HAPPY NATIONAL WEANING WEEK - 4-10th May 2020
During these uncertain times, there is one certainty to your child’s life that you will go through and that is weaning. That word conjures up many emotions. Whether you are a first time Mum or an old hand at it, it is still a tricky time to navigate. It is also hugely unpredictable. No one knows how it is going to go. Of course – children are unpredictable beings! I experienced this at first hand. My first child was a dream to wean. I was rather smug. I pureed anything and everything I could get my hands on and she took everything I gave her from a spoon. It was relatively clean. There were few tears and she trundled off down her food journey with a happiness and true love for food.
Roll on daughter number two and I had assumed that the weaning journey would be the same. Oh no. Of course not. No two children are the same, I hear you say. She threw every possible curve ball at me. She wanted none of my purred food, lovingly made. She thought the idea of pre-made delicious shop bought food, an insult on her taste buds. She wanted to do it all herself and there was no way she wanted me involved at all. Baby-led weaning here we come. The control freak in me was not impressed, but the dog was delighted. Food was flung far and wide around the kitchen and she was the one calling the shots. With that, everything had to appear in a finger form. I cut everything long ways and let her do it – carrots, sausage, cucumber, cheese. And to fulfil the mum-guilt for not making anything, I went down the road of pancakes. Anything and everything went into a pancake. Some a success, some not.
What I was so grateful for, was that there are people out there to help and provide advice, and Fran at Wyld Cookery is one of them. Having done her weaning course with the The Parent and Baby Coach, Heidi, I felt equipped to cope (just!).
As part of National Weaning Week , Fran kindly gave me a recipe to try on the girls and indeed it was as yummy for the adults. It was also the perfect Lockdown activity. We were going to make these cheesy scones from start to finish. And the key ingredient was Wild Garlic. Of course, we are lucky, as we live in the countryside, so the wild garlic can easily be substituted for chives.
We were given a tip off from a dear friend. She sent us some clues and off we went. It felt like a Bear Hunt. We’re going on a Bear Hunt, we’re going to find wild garlic. That elusive green plant that grows in the woods. The 3 year old was not keen. Too far, she said Mummy. My legs hurt. My tummy hurts. Any excuse was thrown at me. But we plodded on. 20 month old strapped to my front, dog going bananas and the 3 year old grumbling. You get the picture. Of course, the smell gives it away. You can smell it from miles. There it was nestled between the bluebells. An onion-y smell that can be marmite to many. All three of us picked it and we bundled it home in the car.
However, the end result was that both girls were thrilled with the scones. They both ate them for lunch with crudities and other bits from the fridge thrown in. All-in-all a perfect lunch for us all!
We have the perfect weaning bowl for those of you on the hunt for good equipment. Made of bamboo with a silicon base, these saved me from many tears, as the bowl sticks to the table ensuring there aren’t too many accidents!
WILD GARLIC AND CHEDDAR SCONES - from Fran at Wyld Cookery
Makes a bakers dozen! …13
Why not go and dabble in a spot of foraging?! New lockdown activity….wild garlic is super plentiful, the smell usually gives it away!
These savoury scones are excellent and right up my street. The recipe below is fab for grown ups and children. I have made notes against the slight changes if you are cooking for little ones. The kids had them (warm and buttered!) for supper this evening with some ham, crudités and some sliced apple.
350g self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt (omit if only for babies)
1/4 tsp cayenne (omit for babies but great addition for an adults batch - I also left it in for my kids (2&4yrs) and they ate it so you could give it a whirl though there is definitely a warmth!)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
85g unsalted butter, COLD and cut into cubes
150g grated cheddar
100g natural yoghurt
20g wild garlic leaves, roughly chopped (if you can't get these then you could replace with 1-2 tbs finely chopped chives but do go on a hunt as the flavour and colour is magic)
1 egg, beaten to glaze or a little milk
- Heat the oven to 200C
- Sieve the flour, salt, cayenne and baking powder into a large bowl.
- Rub in the butter - this is a cheffy term for mixing the butter and flour together by picking up little bits at a time and rubbing it through your fingertips into the bowl BUT it needs a light touch through not a squashing action! It is done when the mix looks a bit like breadcrumbs. Mix through the cheese.
- In a whizzer add the milk, garlic leaves and yoghurt and whizz for about 20 secs. It will be green but still flecked which is perfect.
- Pour over the dry mix and, using a cutlery knife, cut through the mix until it is largely incorporated. At this point use your hands to bring the dough together without too much handling but enough so that it comes together.
- Pop on a board and roll to about 3 cm deep. Use a 7cm cutter and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Cut what you can and then bring back together, roll out and repeat until you have your 13 scones (or thereabouts!). Glaze the tops with the beaten egg/milk.
- Bake for 12-15 mins until golden and serve warm with LOADS of butter on.
NB I have slightly banged on about not overmixing/overworking - it’s in your best interest! An overworked scone is dense and you want these babies light, well risen and fluffy!
Fran offers a super on-line weaning workshop - for all of you who need that extra big of guidance right now during the lockdown. Check it out!