Jun 19, 2013

D109: For Little Bo Peep

Tonight I made little shepherd's pies.  I used foil cupcake shells to hold them.  I considered using a Yorkshire pudding or scone dough as a base, which I think would work really well, but for something that may be rejected and on a night of little time, it wasn't practical.
They are not, by any means, marvellous.  I was missing onions and peas, both hijacked by the soup  we made.  I wish they had more gravy.  I wish I hadn't accidentally sloshed a whole lotta milk into the mash. (You can actually smell the milk!) Luckily, we're planning on trying Bub with dairy again, so cooked milk will now be part of that.  Otherwise, I'm glad I tried it and hope they're a nice change for her.  She hasn't any teeth yet, and I'm always torn about how long to persist with a new flavour or whether I'm making it dreary, but I'll know soon enough whether the mess and flavours are to her liking :)
One of the dilemmas of making food that is for a baby, or even food for a family which includes a baby, is wastage.  Bub isn't someone who eats anything and everything that's in front of her, or even the same kind of thing as what she ate yesterday.  I'm beginning to think she's wanting some variety because her interest in things comes and goes.  She certainly gets a range of foods, allowing for the limits in her dairy intolerance and egg allergy.
Unfortunately though, for her, variety is present in our diet in a very specific way. Allow me to explain:
We don't really like cooking.
Confused? Well, it'll aaaaall be clear soon.
For us, cooking it takes time away from things we'd rather be doing. And it interrupts us every single night of the week, dammit.  Our answer for this is that we'll cook six or eight serves and happily eat the same thing for a week.
Each night that we're not 'cooking' we'll make pasta, rice or some accompaniment to go with our 'leftovers'.  The variety in our diet is presented in every meal, rather than in the range of meals.  When we make soup, we put lots of different things in it.  Spag Bol includes broccoli, zucchini, carrot, mushrooms and capsicum.  Curry barely fits in the pot for all its ingredients.  I think our most restrictive staple is risotto with capsicum, squash, sun dried tomatoes, and zucchini (chicken optional). It also means that meals that don't reheat well, or are designed for two to four people, don't really get a look-in for us unless it's a special occasion.  Maybe I should call it breadth, rather than variety...
So, you can see, when you're used to cooking in bulk, and you've got a future of small serves ahead of you for a certain someone, cooking in bulk for them is even more instinctive.  In fact, cooking a regular serve of a regular meal is already a bulk cook for her.  And then...  She may or may not eat it.
To her great credit, she tries almost everything we put in front of her provided she can put it in her own mouth, which I love.  Sometimes all it does is confirm for her that this thing belongs in 'the out tray' (i.e. the patch of floor to the fit of her high chair).  And, as with many children, veggies are second fiddle to fruits.  I can generally sneak thing into her tummy aboard some toast, which is a handy trick, but not guaranteed.  
So, with great zen breathing, I've use two saucepans, a cupcake tray and cups and generally fussed way more than ever, while cooking to other meals, in the hope that Bub will look sideways at these little creations.  Pretty sure she doesn't like carrots either...
But at least I'll like them! Right?! RIGHT?!! 

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