This weekend my husband is out of town for a theater competition and so Ella Rose and I have had our run of the house. It's been nice. The weather here has cooled down tremendously and so I've turned on the heat (in the evenings) and we've been able to stay nice and toasty. Josh is really, really hot natured and we're not so it's nice to bask in the warmth for a while.
But the other thing that I got around to doing last night was updating Ella Rose's "pantry" so to speak. She will be eight months old on Tuesday, which is hard to believe, but true. And since she started eating solids occasionally, (at 5 months old) I've been preparing all of her babyfood here at home for her. However, as I fixed supper for her last night I noticed that she was running short on *many* foods and I made a mental note that I needed to remedy that situation for her.
I'd been playing with the idea of baking last night. I have a recipe from a friend for a pumpkin bread filled with cream cheese that I've been dying to try, but I didn't have the ingredients to make that here at home. Plus, Josh, Ella, and I have an apple pie hanging out in the frig right now that I made last week. We just aren't huge dessert eaters. So....I changed plans up a little bit.
I decide that rather than make another dessert type item that I'd conquer Ella's food shortage and disorder. First, I organized all of her frozen food squares in the freezer. Let me explain. In order to make Ella's frozen "pantry" I puree or chop/blend etc...various fruits and vegetables, beans etc...and then place them into ice cube trays and freeze them. Once they are frozen into ice cubes, I remove the cubes and put them into a ziplock bag and label it. Then I put all of these babyfood cube baggies into one section of the freezer so that I can find all of Ella's options for her meals. Yes, I even make her baby food cereals this way.
Anyway....I had so much fun making foods for her and still have three or four more to make. I prepared an Autumn Harvest Soup that actually is really good for grown up people too. I'd just changed a couple of things and added milk to it and cayenne pepper to the adult version. Here's the child version though.
Autumn Harvest Soup
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion diced and sauted in the veg oil
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup applesauce
Heat and Serve
In the adult version, add 1 cup milk and a pinch of cayenne pepper. I added these ingredients before setting some aside for Josh and me. What I've had of it so far was delicious.
Other things that I prepared for my dear child last night are: Broccoli Pumpkin, Spinach with sauted onions for flavor, Aparagus, Blackbeans, Broccoli, Carrots, and Split pea soup.
I also have the following to update her pantry this weekend, or this week: Yellow Squash, Cranberries, Sweet potatoes, Greenbeans, Plantains, Cantelope, and Turnips
She was running low on some of those things that I'm cooking and others are new for her. But I always find myself thinking about how different her meals are from children's whose parents just go to the store and by the babyfood jars full of food. None of them would get to experience the flavors and textures she does at this age.
And to be honest, I love fixing food for Ella. Why? Well, I like making my own baby food for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I know exactly what my Ella is eating. I can choose organic produce and I can be confident there aren’t any additives, fillers, artificial colors, or other chemicals in his food. It’s also significantly cheaper to make baby food than it is to buy it in jars. And finally, there's absolutely a special bond and satisfaction in knowing that everything that goes into her little body either comes directly from my body or is made by me. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's love in each ounce that goes into her because it's that special to me, and that important that I make it myself.
People may think it's hard, but honestly it isn't. And in truth as I cooked for her, I was cooking for us too. I kept 1/2 of the spinach, 1/2 of the asparagus, 1/2 of the Harvest Soup.
So you could say I've been on a bit of a cooking kick, but I'm loving it and I think Ella Rose is too.