Category Archives: Food

Yummy smoothie for two

Del’s breakfast this morning was so good I ate some of it myself.

1/2 c diced frozen mango

1 fresh banana

1/4 c whole goats milk yogurt

1 inch cube of tofu
Blend all ingredients in the blender till mangoes are thoroughly blended. Share breakfast with baby.


Feeding baby

I have a ton of pictures and an 8 month update to write – you know, right before my child turns 9 months old. But this is a quick one because I am 1) tired and busy and 2) inspired to write this at this moment.

image borrowed from

Thank you, Trader Joes, for helping me feed my baby.

I know that sounds silly – especially given the cultish devotion of much of my generation to TJ’s – but this morning I went shopping for just a few days worth of easy-to-make meals to tide us over till we leave for the beach. I also needed some staples and a few new additions to Del’s diet. Staples: bananas (perfect because he eats half and I eat half!) and a sweet potato to steam and puree. Steel-cut oats to make his oatmeal. New items: freeze-dried banana slices with no sweeteners or additives! Goat milk yogurt! Tofu!

Making Del’s food is both challenging and very satisfying. For far less than the cost of jarred babyfood, I prepare and feed him real food that isn’t laced with chemicals and additives. Because it’s real food, it’s part of the family diet too (bananas, oatmeal, and holy cow – pun intended – is that goat milk yogurt delish!!). It’s easy to cook a small pot of lentils because I keep lentils for our meals. When I make green beans, I can steam and puree a handful for Del and freeze them. I have to stay on top of what’s prepared and waiting for him, portioning it and providing him with suitable variety of tastes and food groups and nutrients. Lucky for us that while he’s still breastfeeding, portions and nutrients are incidental – which gives me time to get used to thinking about my baby’s menu before the day comes that he relies entirely on the foods I give him.

At any rate, in a busy week, the day after a rough night of teething, I was grateful for a pleasant shopping experience that afforded an array of quality real food options for my little guy.

Kimchi and company

My phone is dead so here is a picture of someone else’s kimchi.

So I’ve been on the fence about most of the meet-up gatherings I have attended. To clarify, is a website where folks can create groups and gatherings (meet-ups) around any kind of topic, interest, motivation you can imagine. Not surprisingly, there are lots of moms meet ups, because, let’s face it: it can be lonely without a good network of friends who also are home with their kids, and it can be hard to find friends in a new place. More here on my saga in that regard. I’ve gone to a couple of local mom group meet ups and found them tolerable, even mildly enjoyable, but in the end, they’re an inorganic and forced way of finding people to spend time with. But finally I think I have come across a group where I feel comfortable and can do genuinely interesting things with other moms.

The group is about a half-hour away, but in a neighborhood on our target for our move next summer. And the group has a definite bias toward attachment parenting style, so the cloth diapers and breastfeeding and baby sleeping in my bed are all things no one there is at all surprised by. (You can’t really commisserate about the challenge of getting a good sleep with your little one under your arm with folks whose answer will be “so sleep train!” or about nursing a wiggly almost-9-month-old to folks who think you’re odd to be still nursing at all.)

The first gathering that fell on a day I could join was today – a get-together to attempt making kimchi. Five moms attended, along with about nine little ones. A couple of women had already chopped and brined overnight a significant quantity of napa cabbage. Together, we chopped shallots, green onions, garlic, ginger, and carrots. And in big mixing bowls we each combined ingredients for a total of about (i’m guessing here) 3 gallons of kimchi, divided into jars of various sizes for us to divide up and take home. Those who contributed more supplies took home more, but even those of us (me) who came with only green onions and some apples and peanut butter for snacks got a couple of jars. I can’t wait to try it – it smelled insanely good in preparation.

While we worked together the kids played, and it was easy to step away from a task to nurse or play. Most of us had a baby in a carrier for all or some of the morning. Del played on the floor and later fell asleep in the mei tai on my back. Conversation was comfortable. I felt like these were moms I would want to see again.

In fact, we all felt that way. And made plans to meet every two weeks for some kind of productive cooking project – baking bread, canning fall produce, making some bulk meals to take home and freeze. Or, as my friend Kristi put it: better living through hippies. Hear! Hear!

Easy peasy


Ewww…. carrots

No more carrots for now I think. Del hates them. As in, shudders, sticks out his tongue, and stops taking bites kind of hate.

Other foods have been great. He loves sweet potatoes, pears, bananas, was ok with avocado, and had a slightly improved tolerance for carrots when mixed with apples. But the carrots also make the grossest poop. As the lady rinsing out the diapers, I am making about the same face when the carrots come out as Del makes when the carrots go in. Ick. Now I gotta sun-bleach several orange stained inserts. I’m not making this up… this is honesty in parenting right here folks.

Note the furrowed brow.


Our International House of Pancakes?

From contributing writer Ann Croft, whose skills at interpreting baby dance are legendary.

Like many new parents, we are teaching our child to use sign language to communicate with us.  And, like many new babies, our daughter is teaching us her own version of that sign language so that we can better understand her needs and desires (which, by the way, are one and the same to her).

The best example of this is her sign for pancakes.  Actually, it’s not a sign so much as it is an interpretive dance.

It seems when I first gave her a pancake, I acted out this elaborate pantomime that included shaking my head from side to side while blowing on the pancake and saying the word “hot” over and over.

Can you now guess what my child does EVERY time she wants a pancake?

And this kid wants pancakes all the time.  My husband makes large batches of toddler-sized oval pancakes a few times a month and freezes them in zip lock bags.  He makes blueberry and oatmeal ones for her breakfast and sweet potato ones for dinner.   I’ve included the recipe for the sweet potato pancake below.  The blueberry oatmeal is something that he throws together with Bisquick, blueberries and rolled oats.

But, before you worry that my child’s diet is as limited as her vocabulary (she says both hi and hot).  Let me assure you she eats many things, but none so enthusiastically as her pancakes.  And, if her violent head-shaking, near hyper-ventilating blowing and repetition of “HOT” over and over don’t get her that much-needed pancake fast enough – well, our little Einstein will go through the litany of signs (More? Eat? Bird? Hat?) until a pancake is placed in her out reached hand and she begins cramming it into her mouth.

Maybe we should learn the sign for pancake?

Sweet Potato Pancake Recipe

1 T butter (melted)

½ C Cooked Sweet Potatoes (mashed)

1 egg

1/3 C Flour

½ t baking powder

¼ C milk

Mix sweet potatoes with egg.  Stir in flour and baking powder.  Add the milk and the butter.  Cook on a buttered skillet over medium heat.

My baby ate!

Tonight Del Giacomo Walls ate his first solid food! I made fresh steamed sweet potato and mama’s milk puree, and we set Del up in his Bumbo seat to have a taste. He LOVED it. I am so proud of my little guy. He ate happily, played with the spoon himself, and, because our child is hilarious, he licked his tray between bites! After his bath (sweet potatoes are sticky!) he snuggled up and nursed and fell asleep. Oh my little baby, soak in all those vitamins. This mama is one happy lady.

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