Super Baby

26 10 2008

OK.  So, did I even ever mention this book I got Freecycling?  Super Baby Food … the book?  A quick skim of my previous articles says “no,” although I feel as though I remember saying something about it.

First, a plug for Freecycle:  Did you know you can get stuff that you totally might want, anytime, for free?  Yeah, me either!   But you can.  You just go to the web site (just click on the word Freecycle) and sign up for the listserv in your area, and you have access to all the free stuff that everyone in your area is giving away.  What’s more, for those of us with old couches and guilty consciences, you have a resource for giving away your things that nobody wants!  Example:  I had a large purple, floral-patterned vase that came with some arrangement that someone gave me years ago.  It was … ugly.  No other word to describe it.  But it was functional.  So, after carting it around for the last ten years or so, I put it on Freecycle.  Just a three-word description.  No photo.  And I had a taker.  So, I put my vase out on the front stoop with my taker’s name on a Post-It.

Twenty minutes later, my husband came in from the dog park.  “What the he** was that thing on the front stoop?!?!?”  Needless to say, he’d knocked it over and shattered it to pieces, minutes before my Freecycle taker was about to show up.  I cleaned up the mess and rushed out as soon as I saw her pull up.  “I’m so, so sorry!” I cried, “We’ve broken it.”  

“That’s OK,” she replied, getting out of the car.  “Can I see it?”

Aha, I thought, she must be double-checking to ensure that I’ve truly broken it, and that I’m not just b-s-ing her while actually giving it to someone else!  So, I went inside, scooped the pieces out of the trash can, and brought them out for her inspection.

“Yeah, that’ll still work,” she said.

“For WHAT?” I exclaimed.

“I’m an art teacher,” she said, “So I’ll make a mosaic from it.”

And that’s when I learned you can Freecycle absolutely anything.

But that’s not what this post is about.  This post is about my responding to a Freecycle posting about free child-rearing books and winding up with three copies of Dr. Spock (it’s really good, if anyone wants one!) and this Super Baby Food book.

Super Baby Food.  Well, I thought, this will be interesting.  And I started in on flipping through the pages that evening.  

First conclusion:  Hm, this woman has some interesting things to say.

Second conclusion:  Whoa, this woman is crazy.

Final conclusion:  Despite the fact that this woman is crazy, she has some interesting things to say, and I’m going to try her ideas out.

For those of you who haven’t seen this book before, let me explain.  The book looks perfectly normal and innocuous from the outside, but turning just a few pages reveals the fact that the author likes to take things that should take one sentence to say and turn them into 20 pages.  And she likes to micro-manage your life.  I recall one sentence about what temperature your refrigerator should be set at.  So, these parts … you ignore.  But the basic point of the book is one I can embrace:  real food.  And she likes beans, and I like beans.  So, I think we’d get along.

But the question remains.  What IS Super Baby Food?  According to the book, it’s a combo of 1/3 legumes to 2/3 grains, cooked and served for breakfast.  Sounds odd, sure, to many of us red-blooded Americans.  But I could see how such a thing could be quite delicious.  In fact, I often serve up some leftover beans and rice with our eggs on weekend mornings, and I wish we had the time to do it more often.  The trick with Super Baby Food, supposedly, is that you grind up the dried beans and grains together ahead of time and then cook a batch in some water for 10 minutes one morning.  And, to my great surprise, it seems to work.  With one major BUT:

It’s really loud!!!

Smashing dried beans and grains in the food processor until they resemble chalk dust takes a good five minutes or so and, during that five minutes, your neighbors will think you’re demolishing your home from the inside out.  LOUD.  And Masher hates to hear it.  If I dare to grind the grains and legumes in the food processor while he’s awake, I’m in for major unhappiness.  We’re talking lower lip jutting out, eyes tightly squeezed shut, fists pumping up and down, and then … AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  He accompanies the whirring blades with a harmonious screech.  So, I’m thinking it’s probably pretty bad for delicate little eardrums.  Thus, we developed a system.  Now, after measuring out the amounts into the processor bowl, I put Masher outside in his stroller, run back in and hit the “Mix” button, and dash back out to take a stroll around the block with the baby.  Odd, but whatever works, right?  The grains and legumes cook up surprisingly quick after being pulverized, I can make at least three days of breakfasts at a time, and he really seems to enjoy starting his day with a steaming bowl of Super Baby Food!

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