Cool Gear and Fun Food

18 08 2008

After Masher had a couple of good poops (no crying and an excellent consistency!), I decided to get serious with homemade baby food preparation.  I picked up a couple of tasty organic summer squash and a few organic apricots on my weekly visit to Whole Paycheck Foods, and I headed home … at which point I met face to face with the dilemma I had been dancing around for the last few weeks.  In what type of vessel would I be freezing this food?  With all of the talk about the dangers of the plastic products surrounding us in this modern world, should I nevertheless take my happy organic baby mush and freeze it in some Chinese plastic ice cube tray?  Frankly, I’m sure there would be no harm in doing so, but were there any other options?  After all, I didn’t even own a Chinese plastic ice cube tray, so I’d have to buy one or beg for one on Freecycle, and that just didn’t make sense.  Luckily and not surprisingly, however, there was another option!  After finding these cute red silicone ice cube trays online, I called our nearest Sur La Table and had them set a two-pack aside for me.  And what’s so great about silicone?  Well, mainly just that they haven’t positively identified any truly harmful substances in its production, and – considering the extreme temperatures it can withstand – it must be substantially more stable than most plastics.

Full steam ahead (literally) with baby mush preparation, I steamed my squash (one yellow and one zucchini) in a pot and warmed my apricots in a cast-iron pan before tossing them (first the squash, then the apricots) into the food processor.  Pretty easy, actually.  After freezing the mush in my new trays, I got these cute, little, space-age food cubes, ready to heat any time for a meal.  I even tried a couple myself.  Not bad …

Pretty little squash and apricot frozen food cubes

Pretty little squash and apricot frozen food cubes

And Masher liked it … a lot!  He gobbled up every bite of a squash cube I melted along with some sweet potatoes from a prior freezing episode.

But I promised you cool gear, and that probably means more than just ice cube trays, right?  Well, my other find last week was a BPA-free sippy cup sampler sold by The Soft Landing.  Since I had no idea where to start when it comes to the almighty sippy cup, and since I figure a variety of cups will prevent overload from any one contaminant from any one particular brand of cup, this seemed like a really good option for us.  The package arrived, I carefully opened each individual cup, read the instructions, washed and/or soaked and/or scrubbed the cups as needed, and settled down to watch Masher try to suck water out of the bottom of each cup and entirely ignore the sippy spouts he would actually need to engage.  Do the instructions come in baby talk for him, too? 

Finally, a tasty 20-minute adult recipe I prepared tonight with some of our leftover CSA veggies:  What does one do with some chard, a few potatoes, an onion, and a couple of carrots?  By themselves, these sad veggies looked like a Polish peasant’s dinner, but add some spices, some jalapenos from the garden, and some canned wild salmon and stuff the whole thing in a whole wheat pita pocket, and you’ve got …

Wild Salmon and Veggie Pita Pockets

  • A few carrots, potatoes, or other root veggies
  • Onion and/or garlic
  • A couple of jalapenos or other hot peppers
  • Chard or another dark leafy green
  • Canned wild Alaskan salmon (low in mercury)
  • Spices to taste, such as salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano
  • Pita pockets
  • Olive oil and/or butter 

Chop the root veggies into bite-sized chunks and throw into a pot of boiling salted water for about 15 minutes or until done (but not too mushy).  While these are boiling, chop onion/garlic and peppers and sauté in olive oil and/or butter for 3 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  Add chard and cook until it wilts.  Drain the root veggies and combine them with the chard mixture, a can of salmon, and the spices.  Lightly toast the pita pockets, stuff them with the mixture, and enjoy!