Those of you who are regular readers will know that nearly 7 months ago, I had a baby. This has led to a severe dearth of blog posts, generally due to lack of time! It has also, sadly, led to a considerable drop in the quality and quantity of home-cooked meals.
I’ve never been one to buy jars and packets, always preferring to begin from scratch, believing that it’s a healthier and cheaper option. Also, often quicker, I know, but despite this, I have rarely cooked anything of note from start to finish in the last few months. Now, however, my baby is eating, and by eating I mean, stuffing her face with anything she can get her hands on. I wanted to wait until she was 6 months to use the baby-led weaning approach ( a la My Daddy Cooks), but was advised, since she was premature and still so small, to wean her early, therefore I decided the mushy food route would be a good start, with finger foods thrown in along the way.
We’ve been ‘eating’ now for 10 weeks, and began with pureed sweet potato. I found she enjoyed it more if she also had a spoon, so when I say ‘eating’ what, perhaps, might be better descriptions are: painting her face; having a food fight; dying her hair…well, you get the picture!
Very quickly we worked our way through other fruits and veg, including finger sticks of ripe fruits, steamed veg, rice cakes and rusks and as soon as she was 6 months, moved onto everything else. Full meals, with herbs and spices, still pureed but far more tasty. And what I found was that I soon began cooking again. While making chicken stew, I kept some aside for us and after removing baby’s portion, added a little salt, a few chilli flakes and served with brown rice…it was remarkably yummy! I’ve done that several times in the last few weeks and each time, the result has been a hearty, family meal. Little Frankie has wolfed down everything and so has my husband. I began by looking at several ‘weaning’ recipes, include those from Annabel Karmel, and adapted them to what I actually had in the fridge. I really used them as an idea, to see the types of flavours that might appeal.
So, the next few posts will be recipes for, literally, all the family! I’ll be making a chicken stew, cod bake and minced beef hotpot, along with some old favourites, such as cauliflower cheese, and showing how easily you can adapt them from ‘baby-mush’ to grown up food.