I'm really getting into this homemade baby food thing. Natalie's been eating like a champ (see: cheeks, legs, arms, and belly) and has enjoyed nearly everything we have given her.
This operation was even bigger than the first. It ended up taking me nearly two days to fully complete, so maybe it was a little ambitious. But baby's gotta eat! A lot!
I was armed for cooking all these things with a combination of knowledge from Cooking for Baby by Lisa Barnes and Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron, and striking out on my own from there, also factoring in the Beaba Babycook's manual and recipes.
In this corner, wearing their Certified Organic stickers: butternut squash, Washington apples, zucchini, avocados, and millet!
And in this corner, wearing rice cereal splattered jeans and yesterday's makeup: mom!
No picture of mom. Thanks.
First up, roasting the butternut squash, since it's probably going to take a long time. Oven to 350.
I had to use my biggest, nastiest looking knife. You know, the one you grab in the middle of the night when you are fairly certain that noise you heard was a gorilla with 'roid rage trying to break into your house?
I had a Julia Child moment hacking that thing open. It would have been more appropriate if the squash was a duck or a side of beef, but Natalie's a vegetarian so far. The butchering will be limited to gourds and pineapples for now, sorry meat-heads!
If you happen to be a gorilla on 'roids, right about now you're thinking my house might be easy pickin's, judging by the size of my knife.
So I scooped out the seeds and sent them to compost (still have hopes of getting my garden going this year after last year's pregnancy-hiatus). See the lovely giant composting bag I got ready?
Face down in a baker (I had to use the biggest one I have, the Emile Henri meant for Italian-family sized quantities of lasagne) with 1/4 in of water in the bottom. Think of it as a shallow, deadly hot tub, Mr. Squash.
I really should have put something in the picture for scale. Try picturing each half of the squash as two faces... preferably of someone you do not like, given the hot-tub analogy above.
So those went into the oven for what was supposed to be only 45 minutes to one hour. It took much longer. More on that later.
Now on to the zucchini!
Get more than you think you will need, since zucchini's so full of water it condenses a lot in baby food form. I used 8 medium zukes. And for God's sake, spring for organic since you're not peeling them!
Chop it up coarsely. Don't worry about size or consistency, even. It's going to get the heck steamed out of it and then food processed so it doesn't matter.
Guess who wanted to help out by checking the quality of the zucchini....
It IS Ellie Bluebell's House after all.
Just like the initial operation, this entry is going to have to be finished tomorrow! Someone is awake from her nap and hungry for sweet potatoes....