Friday, April 1, 2016

See Ya Later, Gerber!

Recently I made a deal with myself that to feel like I really had a handle on this homemaker gig I would make at least one meal from scratch per week. That may be simple for you, but the whole "from scratch" thing puts a kink in my former feminist ideology.

So far I've done pretty good, and it's actually been a lot of fun. I love learning how different foods go together. Some recipes I have done in the past, and some are new. Most of them have turned out great except for that strawberry smoothie I tried to make today (sans yogurt). It was horrible.

To date I've made buttermilk biscuits, sausage + bacon baked beans, deviled eggs (with my mom's help since I was running 102 fever), andoueille sausage pasta, mac & cheese, honey ham biscuits, and of course sweet tea. Maybe more, but I can't remember! Simple for the most part, but I'm pretty novice in the kitchen. So novice with food in fact I once asked what someone's soup de jour tasted like, and when they laughed and said it means "soup of the day" I played it off like that's what I meant..."You know, what does your soup of the day taste like?"

I even made lemonade and put a cute tag on it! However, the lemonade was not from scratch. :/
In a minute I will come back to the cooking thing.

Our pediatrician used to live across the street from us. That was until the week H was born. Literally. Cash told me that Doc just didn't want me running over there all the time, so they had to move. But really, we love our doctor and miss him as our neighbor. His wife always kept an eye on what was happening, and you always felt safe leaving town knowing she knew if someone was not supposed to be at your house. Once or twice they even brought over some food that Doc had made as he apparently really likes to cook.

Well, at H's 4 month check-up, Doc asked if I would be making or buying H's baby food. It took {point}3 seconds for me to put together that a) I'm a HOMEMAKER and b) Doc knows how to cook good food, to decide I wanted to make it myself. For the next 10 minutes he described the baby food making process to us, and it sounded like a breeze.

One catch: we didn't have a blender. Cash being the dear that he is spent some time researching different blenders. Who knew such thought went into blender buying? You have the good ol' WalMart/Target brands that could do the job, but hey, for cooking at pretty much a commercial level how long could we really count on one of those? (Sarcasm to be noted.) You have the luxe high end that costs more than the monthly house payment on my first house, but bringing it back to reality we were only going to be using the blender to make a little bit of baby food. Lord knows this momma is not doing smoothies on the daily (note above where I threw out that strawberry one). And of course you have the middle ground blender that is the high end brand so you know it's good but at the same time it's not touch screen or voice responsive or doubling as a pedicurist so it doesn't cost...too much. Being the middle-class people we are, we went total middle of the road with a blender at our neighborhood department store. Because. Middle Class.

Shoosh. Now that we had a blender, we were off to HEB to shop fresh produce (duh, we are total health nuts so it's fresh all day e'erday...unless we instead of H are eating it, then it's donuts and cookie butter). As a side note I have to admit that I love shopping with reusable grocery bags, because I feel so hipster and Austin. But let's get real. We are Midland. Not Austin. And we don't "love you so much" or keep it weird or have a body of water in our town.

Back to the topic at hand. We got a blender. We got veggies. We got a recipe from the doc. And last night we made carrots and green peas.

boiled carrots ready to go!
mix it all up!
pour into ice cube trays
Cut the ends of the carrots.
Do NOT peel the carrots, but do wash them.
Cut them into manageable size pieces.
Boil them about 5 minutes.
Start with about 1 cup of water in the blender; add more as needed.
Blend the carrots and water until you have a runny texture. (This was H's first food ever, so it had to be runny and will have to be for a while. Ultimately, we will work our way up.)
Pour the blend into ice cube trays.
Cover the trays with plastic wrap and put them in the freezer.
The next day put the cubes into gallon-sized freezer bags labeled with "carrots" and the date.

Folks, that's easier than that macaroni and cheese I was bragging about.

Use frozen peas. (Doc says it's not worth your while to use fresh ones that you have to shell {or is it hull?}.)
Boil them about 5 minutes.
Start with 1/2 cup of water or so in the blender; add more as needed.
Blend the peas and water until you have a runny texture.
Pour the blend into ice cube trays.
Cover the trays with plastic wrap and put them in the freezer.
The next day put the cubes into gallon-sized freezer bags labeled with "green peas" and the date.

Folks, that's even easier than the carrots.

All joking aside, it was a lot of fun to make H's baby food. Next we are doing green beans before we move into any of the fruits. We thought the fruits would be perhaps too sweet that he wouldn't want to move to veggies after that. Who knows?! We don't. We're just winging it really.

ready for the freezer

bagged and back into the freezer they go
You better believe that I'm counting this as my "made from scratch" meal this week. I've been the sole provider of H's food for 9 months in utero and 4 1/2 months on the outside. That's over a year! When I buy something precooked and he eats it, we will quit saying I'm the only one feeding him. Until then, yep, it's still me and my homemaking skills.

the verdict is still out on "big boy food"
If you have a baby to make food for, I hope you get a chance to do these easy veggies. It is not only fun but cheap too! And you may get a new blender so your husband has something fun to keep him occupied when he gets home from work on a rainy Friday afternoon. Yeah, we definitely are more Midland than Austin.

Keep wandering...