Balloon Boy

What is it about a balloon sighting that causes our children to throw away all sense of reason and focus in the name of gaining it’s ownership?

Sure they’re bright, round, floaty and alluring but so are beach balls, bubbles and blowfish but they don’t go crazy for…ah…I think I’m starting to get it.

One day while having a pleasant (candy coating) stroll through the mall with my 2 yr. old Carter, he nearly took out the old and the bored masses to get to a store front display that was besieged with ribbons tied to colourful blown out rubber dancing orbs.

Tantrum time.

Try explaining to a 2 yr. old that they can’t have one of these wonders of the world because it’s a store display to attract attention.

Tantrums also attract attention…I suppose their strategy is working.

I digress…I want to share a recipe with you today for homemade chicken stock.

So many baby food purees require the use of chicken or veggie stock and homemade has so much less salt than store bought varieties.

Of course in a pinch you can still use a low sodium store bought chicken stock, but it’s really quite easy to make at home.

One thing to keep in mind though is if you freeze the stock to thaw and use later in a baby food recipe, you cannot then refreeze your new puree.

Your best bet is to make the stock, refrigerate it, and then within 3 days later prepare your baby food recipes so you can freeze the meals as normal.

I love that you don’t have to painstakingly dice all the veggies…you can throw big chunks in there because you will be straining everything out afterwards.

It’s fun cooking something that gives you that “everything but the kitchen sink” can be thrown in freedom without being too fussy!


The Mother of All Chicken Stocks

Age – 6 months +


  • 1 roast chicken carcass
  • 1 tbsp. of butter
  • 1 onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 celery stalks
  • ½ a rutabaga
  • small bunch of parsley
  • 2 sprigs of thyme and oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 8 cups of water

Baby Steps

  1. Clean, peel and chop veggies into large chunks and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium/high heat.
  3. Add veggies, stir and cook to let the flavour release for approx. 5 minutes.
  4. Add chicken carcass, water and herbs to the pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Turn down heat to medium/low, cover partially and simmer for 1 ½ hours.
  6. Let cool then cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  7. Skim off any fat that has collected to the top and strain the stock to take all the solid bits and chicken carcass out leaving a pure liquid stock.
  8. Transfer to a food storage container and keep in the fridge to be used within 3 days or freeze portions that can be used within 3 months.  But remember, if you freeze and thaw the stock, you shouldn’t then refreeze the new puree you make.  If you plan on making a small batch of baby food that will keep in the fridge and be used within a couple of days, using the frozen stock is ideal.

Makes – 6 cups

Note – Those store bought roast chickens that you can pick up for about $7-$10 at the grocery store are perfect for this.

You can use all the cooked chicken for other family meals and save the carcass for your stock.

For example, this week I’m using the chicken for two family dinners …one night a bbq chicken pizza.

Just toss the chicken in some bbq sauce and dress up Greek pitas as you would a pizza crust and use the chicken in place of the pepperoni. For the other dinner we’ll have chicken enchiladas…soft tortillas, chicken, onions, peppers, cumin, chilli powder, chicken stock, cheese, salsa popped in the oven…mmm…easy peasy.

I always appreciate quick dinners we can whip up.

It gives me more free time to investigate why kids love balloons so much.