Confession: I’m having a confidence crisis with this site. All of the warning signs were there from the beginning: my disbelief that anyone would appreciate my guidance in the “cook, then purée” approach to food and my disinterest in engaging the kind of “you’re doing it wrong!” commentary that accompanies any parenting discussions on the internet. (However, as a testament to your awesomeness, only a few peeps of it have shown up here but even those disproportionally exasperate me.) (P.S. I think you’re doing a great job.)
Take these peaches; they’re from the freezer section. Peaches are not in season yet in New York (and I’m sorry, New York, but kind of average even when they are) and I saw no point in buying flat-tasting peaches that had been shipped from hundreds of miles away when the frozen ones were already peeled, perfectly pitted (who can pull this off at home? Not me!) and frozen at their peak. I simmered them in water and sprinkled them with a little freshly grated nutmeg; this hardly counts as a recipe worth sharing.
And yet, they were met with a fervor I didn’t know was possible from a 7-month old, though it shouldn’t have surprised me as peaches are the favorite fruit of his father, who we jokingly call the Mega-Me to his Mini-Me. Applesauce was lovely, vanilla pears were delightful and pureed carrots were slurped right down but it was only with peaches that the baby began making a gaspy excited noise between spoonfuls, so loud you can hear it in the next room and know it must be peaches! time! again. And when we added yogurt to these peaches a month later, for Jacob’s “lunch”? He would have licked the bowl clean if we let him. He whimpers when the bowl is empty, the bowl of the most boring recipe for peaches, ever.
I know that things will get more interesting down the road — teething biscuits! mixed spices! maybe even some meat! — but for now, they’re still kind of simple, boring even. So tell me, should I skip over the sleepy purées and tell you only about the unusual ones or are any all recipes, no matter how mundane, welcome here? I’m all ears: talk to me!
Peach Sauce with Nutmeg
1 10-ounce bag frozen peaches (or 10 ounces of peeled, pitted and sliced fresh peaches)
1/2 cup water
A few grinds or scrapes of fresh nutmeg
Bring ingredients to boil in a medium saucepan, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until soft enough to smash with the back of a fork. Let cool in cooking liquid. Purée in a food processor, blender or food mill and freeze in small portions.
This only makes about 1 1/2 cups of sauce, but it is a good level to audition and see if your baby likes it. If s/he does, this is a cinch to scale up as a freezes perfectly in small portions. Check out the Tools page for how I approach the processing and storage of baby food.