Adventures in baby-making

22 Oct
Sorry, that’s baby-FOOD-making.  Geez, people, this is a family blogsite.
Michael’s going to Edmonton tomorrow afternoon and will be away all week, so although I will have the car, getting out for shopping purposes (even important shopping purposes, such as for food) could be a challenge, depending on Jade’s moods and my level of energy.  So after church today I went and got lots of food: healthy fruits and veggies that will be easy to prepare, as well as some heat-em-up-quick type meals for when my energy and/or meal creativity levels are flagging.
Jade was introduced to chicken a while ago (getting to chew on chicken drumsticks and then getting commercially-prepared "sweet potatoes and chicken" baby food) but it was only about two weeks ago that I actually found plain chicken baby food.  Now, I was a little skeptical about feeding Jade chicken slurry from a jar (mmm, doesn’t that just sell it?), and I found the colour to be surprisingly pink, but after I tasted it I found that it wasn’t so bad, after all.  the texture was a bit grainy, but since it was made with all-white meat, this wasn’t surprising.  (I’m a juicy dark meat kinda gal, myself.)
But it’s actually hard to find the stuff.  Today, for example, all I could find was various types of vegetables (usually mixed vegetables) with chicken.  The trouble with that is that for one thing, we’re trying to help Jade’s developing taste buds and while I often mix different foods, I like to be able to give them to her separately so she can try them out on their one.  For another thing, all of the commercial baby foods that have mixed vegetables include peas, and I’m still not sure whether she can handle them.  (The two times I introduced them, she ended up with a diaper rash, and while that could have been coincidence, I want to test them again before buying a bunch of it.)
So I decided today that I would make my own baby food chicken.  Thus far I’ve stuck to fruits and vegetables, easy to cook up and easy to puree with nothing more than a hand blender.  Meat, on the other hand, I wasn’t sure I could get to a "spoonable" consistency.  I took a frozen whole chicken from the freezer, popped it into a stock pot, covered it with water and let it boil away as we had supper and put Jade to bed.  After an hour or two of boiling, I was actually able to take the chicken apart with a wooden spoon — now that’s cooked!  Doubting the efficacy of hand-blendering chicken bits, I pulled out the food processor.
Using a bit of the broth, it was surprisingly easy to blend the chicken down to a creamy consistency (even nicer than the commercial stuff, in fact).  It looks quite a lot like tuna salad, actually.  (Well, at least the tuna salad that I sometimes make with more mayo than tuna…)  So now I have 9 baby food jars full of my home-made chicken slurry.  Not bad, not bad at all.

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