Babyfood pisses me off. Like, royally. Like, I want to grab the CEOs of all those babyfood companies and shake them until they beg for mercy. And then I want to frogmarch them through the baby aisle of the nearest big box store and yell, “YOU STARTED THIS. YOU! YOU!!!” To me, those jars of liquified… what? What is in that crap? are symbolic of all that is wrong with new parenthood. $50 baby blankets on sale for $35 (and labeled a steal! get it now while it’s cheap!). $75 shopping cart cushions, so your baby can grocery shop in comfort. And everything comes with your favorite cartoon character, but it may cost you an extra $15.
And if you don’t buy all that crap people judge you as a parent that doesn’t care. Or is poor, which in the US is a moral failing. And then after you buy all that useless crap you can’t afford to save for your child’s education or your own retirement. Which is fine for now, because there is always tomorrow, and you don’t want to be looked down upon today, right? Right? Am I right? Can I get an amen? It all makes so much sense. It’s all so logical.
I rant. But then, I can. Because it’s my blog.
As I was saying, I don’ t care much for babyfood from the store. It is a rip off, and I honestly do not trust that it is safe for my child to eat. Interestingly, this aversion has really made me reevaluate what I buy for myself. I mean, if I don’t want TA to eat beef from the grocery store, and certainly not liquified mystery meat, then what am I doing ingesting that crap?
But I rant again. Sorry.
You might have guessed that my 7 month old daughter is transitioning to big grrrl grub, and she is doing a fantastic job. Now. She’s doing a fantastic job of it now. The first few tries were, welll… Per conventional wisdom, I bought the uberprocessed flaky rice cereal, to which TA responded with a horrified expression and gagging. I tried again a couple of days later, and she actually barfed. I threw it out, because that shit neither looks nor smells like any rice I’ve ever seen. Overpriced Icelandic yogurt wasn’t TA’s bag, either, but that was ok because I have learned that it is my bag.
So I went back to the basics, to my maternal line. My mother may be deceased, but she did teach me a thing or two in her lifetime: I made applesauce, which my mom made for me and my grandmother made for her. Here’s the recipe (which has been changed because I like Fuji apples the best, we can now use the peel and seeds because the organic gods have shined down upon us, and stick blenders rock):
8oz fresh pressed apple juice or cider, organic
4 Fuji apples, organic
Water, as needed
Wash the apples thoroughly, but do not peel. Cut the apples into 1 inch pieces. Use the cores and seeds, but discard the blossom end and stem. Put in a small crock pot until they are mushy, then puree with a stick blender. If the sauce is too thin, either continue cooking in the crock pot or heat on the stove. Do not let it simmer. Strain with a sieve. Note: My crock pot is tiny, so that is all that fits. If your crock pot is bigger, you can use more apples and juice. There really is no set ratio of apples to juice. Rather, the juice is just to keep the apples from sticking.
TA loves it, and screams at me to feed her faster. I really enjoyed making the applesauce. It made me feel like such a mom, it was satisfying, I ate half the sauce myself (because dear G.d that is some tasty stuff!), and it was a relief to know exactly what was in my kid’s food. I have begrudgingly purchased some babyfood because I need the jars. Once I have an adequate stash of jars, I’ll be making all of her babyfood.
I’ve also made oatmeal cereal from organic steel cut oats. Very simple – I used my stick blender and bowl attachment-thing to turn the oats into a powder, and then simmered the oats until they were soft. Then I used the stick blender again to puree the cereal some more, and waaa laaa. Oatmeal cereal that doesn’t make my baby gag.