I love Christmas for many reasons but mostly because the world almost stands still for a day or two.
We’re forced to break from our intense 9-5 existence and move friends and family up to #1 on our priority list, which is where they ultimately should be, but sometimes is an impossibility in our harried world.
It’s really the only time in the year where we can truly put our work hat away in an inconvenient, out of reach storage bin for a few days.
Sure we get mini vacations here and there throughout the year, but co-workers are still toiling away while you’re gone instigating that incessant, nagging feeling that you may have forgotten to do something… you must check your e-mail and stay connected somehow or the company will fold.
But not this time of year…nope…at this time of year the majority of us put away our spreadsheets, sales plans and strategies for a brief moment in time to allow for a guilt free, unwavering focus on our other life.
Of course we can’t forget about all the comfort food that goes hand and hand with our holiday celebrations…like the almighty turkey!
Let’s Talk Turkey...
· Charles Dickens’, “A Christmas Carol” is credited for making turkey the popular fare for Christmas Dinner.
· Big Bird, of Sesame Street fame, has 4000 white turkey feathers, dyed yellow, adorning his bird body even though he’s not a turkey…he’s just a very large bird.
· The first turkeys were imported into England in 1526 from the USA (although some sources say Spain) by trader William Strickland.
· Because of the bird’s size, unique taste, succulent flavour and decorative value as a centerpiece on the festive table, it soon became the food of choice to serve for the holidays.
· The adult male turkey is the one who makes that exasperating “gobble, gobble” sound whereas the female makes a gentle clucking or clicking sound…makes sense.
· The English tradition of serving turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, roast or mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, brussel sprouts, peas, and parsnips for Christmas dinner, in variation, still holds true in many households today.
Had to throw this one in on Candy Canes…
During the 17th. century craftsmen created white sticks of candy in the shape of shepherd’s crooks at the suggestion of the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. They were given to children to keep them quiet during the ceremonies at the living crèche or nativity scene…hmmm…giving kids things to keep them quiet…another thing that holds true over the centuries.
So today in the spirit of the holidays and the fact that at this time of year you probably don’t feel like setting up your production line of ingredients and freezing trays in the kitchen, I’m going to show you how you can make baby’s Christmas dinner without any extra cooking over and above that of which is required for the traditional family feast.
For those Solid Food Apprentices out there of 6 + months of age, you can focus on using the potatoes and veggies.
- As long as you were diligent with introducing baby to their first foods one at a time so you know they aren’t allergic to any you’re serving here you’re all set.
- Cook the potatoes and veggies as you would…but steaming the veggies rather than boiling them retains more of their vitamins. Just make sure to season the family’s food after you set aside baby’s portion. For the portion sizes, take about ¼ cup of the veggies and ¼ cup of the potatoes.
- Place the portion of veggies and potatoes (white, or even better, sweet potatoes) into a blender, food processor or vessel to use a hand blender, and add a tsp. of butter and a few tbsps. of the water you used to steam the veggies. Puree together to a smooth consistency. Add more water as required.
- Take about 2 tbsps. (1 serving) of the final puree to feed to baby and then put the rest in the fridge for the next day.
- For the Solid Food Intermediates, 7-8 months +, you can add some turkey into the above mixture. Just take a slice of the cooked turkey meat and put in a blender or food processor and pulse until crumbled. Add the turkey to the veggies, potatoes, butter and water and puree to the desired consistency.
Voila…Christmas Feast for Baby.
So let’s all use this mandatory (for the most part) holiday to steal some time, free of other preoccupations, to have fun with and cherish all those big ones and little ones in our lives we are so fortunate to call our family and friends.