The Middle

So here we are somewhere between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

It doesn’t seem like an appropriate time to embark on a new project, handle a nagging task, or make a life changing decision.

Feats such as that are best left to the New Year which gives me time to procrastinate here for now.

I’m not even quite sure what day of the week it is and it’s rather exciting not having to know until January 2, which is back to work day.

It’s a great time of year to relax, reminisce about the past year and play with, wear, or read any Christmas gifts we were fortunate enough to receive.

Let’s try that new lip balm that was stuffed with care into our Christmas stocking, and wrap up in that life changing super absorbent hair towel a loved one surprised us with…o.k. maybe that one was just me.

It’s also a great time of year to live vicariously through our kids.

Watching them play with their coveted new toys is pretty entertaining.

My son has watched a new Elmo video several times now, but he still yells, “oh no, mommy!” when Telly is skateboarding out of control.

It’s as if he has no idea what the outcome will be.

He’s not convinced that the same chain of events that played out the other 9 times he watched it will repeat.

Wouldn’t it be great if we were so innocent and un-jaded that we could look at a situation we’ve seen play out several times before with an unbiased initial view?

Toddler misses his nap…I’ve seen this one played out before…brace yourself for a horrible afternoon.

If we were more like our toddlers we could be blissfully unaware of the monster that may or may not appear courtesy of a missed nap.

O.K. back on track…I received a new vegetable peeler in my stocking this year that you kind of wear like a ring?!?

I like rings, so I’m going on a peeling rampage!

I don’t want to just peel one kind of veggie…I want to see how this thing works on all kinds of specimens.

What can I make that requires the peeling variety that I seek?

Only a chicken stew with a diverse cross section of veggies will cure this peeling fever!


A Multitude of Veggies Chicken Stew

Age – 6 + months – However, be sure baby has tried each veggie used in this recipe during the solid food introductions period leaving about 3 days in between each to monitor for any allergic reactions.


  • 1 small boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 small white potato
  • 1 cup chopped rutabaga
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (homemade or low sodium store bought)
  • ½ tsp. ground thyme spice (if baby is over 8 months)

Baby Steps

  1. Peel and chop all veggies and set aside.  I like to do all my peeling and chopping of the veggies before chopping the meat and starting to cook.  It serves two purposes…you’re less stressed and rushed over getting your peeling and chopping done before something over-cooks on the stove, and by chopping the veggies first you avoid any cross-contamination from the knife and cutting board courtesy of the raw meat transferring to the veggies.
  2. Chop chicken into small chunks.
  3. Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add chicken.
  4. Cook until chicken is slightly brown on the outside and no longer pink on the inside…approx. 8 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  6. Add onions to pan and cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the rest of the chopped veggies, the cooked chicken, chicken broth and ½ cup of water to the pan.
  8. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  9. If baby is over 8 months, feel free to add the thyme for a new flavour dimension.  If not, leave it out.
  10. Cover pan and reduce heat to medium/low and cook for approx. 45 minutes stirring occasionally.  Use this non-labour intensive cooking time to play with baby or fold some laundry…you know…all of those fun nagging parenthood tasks.
  11. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  12. Transfer to a food processor, blender, or vessel to use a hand blender and puree to desired consistency.

Makes  approx. 24 servings (2 tbsp. = 1 serving)

Tip – This recipe is also great for toddlers and adults for that matter.

You can add some salt and pepper to an adult’s portion, and just make sure the chunks of chicken and veggies are small enough for a toddler to handle without pureeing them.

So until New Year’s Eve when that clock strikes midnight signifying a shot gun start into a shiny new year, I’ll be marinating here in the middle for a while.