Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baby food and food dehydration

We took our four nice Henckel knives in to the Excalibur shop (great name for a knife store, right?) yesterday to be sharpened. That means that today all we have to use are the crappy, serrated-edge knives that we only keep as back-ups. I guess I am a knife snob, but it makes such a difference when you use a good sharp knife. This afternoon I cut up two sweet potatoes to make some food for Sweet Pea, and I got so frustrated with the crooked cutting and the food falling off the cutting board because it was basically splitting like a chunk of wood instead of being nicely sliced. Imagine the difference between a log cut with a chain-saw falling to the ground and a round of wood chopped with an axe shooting pieces out in all directions. OK, maybe that's not the perfect analogy, but the point is that I want my vegetables to stay on the cutting board and be somewhat uniform. Our good knives will be ready on Wednesday and I can't wait to get them back! Now, back to the baby food. I was inspired by the Mama Notes blog to get my act together and actually make some baby food to freeze. I had been toying with the idea of pure baby-led weaning, but I don't feel totally committed to it at this point, so I think I'm going to try a few purees as well as giving Sweet Pea finger foods to feed herself. Over the last few weeks, about 4 times, we've handed her a piece of food that she was showing interest in, trying to grab it from our plates. She's licked apple, snap peas, a carrot, and some avocado. I think the avocado is the only thing that she actually swallowed at all, and even then it was a pretty minuscule amount. The other things were obviously too hard for her to chew without teeth, so we weren't expecting her to really eat them, but were just respecting her desire to hold and taste them. So, maybe this week we'll hop off the baby-led weaning bandwagon and try the cooked, mashed sweet potato and see how she likes it!

The plums that I was drying yesterday were all finally ready at about 1:00 AM last night. I guess there was a lot of moisture in them. I got about three small jam jars full (pictured below), but have already eaten a bunch because they are delicious! These were really small, very sweet plums and they taste better than any prunes I've ever had. Currently in the dehydrator we have hot peppers, and I just took out a half-a-banana's worth of banana chips that Average threw in because it was sitting on the counter as he loaded up the peppers. The banana chips are also sweet and delicious. Does anyone have any recommendations for other things to try drying? I had been wanting to try drying fruit for a really long time, and so far the results are making me wish I had just bought a dehydrator years ago. The one we have borrowed from my mother-in-law is the Nesco Snackmaster, which sells for only $40.00. If you're like me and have been interested in trying, go for it!

P.S. My list of things to do yesterday afternoon was too long. I finished up this afternoon on the laundry and the checkbook, and we discovered our apple trees didn't produce much this year, so scrapped that idea. That's how my days typically go – I have a list of things to do one day, and two days later the list is close to done. Perhaps it's the nursing and diaper changes slowing me down, but probably it's that that's just how I am.


  1. I am that way too - there's always so many interesting things to do it is hard to be practical about how much one can realistically get done!

    How about watermelon, just for curiosity's sake? Cherries would be good though.

  2. Sweet Pea tried watermelon tonight! She seemed to like it better than any other food she's tasted yet. She really enjoyed holding the rind and putting it in her mouth herself, so maybe there really is something to the whole baby-led weaning idea.
    Drying it... it seems like there would be nothing left if you tried to put watermelon in the food dehydrator, but now you've got me curious!! Yeah, cherries are good - I've had ones a friend made.