Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just Blend It

I never thought that I’d be one of those moms who would actually make her own baby food. The finer points of cuisine often elude me and the idea of crafting something so mundane sounded not only tiresome but way too labor intensive. In my mind, the types of moms who carefully select premium organic fruits and vegetables, lovingly steam and bake them, then chop and blend them to perfection, seemed like complete yuppie nuts with nothing better to do. And then, before I realized, I became one. Fart.

It began as a mere inkling in my heart to try something new, a foray into the unknown landscape of the produce department, a conference with my blender and ice cube trays. I was also looking into ways to cull our budget and buying fresh produce, blending it, and then freezing it is monumentally cheaper than buying mountains of baby food jars. I then uttered the inevitable phrase, “How hard could it be? It’s just blending a bunch of stuff.” And that was my downfall.

Once at the grocery store, I marveled at the inclined stacks of wet leaves, rounded waxy peppers, and earthen piles of potatoes. I bee-lined for the foods that I had researched as good starters for babies: sweet potatoes and pears. I saw that the sign said, “Yams” so, of course, I had to break out my iPhone and look up the difference between yams and sweet potatoes. For our purposes here, there is no difference. Great. I headed to the pear section in which there were about seven different varieties. I chose the ones that looked the most like the ones I ate as a child. Logical, right?

I will now confess that I had to look up how to bake a potato. Let me reiterate, I’m no cook. After finally figuring it out, I baked them and set them aside to cool. Now, a kitchen whiz would have checked to see if the blender base and bowl were properly screwed together, but, as aforementioned, I’m no whiz. I promptly added the sweet potatoes to the blender, added my water and blended. After the mixture achieved the perfect level of smoothness, I picked up the blender bowl, only to discover that I had permanently infused the base of my blender with a sticky, sugary, orange mess. Crap.  

Now, a lesser mom would have hung up her apron and called it quits, or perhaps a smarter mom, I’m not sure which. But, oh no, not this mom, I wasn’t finished ruining my kitchen yet. My next attempt was carrots, which I thought were perfectly innocent, beautiful vegetables, the humblest of roots. I decided to steam them on the stove in a steamer basket in a pot of boiling water. I left them there to steam only to forget to turn down the stove once the water had reached a boil. I was on the couch when I smelled something like burnt sugar. Oh crap. I raced over to the stove only to realize that all of the water had boiled off and I was now melting the coating of my non-stick pan, which is not very eco-friendly by the way. Upon checking the carrots, there were pieces of blackened coating all over them, a cesspool of charred perfluorooctanoic acid. I had made carcinogen carrots. Not exactly the best thing to feed to a baby. I quickly removed the toxic pot from my house and opened up all the doors and windows, broke out the box fan and aerated the whole place. Holy eff.

Since then I have cleaned out and learned how to properly assemble my blender. I’ve even learned how to steam carrots using the microwave! I might not be the best cook, but I’m trying my hardest to be the best mom I can be. Liam loves his homemade food and I’m happy to make it for him. As long as I don’t burn whole the house down.