While we anxiously await the birth of the British royal baby (I almost feel like Royal Baby should be capitalized 'cause it's that big of a deal), I wanted to take a second to let all of the other new babies out there know that we're thinking about you, too. People seem abnormally concerned with issues like what the baby will wear and what the baby will eat. It's not fair that this one kid gets all the attention.
So for you, my infant readers, I have compiled some baby food recipes inspired by British cuisine. Now you, too, can eat like a royal baby.
Note: I have no children, and as such none of these recipes have been tested on actual wee humans. My cat liked them, though.
Mushy Peas Mushy British peas are kind of a big deal in the culinary world, as evidenced by an epic fight about pea puree on a recent season of Top Chef. To make them, you'll need dried marrowfat peas, which are usually available in bulk dry food sections of grocery stores. You could also just use frozen peas and call it a day.
10 oz pkg frozen peas or 8 oz dried marrowfat peas ¼ cup beef, chicken or vegetable broth 1 tbs butter salt and pepper to taste
Boil frozen peas for a few minutes until warm and mushy, or cook marrowfat peas according to directions on package (usually involves simmering overnight). Drain peas and place all ingredients in food processor. Blend until...you know, blended. Season to taste. Place crown on baby's head and feed.
Bangers and Mash You remember those episodes of Arrested Development where Tobias pretended to be Mrs. Featherbottom, a British nanny who apparently took a page out of Mrs. Doubtfire's dysfunctional book? There's one scene where he/she is serving breakfast and he/she asks the family, "Who wants a banger in the mouth?" He thinks a second then says, "Oh, I forgot, here you call it a 'sausage in the mouth'!"
Yeah, apparently bangers are sausages. Mash is mashed potatoes. Oh, Brits. Why the weird names? I digress. Regardless of what you call it, this is one hearty baby food.
1/2 pound Cumberland sausage or other pork sausage 2/3 cups broth (chicken, beef or veggie) 1 peeled cooked potato 1 tbs minced garlic 1 tbs minced onion salt and pepper to taste
If sausage is uncooked, cook in a fry pan over medium heat until nicely charred on either side. Boil potato until it is soft and mushy. Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until chunky but generally mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Teach child to call hot dogs "bangers." Serve.
Curry Despite being Indian in origin, curry has become a wildly popular British food because, you know, India was a colony for a long-ass time. I personally think it's great to introduce babies to spicy food at an early age so they get used to eating a variety of flavors. And then, when they grow up, they, too, can go to journalism school and become food critics with never-ending student loan debt. And you'll get some free meals out of it. So again, start them early with curry.
1 cup cooked lentils 1/2 onion chopped 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 medium carrot, peeled and cubed one 13.5 oz can coconut milk pinch of cumin 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Cook onion, sweet potatoes and carrots in saucepan with olive oil until they begin to get soft. Stir in the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add the lentils and spices. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add some water if the mixture starts to get too dry. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Blend in food processor. Serve on your most beautiful, ornate dinnerware.
Hasty Pudding This pretty much is baby food already. I mean, it's pudding. And it's quick to make for the mom-on-the-go! I can't believe I just used "mom-on-the-go" in a sentence. Ugh. Here's your pudding recipe.
1 cup packed brown sugar 1 cup boiling water 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 tbs butter pinch of cinnamon 3/4 cup flour 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 milk 1 tsp baking powder optional raisins, nuts or other dried fruit
Mix brown sugar, boiling water, vanilla and butter and pour into medium-size baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, white sugar, milk and baking powder and any other squirrel food you want to add. Drop heaping spoonfuls on top of the mixture in the baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool, and serve to hungry child staring up at you with an empty bowl and asking, "Please sir, I want some more."
Fish and Chips You didn't think I'd teach you about British baby food without including the classic pub fare fish and chips, did you? This one's really easy and almost terrifyingly gross. Think Gallagher with the fish and the blender. Yeah.
1 order fish from your favorite pub 1 order chips from your favorite pub fish broth
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Add fish broth to get a nice, creamy texture. Serve if you hate your child.
This devolved really quickly from food for a royal baby to fried fish in a blender. I'm not sure how that happened, but congrats to the royal family whenever the day comes. And congrats to all you other babies being born out there. May your parents love you enough not to make you eat this food.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.