Saturday 14 December 2019

Keeping the peas is inspired by baby food textures

It's a miracle that Yer Man is thriving, as Himself loathes feeding him, while Sophie White devours all his rusks

Sophie White
Sophie White

Sophie White

Right around the time Yer Man first started to show any interest in eating food not dispensed by nipple or teat, Himself developed an unfortunate phobia. He hates feeding the baby, he finds it too disgusting.

I think it's the texture and consistency of Yer Man's preferred foods that revolt him so much. There's also my habit of pre-digesting the food. I occasionally do this while out and about, when I lack the facilities to blend the food properly. Hey, what can I say? Birds do it; it's natural.

Himself thinks I am just indulging my ridiculous delusions of being some kind of baby-led earth mother, and maintains that it is a disgusting practice - which, I guess, it is. He also cannot abide the way I operate a 'one for you, one for me' policy when feeding, to encourage him to eat the dinner. My eating the baby's mush creeps him out.

I, on the other hand, love nothing more than peas mashed with sweet potatoes. It is delicious, and takes me back to a simpler time in my life when all I ate was rusks and Petit Filous. Both items, I've noticed, inspire great affection whenever produced amongst the Bitchherd - in fact, we've all kind of re-embraced the rusks.

What gets to Himself most of all is when I clean Yer Man's face by licking the food directly off it. My reasoning is that: a) it's only soggy Weetabix and mashed banana; and b) it saves on the washing - bibs are much like socks, I've discovered; for every two that go in to the wash, only one comes out.

Another universal domestic truth is that most kitchen gadgets are rarely used, as they are largely stored in hard-to-access cupboards. Retrieving an appliance involves bending over and clearing away the untold amounts of crap in front of said appliance. The food processor is different; it now lives out on the counter permanently - what with Yer Man's insistence on a smooth, paste-like consistency with all his foods - and I decided to take advantage of its new, convenient location. So here is my current gastro craze, a pureed dip inspired by Yer Man's baby food. Also, as Himself is horrified by the colour and texture, I get to eat it all.

Pea and Goats' Cheese dip with Garlic Pittas

Makes a generous bowlful.

For the dip, you will need:

160g (5½oz) frozen peas

150g (5¼oz) soft goat's cheese

2 spring onions, finely sliced

A generous handful of fresh mint

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

For the garlic pittas, you will need:

2 cloves garlic

6 tablespoons olive oil

3 pitta breads

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Cook the frozen peas as per the packet's instructions, then put the cooked peas and the goat's cheese into the food processor. Add the finely sliced spring onions, along with the fresh mint and the lemon zest. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth, adding the olive oil just before the mixture is fully combined.

Crush the garlic cloves and mix these into the olive oil. Tear the pittas into small chunks and arrange on a lined baking tray. Brush the pitta chunks with the garlic and olive oil mixture, then sprinkle over the dried thyme, the sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for about 5 minutes until crisp and golden. Serve with the dip.

Alternatively, if you'd like more of a bruschetta idea, spread whole pieces of pitta with the pea and goat's cheese dip, then top with some crispy bacon and drizzle over a little lemon oil.

Sunday Independent

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