Monday, October 3, 2011

Thinking Outside the Jar

It's hard to believe, but the little Bert-man is quickly approaching the three-month mark. I was going through his toy basket last night and came across some teething rings with the age listed as "3+ months." I held them up to Keith and said, "He can get teeth anytime now? Seriously?" I don't know if I'm ready for teeth. I added infant tylenol to my grocery store list so as to avoid a teething meltdown.

Funny that I haven't been thinking about teething but I have been preparing for the transition to real food. Armed with a copy of Baby Love by Norah O'Donnell and Chef Geoff Tracy and a food processor (baby shower gifts from my mom), I headed to the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago to whip up some pear baby food. My aunt had generously let us take a whole lot of pears off her hands so after we canned a bunch for ourselves, I made and froze three batches of baby food. The recipe is super simple, which it should be, considering the name:

Perfectly Basic Pear

5 pears
6 ounces water or apple juice

Wash and peel fruit (peeling is optional).
Cut each pear in half.

Remove the seeds and stem with a melon baller.
Cut each half into 6 pieces.
Put the pear and the water or apple juice into a 4-quart pot.

Turn the burner on high and cover with a lid.
Cook for approximately 8 minutes, stirring once.
Pour everything in the blender. Puree until smooth.

Pour into two ice cube trays and allow to cool.

Wrap and freeze.

I did peel the pears, and I used water instead of juice and pureed in my food processor. Three batches took less than an hour to make, with the bulk of the time spent peeling. Once the cubes were frozen solid, I popped them out and put them in a gallon freezer bag to store.

I also made apple and nectarine baby food, following pretty much the same process, the only differences being the amount of liquid and cooking times. I did leave the skins on both the apples and nectarines and the color of the baby food is gorgeous!

I've heard that it's best to start babies on vegetables because the fruit is so much sweeter that if you start them on fruit, sometimes they don't want to try veggies. I plan to try butternut squash, sweet potato, cauliflower, peas, and carrots as well. And a recipe that I think I might even eat called Sweet Zucchini and Carrot. Yum. With any luck, Bert will be a much better veggie eater than his mom!

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