Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Plum Crazy

I have to admit that I have fallen to peer pressure a few times regarding Jax and how the other Vermont moms do everything. Everyone else's kids wear Robeez, so Jax got a pair. Everyone else's kids have these simple wooden toys, so Jax became best friends with Melissa & Doug (a children's toy company that makes old school wooden toys). Everyone else's kids are breastfed--well, there's nothing I can do about that one, but I can try to feed him organic and locally grown food like everyone else, and that's what I've been trying to do. Not just because it's following the trend, but because organic is definitely what's best for Jax and we didn't mind to spend the extra nickle or dime here and there.

That is, until Jax became the eating machine that he is today. Suddenly that organic food bought in bulk is costing more than we expected, so if I want to continue to give Jax what's best I had to get creative. Specifically, I had to consider making my own baby food. Even though not all the produce I buy is organic, turning one peach that costs the same as a jar of baby food into several meals makes sense. So on Tuesday I bought more fresh fruit than I did jarred fruit and prepared to be a new mom. The kind of mom who makes her kid's baby food.

Not too compelling a post so far, I know, but this was a real dilemma for me. I am not the greatest chef as anyone will tell you (I'm eating mac-n-cheese as I type) but I thought I could make a commitment to helping Jax eat healthy (definitely healthier than me!). So I went to the co-op and bought some canned organic fruit that has no added sugar, and figured, Hey, he can have this, so I saved some money there. I was feeling good.

Until I went to the produce section. Ah, where was Uncle Kevin when I needed him?? I was accosted by fruit that I had only heard about and have never once put into my mouth--plums, kiwi, apricots, peaches. Yes, I have a very limited diet, everyone will tell you that, too. But that is exactly what I want to avoid for Jax!! So I pretty much bought one of everything.

I had two problems that I needed assistance to clear up. Assistance came in the form of a not-so-friendly-grocer-man who thought my question ridiculous. "Which plum is better, the red one of the black one?" Funny to me that neither plum was purple, which is what it always is in coloring books, but that's irrelevant for the time being. He told me he prefers the black ones but couldn't tell me why and I settled for those anyway because they looked more like the aforementioned mysterious purple plums that I didn't see anywhere. Then came my second question, which made him give me a look of confusion mixed with disdain. I asked him where the kiwis were, and he said, "Right here," pointing right in front of us with an expression that added, "you idiot." But the sad part was that I have never had a kiwi so I didn't know what they looked like!! Really! Everything is always kiwi-strawberry and I'm allergic to strawberry so I never bothered with it. I know, ridiculous, but that's me.

So here comes the point of my story. I came home with tons of new food for Jax that will save us money and still meets his nutritional needs: apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, kiwi, apples, bananas, tofu (yeah that's right I said tofu), organic turkey burgers, whole wheat mini-waffles (obviously I'm not going to add syrup), so you can all rest easy that although we are not buying much jarred baby food anymore, Jax is still going to be his healthy self.

That is, if I can serve it...

Looks like something Jax might have done, right? Nope. That would be all me. That is my first try at baby food, a beautiful plum puree (see? not purple), splattered all over our floor and cabinets. How did it happen? Well, I'll spare you the gory details but just know that I did a fabulous job making my first round of baby food. I pitted the plum (and honestly, I didn't know that plums even had pits before this!), skinned it via a process called blanching (yup, be impressed), and then food-processed it into baby yummy goodness, all the while patting myself vigorously on the back. I was so close to taking a picture of it in the food processor but then thought that was being too vain. Now I wish I did so that I would have had proof that I had succeeded before being thrust into abject failure. I dropped the food processor.

Well, maybe dropped is the wrong way to describe it. Jax started having a mental fit in the high chair just as I was wrapping up the chopping. It was one of those make-mommy-sweat kind of fits that can only be described as a biological bomb going off inside me--someone described hearing your baby scream that way once and it totally fits. I was so anxious to get him out of the high chair so that he could enjoy the delicious treat I had painstakingly prepared for him that I kind of threw the processor onto the counter and, to my horror, it fell off. Onto the floor in a plummy disaster. I could only salvage the small amount that was still in the blender part, and it wasn't even enough for a full meal.

But, on the bright side, he did eat those two ounces and although he was confused at first since it was a new taste, he did end up really liking it :) He ate it all and opened his mouth for more (sadly, he was denied). But it shows me that my hard work did pay off and I am encouraged to continue making Jax his baby food in the future, so that we can save some money but he can still live happily ever after. Hooray! And yes, I did try the plum and no, I didn't like it, but maybe this will lead to both Jax and me liking a few new things. We'll see!

1 comment:

The Dadej Family said...

Love your story and way to go on making food for your little dude.