I came up against a couple deadlines yesterday. One: my jarred baby-food stock was totally depleted. Two: I realized none too soon that stores would be closed on the Fourth and that I was sick of buying jars of baby food, anyway. Three: My garden, so far, has yielded next-to-nothing that Freya can digest (only enough spinach for salad, a recent handful of peas that Nev and I wolfed down ourselves).
So I broke down and stocked up at a farmstand. It was fantastic. They had zucchini, spinach, and big, juicy shelling peas. I bought pounds. And, surprise of surprises, it was immensely effing satisfying to make baby food from scratch. I wasn’t sure — I’ve said before, I don’t love cooking, and dislike the prep most of all, so I wondered if I would end up weary in the kitchen, still shelling peas with a bellyful of bah-humbug.
But no. In fact, I almost stayed home from a party yesterday evening to make more baby food. Yeah. (And, yes, I have always been a dork.) The first batch of spinach turned out so tasty and vibrant green. Here’s my best Martha Stewart snapshot, which still doesn’t do justice to the puree:
I’m storing it in ice cube trays à la my friend Claudia. And the peas! I returned to the kitchen after the party and stayed up ’til midnight shelling, blanching, and pureeing peas for the sheer pleasure of seeing what gorgeously saturated shade of green they would turn out:
And the taste, my God, they are so freshly delicious.
So, the verdict is, this is an experience I will happily pay for. Speaking of, for those who are curious. I spent $13 on maybe three pounds of produce. Next time I’ll increase the poundage (1.25 pounds of shelling peas yielded the amount of puree above). For each of Freya’s meals, I’ll mix two cubes of veggies and possibly some brown rice flour. I’ll get probably 20 meals from the whole venture, so it will end up costing about the same I would pay for the Earth’s Best jarred baby food I had been buying. I could definitely find cheaper baby food in jars. But making my own is definitely satisfying enough that I’m going to keep at it, whether I find fresh produce that’s a little cheaper, or not.
Plus, I get a lot of juicy tidbits for the compost heap…