10/28/08

Feeding the tiny hurricane

When we first met QQ, she had many food aversions. She didn't require her bottle to be a certain specific temperature (as I've heard many orphanage babies do...as in scalding hot, or else!) but she didn't like food that was cool, as in recently refrigerated, or - heaven forbid - cold. Yogurt was out. Icecream made her gag. And there were texture issues as well - applesauce, for instance, even lukewarm, was disgusting to her.
She liked formula, and then formula with rice cereal. When we got home, I could blend Baby Yo, bananas, mangoes, or fruit babyfood in with the formula and cereal. But when we tried the veggie and meat baby foods, she would hurl the bottle across the room. Not acceptable.
The very first vegetable-related product she allowed past her lips was carrot juice, just a few weeks ago. She didn't just like it, she LOVED it, and drank an entire bottle, undiluted. But the resulting bowel movement was explosive and generally unworkable in any non-hoseable environment.
Well, in the past three weeks or so, she's changed her tune. As soon as I thought to enrich the vegetable blends with egg yolk and strained Greek yogurt, things began to turn around. She loved the combination.
A few days ago, when Jennie brought over a vegetable soup to help nurse us all back to the peak of health, I took a scoop of that and threw it in the blender with her lunch. The result was unparalleled.
Well, I thought...time to start cooking for the QiuQiu!

M's mom had recently brought over a slow cooker. Now, a slow cooker is not something that was ever a part of our culinary milieux when I was a child, and so I've never cooked with one. But I figured - what the heck. I've been wanting to make a good, hearty French daube for the past couple of winters, but didn't have the proper clay pot. Might as well give the slow cooker a try and see what happens.

Rather than go with a particular dish or recipe, I decided to go with what we had on hand for the season, and just wing it. After all, as long as there's yogurt and egg yolk involved, the kid's not picky. So I can mix just about anything for the "meat" of the dish.

I started with some herbs from the garden.

Followed by the yellow, red and orange veggies. No, I don't chop well. That's my husband's territory. He's the one who knows how to wield a chef's knife. Me, I use a dull camping blade, and I chop at random and with no regard to size or shape. But you know what? This is a crock pot meal, and it's all going to go in the blender in the end.

Then I added narrow, deep-green French beans.

A few onions, some baby spinach, and a couple of stalks of celery.

Season with dried herbs from the local spice shop (shallots and dill), a dash of extra virgin olive oil, a hint of rock salt, and go.

Six hours of cooking and a night of cooling in the fridge, add some roast turkey, a poached
egg yolk and the full-cream Greek yogurt, and it's ready for the blender.

Because QQ is only two weeks out from surgery, and her stitches and some of the packing are still in the process of dissolving, she's not supposed to have any rough particles in her food, so I put it all through a strainer and press it with a spoon.

Voila. A homemade and hearty autumn lunch.

Just look at how happy she is! This meal does a tiny body good.

And this is the gratifying result.

An hour later, on the return from our afternoon run, the tiny one begins to wake from her comfortable food coma.

This is the face that will stop you in your tracks. Those eyes!!

Still so, so sleepy...but the hands are beginning to creep toward the mouth. She will sometimes play happily for an hour or so without a single finger wandering toward her stitches...but once the idea enters her mind, there's no stopping her. That's when the dreaded arm braces have to go back on.
After two weeks, she is good and fed-up with the braces, and the minute I put them on and attached the Velcro strap, she started to scream.
I thought I had a solution...I had a pair of thumbless fleece mittens with me, and figured they'd prevent pointy fingers from entering her mouth without actually restraining her arms. Brilliant!

Or...not so brilliant. Here's a picture of the warning salvo of soft, menacing hisses.

This is not the worst she can dole out. Not even close. Nothing like the evil demon who appears when we put her in her crib at night. This is just an "I'm not happy, and I think you know why!" face.
Here's a hint: It's the mittens!!!!
And so it goes. Parenting is not easy.

11 comments:

Vivian M said...

I loved the term "food coma"! I think Flynn is entitled to a little attitude, considering all she is going through. Maybe this is a precursor to the teenage years? Now those are the ones I am dreading, our Kerri already is an emotional diva.
By the way, if you want some crock pot ideas, check out this blog:
http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

A Beautiful Mess said...

Cute even when she is hissed off:)

I love her food coma pic.

She looks so good! healthy and happy!

Stefanie said...

THOSE EYES is right! That one picture stopped ME in my tracks :)
Sorry to hear she's still having to wear the homemade 'no-no's, but it will be so worth it in the longrun. Her repair looks amazing!!

Yoli said...

Oh please hand me a bottle, that looks delicious..LOL.

The photo with both her little hands to her cheek and she is looking up, is out of this world beautiful.

Snowflowers Mum said...

that photo with her hands on her face is PRICELESS! love it...and the slowcooker meal sounds awesome!

Chrissie Larkin said...

I'm with yoli...looks so good!!!! I just printed the picture of her amazing eyes...it's going on the board! xo

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Forget Flynn... pass me a bottle of that... it looks delicious... hehehe... I too want a food coma... hehehe... tempted to make your dish and not blend it... still sounds great...

Julie said...

Did you save some of the (unblended) vegetable stew for you and Mike? It looks like it would be AWESOME. I love my slowcooker...

Rebecca of "China, Baby!" said...

oh, those eyes!!!

My Heart Beats In China said...

Hi Maia,
Glad to see that little QQ is doing so well. You are so right that photo of her beautiful eyes is a winner!
All the photos are beautiful, and there's nothing like fall in the Rockies. Oh how I miss them! Since I found your site I daydream about moving back there someday. Afterall my new and old friends are all there!

Happy Halloween!

Oh forgot to mention, I have a new blog makeover. check it out.

Ivy

My Heart Beats In China said...

Maia,
thanks for the cute comments. I just realized why you labeled this blog the Tiny Hurricane:)) I call Kira my little hummingbird, since she runs off all the calories I try to keep in her.
by the way, I remember being there when Kira couldn't eat the "normal" way. But after about 3wks the surgeon said it was okay. I too would take off those restraints only because she didn't go to her mouth.
That food looks wonderful. will have to copy it if you don't mind. I have the pickiest eater in the world!
Love the pumpkin pics, will be posting my photos from last night later.
You're family is adorable! Oh, can I put a link to your book on my blog?

Let me know.

Hugs,

Ivy