Mini BB is 5 months now, and fast approaching the time when weaning (off breast and onto food) will begin. I had been looking forward to this, convinced it would somehow, magically, see the him sleeping through the night and conveniently forgetting, until my friend reminded me, that in fact you end up doing nothing but feeding them ALL DAY LONG (and all night too if you’re particularly unlucky). It feels like you’ve regressed to the newborn stage, only with worse nappies, in a routine that goes roughly: milk/breakfast/milk/lunch/milk/dinner/milk and overnight feeds. Hmmm.
To add to this I will have to fit in Little BB’s three-meals a day plus endless snacks, and that’s before I’ve even begun potty training him, which I have brilliantly scheduled to begin at roughly the same time as the weaning. Oh joy. For all these reasons I suspect that Baby Led Weaning will feature more prominently in Mini BB’s life experience than it did in LBB’s. Not that I’m against pureeing endless batches of butternut squash/carrots/peas etc and freezing them in miniscule containers. Oh no. What a wonderful time that was for all concerned. Anyway, whilst I still have some time on my hands (ha ha) I have opted to try varying LBB’s diet with food I can also shortly give to Mini BB; hence ricotta pancakes. The addition of the cheese makes it into a balanced meal as far as I’m concerned, and if you can smuggle in some grated veg (carrots, courgettes etc) so much the better.
Recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer
Makes about 12 (Nigella says 25, but really they must be miniscule)
Ingredients250g ricotta cheese 125ml milk 2 eggs, separated 100g plain flour 1tsp baking powder A pinch of salt Groundnut/rapeseed oil for frying
Put the ricotta cheese, milk and egg yolks into a large bowl and mix well to combine. You will note from the photos that I originally failed to follow my own advice and had to decant it all into a larger bowl.
Stir in the flour and baking powder and salt and whisk gently to make a smooth batter.
Beat the egg whites with a hand whisk until light and frothy – much easier than it sounds, really it just needs to be foamy and this only takes 30 seconds or so. Even LBB managed it (see photo). Fold the foamy whites into the batter, trying to retain as much air as possible in the mixture.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and drop heap desert spoonfuls of the batter. They will spread a bit, so don’t put them too close together.
Cook the pancakes for about 1 minute, until golden (or as here, burnt looking) then flip over and cook for another minute. Remove them from the pan and keep warm while you do the rest. Nigella suggests you do this by tenting with foil on a large warmed plate. I like to put them on kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil and as LBB only likes food at ambient temperatures, don’t bother about the warm thing.
I tried adding grated courgette to the mix before frying in attempt to get more vegetables into LBB. This worked, in as much as the hotcakes were yummy, but not in as much as LBB refused to touch them. Even after he had been ‘doing baking’ as he repeatedly told me as he mixed the batter. Not strictly accurate given the absence of any use of the oven, but he’s only two, so let’s cut him some slack.