Right. It’s 2 weeks since I started project ‘being Annabel Karmel’ now I’m weaning a baby and I’m actually loving it. I have been really busy making baby food (while working out and on the odd occasion cleaning, of course!) and taking loads of photos, but I’ve got so much to say on the matter that I’ve managed to get bloggers block! I don’t know where to start.

Weaning a baby – being Annabel Karmel

As a recap, here are the rules:

  1. I will make all the recipes that are suitable for Reuben’s age and stage
  2. we will follow the suggested guide menus for Reuben’s stage
  3. I still have to do all the other things I normally do – if this is to be a true test of the practicality of being Annabel Karmel, I can’t go on strike and only make baby food. AK wouldn’t.
  4. at any signs of a tantrum (mine) I must count to 10 and think ‘what would AK do?’ I imagine the inevitable answer will be to smile and make baby food (then clean the house, do the washing and work out).
I’ve discovered I’m terrible at following instructions – even on the first evening I found myself making baked sweet potato and butternut squash (which I then left in the oven too long and only remembered when I heard it exploding – it still tasted LUSH though), when I was meant to be doing courgette. I’ve since given myself a talking to – no more willy nilly cooking without checking the bible.

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exploding butternut squash and baked sweet potato – looks burnt but amazingly isn’t. Lucky old Reuben

I thought I would have one major cooking session and freeze it all up but I haven’t been able bring myself to do it. [Everyday since Valentines I've planned to have a bath with the gorgeous 'bath milk' from Molton Brown Mike gave me; however, once we've had baby bedtime and we've eaten, I just can't be bothered, so I sure as hell won't be doing any cooking into the wee hours (aka past 8pm)!] What I’ve found though is Annabel Karmel’s recipes are thankfully incredibly easy to do as you go along…

There were a few mornings to begin with when I had a tantrum brewing – “I can’t be bothered to blanch a peach. Why cook?! There’s banana’s in the fruit bowl and sweet potato in the freezer…” – but thank goodness for rule 4, it sorted me right out. As it should because cutting up a parsnip then steaming it for a few minutes literally couldn’t be easier. So, no more tantrums I’m weaning a baby here!

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Parsnip ice cubes and a portion for lunch – I’m finding new uses for the store N feed Nuby breast milk containers!

What I would say is I haven’t been able to actually follow rule 2 yet. This is because despite being half way through this project we’re still working through the ‘fruit and vegetables after first tastes accepted’ recipes! I could have this wrong but he’s meant to try and accept everything before we start mixing it all up together.

Who knew there were so many different fruit and veg?! OK everyone. But when you’re weaning a baby and you break it down like this it seems endless. So before we can get on to the exciting stuff (although I have to admit we have cheated a bit and made home made baby veg stock and then used it in a vegetable medley – which was aMAZing) we’re working our way through all the individual tastes from parsnips to pepper to peaches to plums making sure he will accept them too.

weaning a baby

I ate the puree but what the hell is this? Er…a green bean

These are the tastes/recipes we’ve done since I last posted: avocado (yes-ish), pear (hmm), pear and apple (yes), potato (ok), peas (no), peas and carrot (ok), apple and cinnamon (YES), parsnip (hmm), courgette (yes), cauliflower (hmm), broccoli (yes), plum (yes), peach (yes), peach and banana (yes), peach and strawberries (yes), green beans (yes), mango (hmm), mango and banana (YES), strawberry and banana (YES), red pepper (yes but messy!).

weaning a baby

Is there something on my face?

Tastes to try: cantaloupe melon, dried apricot, peach or prune (I don’t have or intend to buy a mouli…but then I thought AK would though so perhaps I should. After a disappointing visit to my disappointing town centre, I then discussed it with @BryonyTulloch and we decided a sieve might work, which was later confirmed by AK herself – so there you have it no mouli required!), corn on the cob, spinach and tomatoes.

Then it starts to get interesting!

The highlights thus far have definitely been the fruity things and not just for Reuben. The minute I got over my peach blanching tantrum was an enlightening moment. Pureed peach. What a joy to behold! And here’s how you do it Annabel style (with a happy little Hannabel twist at the end!).

Weaning a baby - Peach Puree

1. Score a cross into the side of the peach

2. Put the peach into a pan of boiling water for 1 minute (I always forget and end up leaving it for longer)

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3. Plunge into cold water

4. Remove skin and stone, and blitz!

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(5. Keep some to one side for a baby food Bellini)

weaning a baby Cheers! 

Updates on twitter and Instagram are with the hash tag #beingannabelkarmel – come join me (so I look like less of a loser!)