I still feel as though I haven’t gotten my cooking mojo back since it evaporated when I felt sick 100% of the time in the first trimester of pregnancy. Now and then I get the mood to cook and I throw myself into it by making extra for the freezer. I’m going to be hitting batch cooking pretty hard over the next couple of weeks as I wait for this little boy to make his debut.
We have the little guy’s room ready and I will give you a tour after he arrives. Home Sense has been my saving grace when it came to the finishing touches I needed on the room. I found the perfect canvas bins and laundry hamper. One bin is full of size 1 diapers and the laundry hamper is strategically placed near the change pad, ready to receive all manner of soiled clothing.
Now that the room is prepared, I will be having a hard time keeping my mind off of my fear of childbirth. To those woman who say that you forget the pain as soon as you hold you baby, I call bullshit on you. I’ve had a baby and I don’t forget the agony for one moment. I know that I’m doing it all again but don’t confuse the choice to go through it again with selective amnesia. Any twinge in my lower abdomen brings me swiftly back to those pre-epidural hours where I didn’t know how I was going to deliver my baby. I won’t go through all the details, but that epidural was absolutely necessary for me that day. Thank God for modern medicine.
I nearly had a breakdown in the grocery store the other day. I was messaging my husband while he was at work and I stood in front of the magazine rack, holding back tears. Poor guy must have felt so helpless as he attempted to write platitudes to calm me down while preparing for a meeting. There will be lots of chances for him to hold my hand and say, “There, there dear,” as I sit on the couch in a heap of tears in the coming weeks when my hormones get the better of me. Ok, he would never be that patronizing and say that, but you get the idea.
I can’t prepare much more for the actual birth of the baby, but I can stock my freezer with meals and desserts for those many, many days that I won’t have time to cook. I will be making several desserts and baked goods for the freezer, including: Cinnamon Buns, Gluten Free Black Raspberry and Cherry Pie, Oatmeal and Milled Flaxseed Chocolate Chip Cookies, and mother’s little helper – Applesauce, Prune & Milled Flaxseed Muffins. The cinnamon buns, pie, and cookies will go in the freezer unbaked and they freeze beautifully. I will bake the muffins and freeze them as soon as they have cooled. They don’t take long to thaw and I can always pop them in my seldom used microwave so that I can have a quick breakfast with little effort.
The fruit crisp topping recipe below has generally just been used for apple crisp since that is my favourite. I used my food processor for combining everything but that isn’t really necessary. A pastry blender and a large bowl will be sufficient to get the job done. This recipe uses buckwheat flour and wheat-free oats. Most rolled oats are processed with wheat, so if you have someone who is sensitive to gluten, search out the bag of oats labelled ‘wheat-free’. If you have not such sensitivities in your family then substitute regular flour for the buckwheat and use whatever oats you normally buy.
Use this topping for any fruit crisp, such as apple, pear, or frozen berries. For a simple apple crisp: peel and cut up 6-8 apples, mix together with 3 heaped tbsp of tapioca flour or 3 level tbsp of corn starch, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Pour the apples into a casserole dish and spread the crisp topping on the fruit. Bake at 375 F for an 1 hour or until a knife goes into the apples easily and it is bubbling around the sides of the dish. For a berry crisp, add a similar amount of sugar and use about 1 tbsp or corn starch per 2 cups of frozen berries.
For more detailed instructions on how to put together a crisp topping, please check out my older recipes for Apple and Blackberry Crisp (forgive the photos since it was one of my very first posts), and Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.
In the next week or so, I will share at least one more batch cooking recipe. What are your batch-cooking ideas for a mom preparing for her next baby? Feel free to share any words of comfort regarding birth. Convincing lies are also acceptable (ie. the 2nd baby wasn’t nearly as bad as my first labour). 😉
Double batch of gluten free fruit crisp topping that can be prepared ahead of time for apple crisp. It uses wheat-free oats and buckwheat as the base with some maple syrup to help bind it all together with extra flavour.
- 1 cup light buckwheat flour
- 1 cup cold butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 cups wheat-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- In a food processor with the blade attachment, add the buckwheat flour and cubed butter. Pulse the machine until the butter is pea-sized. You could also use a pastry blender and a large bowl.
- Add the brown sugar and pulse the machine 2 or 3 times to blend the sugar in with the flour.
- Add the rolled oats, cinnamon and maple syrup. Pulse the machine until the oats are mixed well with the maple syrup, butter and buckwheat.
- Divide the crisp topping in two and put in medium freezer bags or two freezer-friendly containers.
- Store until needed to top a fruit crisp such as apple or pear. See notes below for a suggestion of how to make the fruit portion of the crisp
Apple Crisp Suggestion
8 apples, peeled and cut into wedges
3 tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup brown sugar (use 1/3 cup maple syrup if you prefer)
Mix and add to a casserole dish. Spread one package of prepared crisp topping (no need to thaw) over the apples and bake at 375 F for an hour or until the apples are tender and the juices are bubbling vigorously around the sides.