Sunday, 30 January 2011

Cauliflower Cheese and Tiredness

Hmm.  Perhaps he's not ready.  Night 1 wasn't too bad, we got him to 5:15am before we fed him but last night was a bit of disaster.  From 3:45 to 4:45 he cried on and off.  It's heartrending and goes against what feels natural.  I know rationally he probably doesn't need night feeds anymore but he does want them.  In the end I fed him at 4:45 and then he slept till 6, fed again then slept till 6:45 which is the latest he's got up for about a month.  We tried giving him water to get him to calm down but he was not fooled.

I think I've resolved to aim for 4am feeding as the earliest time (previously it was 3:15) and then take it in small steps from there.  Perhaps we were trying too much of a big jump.

Anyway, weekends are often the time I get a chance to cook him some meals for the freezer.  Yesterday I had a cauliflower that needed eating and plenty of full fat milk.  I did um and ah about putting such a simple recipe on here but I do make my white sauce in a slightly strange (and easy) way so I thought I would include it.

Makes around 4-5 portions for my baby, would make more for smaller ones.

1 head of cauliflower broken into florets (can use broccoli as well)
Full fat milk, I didn't measure it but it was probably 1/2 - 3/4 of a pint
Cornflour (about 2-3 dsp)
Grated mature or extra mature cheddar (he's now onto vintage farmhouse!)
Unsalted butter


Boil the cauliflower for 5-7 minutes until soft enough for your little one.  Drain.  Heat the milk in the microwave for around 2 mins until boiling or nearly boiling.  Mix the cornflour with some cold milk or water to make a paste, then pour into the milk stirring constantly, it should start to thicken immediately (if it doesn't, it will need longer microwaving afterwards).  Add the cheese and about half an ounce of butter and mix.  Microwave again for around 30 seconds; keep an eye on it as it can boil over.  If it's not thickened give it a bit longer.  If it still doesn't thicken, add a bit more cornflour paste.  Taste to make sure it doesn't taste floury (in which case it will need cooking a bit more).

Puree the vegetables and cheese sauce for little babies or you could use a food processor for older babies like mine so it's still a bit textured.

For babies 10 months plus, you could either leave the florets whole or cut into small (pea or bean sized) chunks before boiling and don't puree at all.  Then feed to your baby either by spooning or allowing them to feed themselves (or a combination of the two which seems to be the norm in this household.)

You could use a similar recipe for any mix of vegetables but green vegetables work particularly well and a mix is good, e.g. broccoli, green beans, peas, spinach (effectively a vegetable gratin) and it can be a way to get babies to accept new and stronger vegetable tastes if they're already keen on the cheesy sauce.

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