This was Luke’s first ‘table food.’ To this day it is hand’s down his favorite meal. I know that pediatricians recommend starting babies on bland food, but I’ve been around babies all my life, and it never occurred to me to ask how to feed him. I doubt I would’ve gone with such a recommendation, seems like a way to guarantee that your baby will be a picky eater. People are amazed that Luke pretty much eats what we eat, but I can’t imagine that it would be otherwise. We simply sat him at the table with us when he was about five months old. When he started reaching for the food, we gave it to him. If it was meat, I’d chew it in my mouth first. (Yeah, I know some folks think that’s gross, but again, that’s the way I’d always seen it done, so that’s what I did.) Interestingly enough, there is some speculation that there are fewer food allergies in low income and minority communities because babies are fed from the table.
Luke was a breastfed baby, so he was accustomed to the type of food I ate anyway, and I love spicy garlicky food. I made all his baby food, not because I’m so crunchy but because I didn’t see the point in buying separate food for him when I cooked all the time anyway. When he moved up to chunky food, I’d make him a chicken stew that actually had carrots, onions and garlic in it. He loved it. I never bought ‘baby cereal’ for him. I’m cook Quaker Old-Fashioned oats in milk and mash up a banana in it for sweetness. He still prefers his oatmeal this way.
When he was in school his classmate’s parents were always pointing him out as an example to their kids because he at so well. We’re really blessed that he’s such a healthy, hearty eater.
about 20 oil-cured black olives, pitted and diced (You can use regular black olives if you can’t find oil-cured, but they’re so much better.)
4 boned anchovy fillets (I usually just put the whole tin in, but I love anchovies)
2 cloves of garlic (I usually do about 6, but I LOVE garlic)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon capers
Three or four ripe plum tomatoes, finely sliced (sometimes I use canned)
Salt and pepper to taste
A pound of spaghetti
Chop the garlic and sauté it in the oil with the anchovies, stirring the mixture about to break up the anchovies. When the garlic’s lightly browned, add the olives, capers, and tomatoes. Check seasoning. Simmer the sauce for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Stir the sauce into the pasta and serve.