Mommy’s Quiet Time | Cooking

February 24, 2009

I love to cook and to do as much as I can by scratch, and I thought it would just naturally extend into baby food and baby cookbooks, etc. Yeah, whatever. I spent all this money of containers for baby food, baby food cookbooks, baby food cooking flashcards of recipes, blenders, freezable trays. I went ALL out! I was going to cook for this baby and she would love it and we would have a grand old time.

Then reality set in. Mina barely ate any solid food, predominantly nursed and when she wanted food, it had to be store bought. I tried so hard to replicate Earth’s Best sweet potatoes! Mina would have none of it. I think the best advice to a new mom when considering baby food books is this: go to the library, check out ALL the books you can find, try them and then when the baby likes more than ONE recipe from a book, go and order it at TKE ( it will come in faster than Amazon!) and be satisfied that you didn’t waste a ton of money.

Now that Mina is a toddler, we cook together and she LOVES to cook and make up her own recipes. Just the other day, we made cookies and she decided on what to put in and which spice to choose. “Mama, I need to SMELL them! Mama, I need to TASTE them!” I look at toddler cookbooks with an eye of caution. Right now we read my cookbooks together and we make up our own recipes without cookbooks.

Fortunately or unfortunately, some of our lastest food creations have been influenced by Elmo or Pooh. We now put lots of honey in our cookies in honor of Pooh and spiral pasta is now called “Tigger tails.” I guess, if it helps to get her to EAT something, I will buy more “Tigger tails”. Sesame Street also introduces new food to Mina, through books, not TV. I got a coloring book last month and she would rather “read” it than color it. In it, Ernie, Bert, Zoe and Grover are around a campfire cooking hot dogs. Mina sees the picture and asks “What are they cooking?” To that I reply, “Hot dogs.” Of course, the next comment is an immediate, “I want a hot dog.” I tell her that we can get them at the market when we go, and end up wishing that you could buy just one hotdog instead of a pack of whatever it is. She ate her one hotdog and I spent the next week eating chicken hot dogs until I couldn’t look at them anymore! We were at a bookstore the other week and they had the Big Block Party which contained about 6 recipe cards. Yes, I bought it; I figured it was worth a shot. We went home and made Zoe’s Pink Tutu smoothies with bananas and strawberries. She ate some of it. Was it a waste of money? Not really, we still read the story out of it and we talk about the recipes. I think for right now, we will just cook together and bake together. When she begins to eat more and more consistantly, then I will probaly go with a backpack to TKE and buy out the whole shelf of children’s cookbooks! ~ Elif

What’s in Mina’s Book Bag?

February 4, 2009

1 book, 2 books, 3 books , 4! How many books can we fit through the door?

Counting has become very big in this house that last few weeks and highlights many of the books that we read each day. I didn’t realize how many counting type books we had until we started on this theme!

Last year, we started the counting collection with Counting Colors, a big board book. I brought it over to Turkey on our vacation because I thought it crossed the language barrier and that it could be read in either language and still make sense. It is a great book because we learn colors, counting, and we hone our skills at finding all different pictures.

We progressed to Chirstopher Counting in august. It is all about a little rabbit who loves to count and counts everything he sees. It really makes counting fun and that you can count anything, except maybe the stars in the sky!

Mina fell in love with Dr. Seuss’s Ten Apples Up On Top at Christmas time and has it just about memorized at this point. How the animals can balance so many apples up on their head and run down the lane is beyond me! The book is a contest, more or less, between three animals (lion, tiger and dog) to see who can get the most apples up on top of their heads without letting them fall.

At the moment, she is sitting in the recliner, next to bunny, and reading Ten Apples on top as the bunny “eats” her sunflower seeds.

Today’s favorite book at TKE was Ten Red Apples. It is a reprint of an older version, 1968, I believe. I just love the bright colors and graphic images that the old books used to have. This book is about an a farmer and his apple tree. All the animals on his farm, come one by one  and eat his apples! This book counts down the number from 10-1. It is a nice contrast to the others which usually count up.

We also take the counting theme into our Turkish books and read 1001 Hayvan Bulun (1001 Animals to Spot). Each page is a different animal environment and you need to find a certain number of animals hidden in each scene.

We try to balance our stories between Turkish and English and can’t wait to go to the bookstores in Turkey this summer to pick up some more!