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Over-Protective? Me?

So a fit of industriousness strikes me and I set to making more baby food.  We’ve got sweet potatoes stocked up in the freezer and the as-yet-unintroduced avocados frozen, cubed, and ready to go, but I’ve got a bunch of butternut squash in the fridge that needs to be dealt with as well as a lovely gift box of Riviera pears that are perfectly ripe and soft and I know my motherly duty to waste not, want not, so I virtuously roll up my sleeves and give up my evening off.

That, plus I want to hit the mall tomorrow and it seems a great opportunity to test out the new baby food cube trays that I got for Christmas.  What, like I’m the only one playing with my new toys?

At any rate, I start the steamer going and dump the pre-cut squash into the tray.  I’m not a big squash fan (Madeleine seems to love it and it’s all I can do to keep from looking at her askance as if to say, “Really?  You think that tastes good?”) so I’d decided to spend the extra cash and buy pre-made baby food squash as a rule, but there was this all-ready-for-me tray in the produce aisle for only $2.49, saying, “All you have to do is steam me and puree me!  What could be easier!  Do you know how many $1 jars of baby food I’d make?”  I couldn’t pass it up.  I bought it a few days ago, but heck, how fast could it go bad?

I steam it for a couple of minutes, come back to check on it, and do a double-take.  All the edges of my budget squash are now brown and mushy.  Since I don’t really like the gourd family, I don’t cook it much, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t look like this before I started the steaming.  Does squash do this when it gets hot?  Was the vegetable moldy and it took the heat to bring the villainous mold to light?  Am I making a death-potion for my baby??

I tell myself I’m being ridiculous; what are the odds that, even if the squash is slightly old, it would toxify so quickly a bite will harm Maddie?  Like, a billion to one.  I tell myself to get over it.  Then I do what any sane mother would do.

I call a girlfriend.

Abby seems doubtful that the brown is anything bad; probably just the way it’s cooking.  Nothing to worry about.  But she sounds like much more of a squash expert than I am, and she’s not there in my kitchen, so I take the logical next step.

I take a picture of the questionable squash and email it to her.

Five minutes later, Abby, her husband (a true expert chef) and I are huddled around our respective computer screens.  After much debating, we decide that since the brown was not there pre-steaming, it’s probably just carmelization from the sugar and the heat.  Totally safe for her to eat.

Only one way to be sure, though, and I know I must take that last step.

I must taste the squash.

Did I mention I’m not a big fan?

Not only do I taste the brown part, but since I think squash tastes icky in the first place, I take a second bite of the still-orange part to make sure they taste the same.  This must be love.

I’d better add this to my list of Sacrifices Mommy Made for You that I’ll share with Maddie when she’s old enough to feel guilty –er - appreciate it.


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