yams are yum

Claire and I are sharing our second bad cold, but still managed to have a memorably happy day.

Jeremy made oatmeal and tea before heading off to the Death Labs at dawn. I did the 9am editorial call in my bathrobe with C on my lap. At one point she squeaked indignantly, interrupting another analyst.

Analyst (sharply): What was that?

Me: I do apologize, that was Claire…

Analyst (relieved): Oh, it sounded like a sarcastic comment.

Me: She’s very sarcastic. I have no idea where she gets it from.

I shuffled my meetings for the rest of the day, ate my oatmeal, drank my tea and took the baby back to bed. We played, read the new Harry Potter and slept on and off until about 2.30pm. She bounced in her Kick’n’Play while I showered and cooked up the remains of yesterday’s Thai dinner in Jeremy’s cast iron pan. I’d’ve left the leftovers at the restaurant if Jack hadn’t told me to take them home. Fried up together, they made a delicious and substantial lunch, and I was grateful to Jack for his foresight.

Claire and I shared a banana smoothie (two bananas, plain Brown Cow Cream Top yogurt, rice milk) while I steamed a glorious sweet potato. It went into the steamer pale pink, and gradually turned deep gold with the most wonderful fragrance. I Bamixed the beJesus out of it, then forced it through a wire mesh. It turned to orange silk. I don’t actually like sweet potato much, but this tasted already-candied; you’d swear there was brown sugar in the puree, but there isn’t.

Claire looked skeptically at the first spoonful. She’s sucked on rockmelon (canteloupe) and apricot, but all her serious solids so far have been green or white: banana, avocado, yogurt, rice cereal. Still, the rockmelon and apricot experiences should have tipped her off – she adored them both. She took her first taste of yam, ruminated thoughtfully upon it, grabbed the spoon out of my hand and started passionately making out with it.

Her expression must have been the same one that everyone laughed at when they took me to Tetsuya’s: “O brave new world, that has such foodstuffs in it!” There was yam on her forehead and in her ears and up to her elbows. She smeared it down her thighs. She was in yam heaven.

She had three helpings, and I froze the rest, along with some carrots and apples, also steamed and pureed and forced through the mesh. It was a wonderful afternoon, with the sun shining in from our new deck and the baby playing in her bouncy chair and me with the food cube production line moving along well, singing loud tuneless parodies to keep her amused. I hope this is a big part of her life, hanging out in the kitchen while her parents cook delicious food from awesome organic ingredients. I hope that for her, food will never be a drug or unappetising or problematic, but always just part of what makes life worth living.

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