think these are worthy of passing on the recipe, but they were fun, and they are pretty good. The kids really enjoyed helping.


Real-life Family said...

I made almost all of Levi's baby food, and also enjoyed it! The way I ended up liking the best for storage was in ice cube trays. Once they're frozen, pop them out into freezer containers or ziplock bags and store in the freezer. I had the door of our kitchen freezer full of freezer containers labeled with which veggie, fruit, meat, etc was inside and I LOVED it once I got a good system going; very convenient to be able to "mix and match" small portions at each meal. I know you're trying to do less with plastic, and I don't know if there's such a thing as glass ice cube trays, though... Just a thought.

Those pretzels look so tasty!!

Red Gate said...

I considered the ice cube technique, but decided against for several reasons. The biggest is that A is an unpredictably poor eater--he doesn't eat much, and the amount varies every day (bottles too!) I basically figured it would be way less stressful to just pop open a food jar, warm it up, then re-cap it if necessary to feed later in the day. I focus on getting him a good balance over the course of the week instead of each day (another technique I heard).

Real-life Family said...

Levi was/is a similar eater from the sounds of it...he doesn't eat a lot, and sometimes more than others. That was actually what I LIKED about having such small portions available. I thawed a couple of ice cubes in a little glass Pyrex dish in the microwave, and I could always just put the lid on and save leftovers for later, if there were any. Another good trick was to mix a sweet fruit in with a vegetable he'd been rejecting (like one cube of prunes to two cubes of lima beans, or whatever) to get him to eat the stuff I wanted him to. Anyway, it sounds like what you're doing is working very well for you, but I just wanted to share that, because I really enjoyed being able to "customize" what I was feeding him based on what he had been accepting or rejecting - and the ability to gradually get him to accept "rejected" foods by diluting with something tastier, and then working up to eating them straight.

And I totally agree with you about balancing over a few days or a week rather than stressing about getting the proper food groups each day! I do that with my kids even now, and they're not really babies anymore.

Red Gate said...

I will definitely consider it more. This whole food making thing is new to me. In fact, I think I can purchase stainless ice cube trays. Now, if I can find some room in the freezer for the trays to sit!

Mrs. U said...

I LOVED when my daughter was little and I made all her baby food!!! It was such a neat time!!! And SO much healthier for her!

And your pretzels are SO pretty! Any chance you'll share your recipe?

Mrs. U

Heidi said...

I second the ice cube trays. We would freeze them in the trays and then pop them out into gallon size ziplock bags with a big label on the bag. Then we could mix and match (often mixing an apple with some of the veggies) and it was very easy to portion things out. I like your jars, though! You can throw them into the diaper bag with little preparation. Nice!