Monday, December 31, 2012

can this really be happening?

this week, with a mingled sense of excitement, grief, happiness and disbelief, i put the invitations for arty's first birthday party in the post.

(excuse my dirty fingernails - i'd just been doing some gardening!)

i found the invitations on etsy - they're vintage, dutch, and about fifty kinds of cute.

s-j is planning his cake, and i'm collecting bits and pieces for some fun party bags.
this day is going to be upon us before we know it, and we're going to do our best to make it special.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

first christmas

arty's first christmas passed in a blur of family, friends, food, and festivity.
he loved spending time with his favourite people, and has had a blast playing with his new toys.

we started a couple of our our own traditions as a family.
inspired by his oddparents, arty chose a present for a baby his own age to place under the wishing tree for someone less fortune than himself. we will definitely be doing this together every year.

i made him his very own stocking, which of course he was too young to know what to do with this year. i wanted him to have it for his first christmas, and hopefully for many christmases to come.

i also made all three of us our own decorations to hang on the tree together every year.

and now it's nearly the end of the year, and we're enjoying the remaining skerricks of the christmas cake, and the final days of having the decorations up before moving on to 2013... and somebody's very first birthday...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

baby noms: festive turkey dinner

arty has been so keen on all the festive food that's been around for the last couple of weeks. he thoroughly enjoyed the different elements of christmas lunch that he sampled, and even had a taste of his mummy's delicious christmas cake.

with that in mind, i decided to make him some festively-inspired baby noms.

no matter how delicious it is, a puree always looks like mush...

festive turkey dinner


250g turkey mince
1/3 cup dried cranberries
sprig of fresh sage leaves (approx 1 tbsp when roughly chopped)
1 small onion, chopped
1 large sweet potato, diced
1 tbsp butter
drizzle of olive oil


  • fry the onions and sage in olive oil until the onions become translucent
  • add turkey and cranberries, and continue to cook onver medium heat until turkey begins to brown
  • meanwhile, either steam or boil sweet potato until tender
  • mash sweet potato with butter, and combine with cooked turkey mixture
  • puree for smaller babies, or serve as is for bigger one

don't wait til next christmas to try this one. it's yummy all year 'round.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

dear arthur: 11 months

my darling one,

this month seems to have sped by even more quickly than any other since you've been born. maybe it's because this is a busy time of year. maybe it's because time seems to be gathering momentum as your first birthday approaches.

you are starting to understand language more and more. when we say "where is your head?" you put your hands on your head, and you put your hands on your tummy when we ask you where your tummy is. it is, quite honestly, the most adorable thing in the world, and i am so proud of you. when we cheer for you, you clap your little hands in glee.

last month you became interested in cupboards and drawers, and this month this interest has extended to boxes, baskets and bags. you like to move objects in and out of them, and understand when we say things like "put the block in the box". it's so exciting to see you comprehend and follow simple instructions like that, because it shows that you're understanding your world, and your language, in new ways.

we think you have said a few words, but you never seem to say them more than once or twice. we're sure you said "josie" when she was sitting in the back of the car with you the other day, and you have said "up" a couple of times when you've wanted me to pick you up.
you're still saying "dat" for cat, and "nununu" for any forbidden objects (power cords, shoes, glasses), and those are the two words you say with most consistency.

in the last few days you've started pointing at things when you want us to give them to you, or notice them. i like to try and say the name of whatever you're pointing at so you make the connection between the word and the object.

your separation anxiety seems to be reaching a peak at the moment, which i believe is right on cue. you often get upset when i leave the room, especially if i leave you with someone other than your mummy. the other night your mummy and i went out for dinner, and your lovely babysitters called us after about half an hour to say that you would not stop crying, and i had to come home to you. i was happy to do so, because i want you to know that your mummy and i will always come for you if you need us.

we got to spend a couple of days with your nana this month, when she came to visit from perth. you enjoyed hanging out with her, and she made the most of cuddle time with her grandson. it was a lovely couple of days.

you are getting quite close to standing independently. sometimes, when you have been hanging onto the couch, you will become so absorbed in playing with a toy that you will forget to hold on. you stand there until you realise what's happened, and then you plonk down on your bottom.
i don't think it will be long before you're walking.

this month most of the babies from our mothers group came down with a bad case of hand, foot, and mouth (hfm) and unfortunately, you were among them. you spent a couple of days in abject misery, with a high temperature, vomiting, and no appetite at all. then you broke out in nasty little spots in your nappy area, on your arms, legs and around your mouth. it was so hard to watch you suffer - you seemed so confused as to why you felt so bad, and why we couldn't fix it. i hope we don't have to go through anything like that again for a long time (bunny hopes so too).

your favourite games at the moment are noisy ones. you love to knock down towers that your mummy builds for you. you love whacking our stainless steel cooking bowls with spoons. you love making big splashes in the bath. you love dropping things from your high chair to hear what they sound like when they hit the ground. it is lots of fun to play these games with you, and see your little face light up when things go bang.

you're now big enough for us to order you your own little meals when we go out to cafes. you are a proper little inner-northern baby, and you love to brunch on eggs, toast, avocado, asparagus, and beans. it's a lot of fun to go out with our friends and eat together.

your infectious laugh, your insatiable curiosity, your fierce determination, and your sweet, affectionate little nature, are my joy and my delight, little one. i love you more every single day.

with all my heart,
your mama xxx

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

poor bunny

sometimes i think it would be a sweet gig to be a baby's sleep toy. you'd get to be snuggled by a sleepy little creature as they have their baby dreams, and snuffle and sigh through the night.
but then there are the times when you get covered in spew, and have to get hung on the line by your ears.

swings and roundabouts.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

old bag revisited

before arty was born, i made a post about the bag i was taking to hospital. it was  the one my mum had made and taken with her to hospital to have me.
at the time i mentioned that she and my grandmother used to carry me around in it sometimes, and that there was a photo of that somewhere.
well, my mum found it recently, and posted it on my wall on facebook.

looks like i was pretty happy about the whole situation! who wouldn't be?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

why we're a no-santa family

arty's first christmas is fast approaching. we've started decorating the house, sj has made pudding, and there are already a few presents under the tree. but there will be no presents "from santa" for arty.

maybe you think this makes us mean and joyless parents. maybe you think we're robbing our son of a magical part of his childhood, but hear me out. i think there are some very good arguments for not doing the santa thing.

1. he's a bit creepy
this may be my flimsiest reason, but i'm opening with it because it is totally legitimate.
i find the whole concept of santa kind of unsettling. a bearded recluse who lives in isolation all year round, except for one night when he breaks into people's houses, eats their food, and judges their children worthy or unworthy of reward based on his seemingly arbitrary judgement of their behaviour? that is WEIRD!
only invited guests are welcome in my house, and they'll keep their judgements about my son's conduct to themselves if they know what's good for them.

2. he's not real
we don't have a lot of hard and fast rules about how we parent. we tend to go by feel, and amend our ideas based on how things work, or how circumstances change. that said, we do have a strong commitment to certain overarching principles, and one of those is (age appropriate) honesty.
as they mature, plenty of kids come to a perfectly happy understanding that santa is a fiction made up by their parents to help make christmas a little more magical, but i'm not happy to risk the possibility that arty will see this innocent deception as a more serious betrayal, and come to question his parents' integrity on other levels when he discovers he's been lied to about the jolly gift-giver.

3. i like giving presents
buying presents is fun! we put a lot of time and thought into selecting gifts for our family, and i'll be damned if i'm going to let some other bugger get the credit for the gifts we picked out!

4. what about the other kids?
there is a deep injustice that comes along with the santa myth, and this is the real deal breaker for me.
when kids get together and compare their gifts after christmas, how do we explain why santa was kinder to the children of wealthier parents? was there something lacking in the children whose parents couldn't afford to buy them the newest and best toys? should they have tried harder to be better? did santa just ignore them because they aren't as important?
the santa myth reinforces the injustices of class and social inequality, and that doesn't sit well with me at all.

if we have anything to do with it, arty will have many happy christmases.
he'll eat pudding, he'll play with tinsel, he'll watch 'the wind in the willows' with us in accordance with smith-deGraaf family tradition. and of course he'll have presents to unwrap. but he'll know they're from the people who love him.

Friday, November 30, 2012

baby noms: semolina with dried figs, cherries and goji berries

semolina is  a smooth and creamy porridge, and one of my ultimate comfort foods. i love it all year round, and generally eat it drizzled with honey, or with sultanas and cinnamon. i wanted to introduce it to arty with some delicious flavours mixed in, and thought it would be a good way to include goji berries in his diet.
goji berries are a fantastic source of antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins, and minerals, and they're yummy too.

semolina with dried figs, cherries and goji berries


1/4 cup semolina
1 cup milk (soy can be subbed in for dairy intolerant babies)
2 dried figs
1 tbsp dried goji berries
1 tbsp dried cherries


  • chop all dried fruit into small pieces
  • place all ingredients in a small saucepan over a low heat
  • stir constantly until mixture thickens into a porridge
  • serve warm

this makes two serves. i don't make it in larger quantities because i prefer not to freeze it. it's not that you can't, it just alters the texture and makes it a bit gluggy, so you have to add more milk.

when using dried fruit, it's worth checking how it's been processed. some fruit is dried using sulphur which will give your baby gas. read the packaging carefully.

if you don't have dried cherries or want to try some variations, you could sub in sultanas, currants, raisins, or even apricots.

arty thinks it's delicious enough to put aaaaaaall over his face.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

three times ten

in may this year, sj turned 30.

and this month i did too.

i like that we started our new decades in the year our son was born. there's a nice roundedness to it. a symmetry.
and on a more practical note, none of us will ever have an excuse to forget how old any of the others are!

now to start planning arty's first birthday...

Friday, November 23, 2012

baby noms: roasted eggplant with zucchini, broccoli and quinoa

i have a similar attitude to eggplant as i do to mushrooms. how i survived as a vegetarian for four years i will never know. but again, i want arty to try all kinds of food, and not be limited by the likes and dislikes of his parents. with that in mind, here is an eggplant recipe:

roasted eggplant with zucchini, broccoli and quinoa


1 medium eggplant
1 medium zucchini
florets from 1 medium head of broccoli
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp ground coriander seed
approx 1 tbsp olive oil


  • preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • remove top from eggplant and slice in half, lengthways
  • place eggplant halves right sides up in baking dish, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with coriander seed
  • place in oven and bake for approx 45 mins, until golden and tender, then remove from oven and allow to cool
  • meanwhile, place stock and quinoa in a small saucepan and bring to boil
  • lower heat and cook, covered, for approx 10-15 min, until liquid has been absorbed by the grains. leave to stand, covered, for a further 10 mins with  the heat off.
  • steam broccoli and zucchini until tender.
  • when eggplant has cooled, scoop the flesh out of the skin. discard the skin. 
  • puree all vegetables, then add quinoa.

i'm always excited to have another way to include the wondrous quinoa in arty's diet, with all its nutritional value (iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, folate, etc). 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

dear arthur: ten months

my little love,

the months are in double figures now, and you continue to grow stronger, brighter, cleverer, and more beautiful with each day.

you have made many leaps in your physical development this month - each new skill seems to follow hard on the heels of the last.
you learn physical skills very quickly. one day you will do something shakily for the first time, and within another day or two you'll have consolidated it, and will be doing it without even thinking about it.
this month you have learned to pull yourself up on the furniture, and to 'cruise' along while holding on to things. you have also learned to climb the stairs of the back porch (though not how to get down them).

in the last week or so you have discovered that drawers and cupboards open and have insides full of all kinds of interesting contraband. you have been determined to explore the depths of these interesting places, and your inquisitiveness has sometimes resulted in squashed fingers and tears, but this hasn't deterred you.

your increased mobility means that you're into absolutely everything. keeping you safe is a full time and very exhausting job, but i am so happy for you because you're just that much more independent and free, and it's opening your world up.

you now have eight teeth - four on the top, and four on the bottom. you were a bit unsettled while the last couple came through, but you handled it very well, and managed to avoid any illness, for which i was very grateful.

you nod and shake your head now, though i don't think you know that those gestures mean 'yes' and 'no'. you're yet to say your first word, though you seem to be saying 'dat' whenever you see one of the cats, 'nanana' when i say 'no', and you are practicing your 'mumumum' a lot. you are very vocal and you like to babble and chat, so i'm certain you'll be using words soon. maybe when you take a break from learning all those new physical skills you'll give your busy wee brain a chance to work on linguistics!

your mummy has been away for part of this month, and you have been missing her. you look for her when you come into bed with me in the mornings, and you get very excited when you hear her voice on the phone. she is missing you terribly. neither of us have ever been away from you for more than a few hours before now, so it's been pretty big for all of us.
luckily for you and i, we have our wonderful katie staying with us. she has been helping me so much. you love her to bits, and you're happy to have her in our house, helping with your meals and baths and other things. she is very good at playing with babies, and you think she is super fun.

you are still loving your food, which continues to make me happy. some of your favourite things to eat are yoghurt with berries, asparagus spears, hummus or tahini sandwiches, and porridge. now when we're out at cafes or friends houses i can give you tastes of what i'm eating, which you really enjoy. i am yet to give you a food that you don't like. i hope you stay this adventurous and easy to please!

life with you is wonderful, my darling. you make me laugh every single day. your beautiful, open, expressive little nature is so loveable.

i am, now more than ever, so very proud and lucky to be your mama.


Friday, November 16, 2012

baby noms: banana ideas

bananas are such good food. they have b vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and more. all the babies i know love to eat them, and that doesn't surprise me - they are sweet, creamy, and easy on the gums.
the only problem is, they are notorious for constipating babies!
i've been trying to think of ways to get around this, because i want arty to eat plenty of banana without getting all stopped up and uncomfortable.
prunes have an established reputation for helping with that sort of thing, and while i was pregnant, my midwife told me that kiwi fruit are good for this too.
here are a couple of recipe ideas i've tried with great success. both make single serves, because i usually prefer to serve banana fresh and uncooked.

porridge with banana with prunes


1 medium banana
3 prunes, finely chopped
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup milk


  • in a small saucepan, simmer oats and milk to make porridge
  • in baby's bowl, mash banana, and combine with prunes and porridge
  • adjust temperature and consistency with additional milk if required 

kiwi and banana breakfast


1/2 large kiwi, peeled, any tough core removed, finely chopped
1 small banana
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
2 tbsp baby rice cereal

  • mash banana with kiwi
  • add rice cereal and yoghurt and stir to combine

Friday, November 9, 2012

baby noms: cauliflower, zucchini, brown rice, and cheddar

just like with the pumpkin and brown rice recipe, you can substitute other kinds of rice here, but i like to use brown rice because of it's extra nutritional value, and because it fills arty up for longer.
this recipe is a little lighter than the pumpkin one - a perfect dinner for mild spring days.

baby noms: cauliflower, zucchini, brown rice, and cheddar


1/2 medium head of cauliflower, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped (resist the temptation to peel it - there's a lot of goodness in the skin!)
1 cup brown rice
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese


  • place brown rice in small saucepan with 2 cups of water. bring to boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for approx 20 mins, until water has been absorbed.
  • turn the heat off, and keep rice covered for a further 10-15 mins to continue cooking.
  • meanwhile, steam cauliflower for approx 15 mins, then add zucchini and continue to steam until both are tender
  • while still warm, place vegetables and rice into blender, add cheese, and puree to desired consistency.

s-j and i think we'll make a version of this for ourselves and have it in baked potatoes!

Friday, November 2, 2012

baby noms: corn, asparagus and pumpkin

these sweet flavours go very well together, and make a pleasingly light puree that works with pasta, polenta, quinoa, with natural yoghurt stirred in, or as an accompaniment to a range of other foods.

corn, asparagus and pumpkin


5 asparagus spears, woody ends removed
2.5 cups butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced
kernels from 2 small corn cobs
2 cups chicken stock or water


  • in a medium saucepan, bring your stock to the boil.
  • add the pumpkin (if pumpkin is not fully immersed in stock, add a little water), cover, and cook until almost tender.
  • add asparagus and corn kernels and continue to cook until both asparagus and pumpkin are tender.
  • drain, reserving some of the stock, and puree. use stock to adjust texture.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

adventures of isabel by ogden nash

i was going to say that this is one of my favourite poems for children, but it's actually just one of my favourite poems.
isabel is my idea of a role model.

Friday, October 26, 2012

baby noms: chicken, mushroom and thyme

i reeeeally hate mushrooms, but i don't want to pass my food aversions on to arty. i want him to try everything, and enjoy as much as he can. so with that in mind, this is my attempt at a baby food recipe involving mushrooms.

chicken, mushroom and thyme


200g chicken mince
2 cups potato, peeled and diced
1 cup field mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, bruised
1 small onion, peeled and diced
2 tbsp butter

  • in a small saucepan, boil the potatoes until tender
  • meanwhile, in a medium frying pan, melt the butter, then add onions, mushrooms and thyme. cook until mushrooms have absorbed all the butter, and onions have softened
  • add the chicken mince, and fry until cooked through.
  • combine potatoes with the chicken mixture, and puree to a texture suitable for your baby. 

this is a good one to leave some larger pieces in or babies who are just moving on from purees, because all the ingredients are quite soft, and easy to chew.

i didn't taste it, on account of the dreaded mushrooms, but sj said it was delicious, and made me give her the odd mouthful as i fed it to arty, so i think it's a winner.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

treating the dreaded cold sores

one of the most consistent symptoms of a flare up in my illness is the arrival of cold sores. i usually get them around my lips, but sometimes inside my nose and on other parts of my face.
they are painful, and they are ugly, and that used to be what bothered me most about them. you feel disfigured, contagious, infested, and vile when you have sores on your face, and it's just awful.

but now, the thing that upsets me most about them is the fact that i can't kiss my baby when i have them. it goes against my every instinct to hold back from smooching his cheeks, and kissing his belly.
to turn my face away when he goes to press his little lips to my cheek for one of his slobbery baby kisses breaks my heart.

to make matters worse i don't get any early warning signs for my cold sores. some people can nip them in the bud because they get a tingling feeling before the sore emerges, but mine just come from nowhere.

so what do i do?

i find that taking lysine (with vitamin c and zinc) helps reduce the severity and duration of the sores. i take it pretty regularly as a preventative measure too, but a bad flare up will come with cold sores regardless.
in my case, something more is needed.

happily, i recently discovered tinderbox's cold sore balm, and it is absolutely the best treatment i have ever used for this problem. it doesn't have any chemicals in it, but it is still incredibly effective. it contains white camphor, melaleuca, myrrh, peppermint and benzoin - all excellent germ killers.

applied topically, it helps to dry up and heal the lesions so much faster than anything else i've tried.
this stuff has earned a permanent place in our medicine cabinet. i simply can't recommend it enough.

nb: this is not a sponsored post - i have not received any incentive to write it. i'm just sharing my opinion of the product.

Monday, October 22, 2012

respecting our baby's body

it is extremely important to sj ad i that we are always respectful of arty's body.
how we do this will change as he grows, and his needs and abilities change. right now, as a baby, he has little capacity nor opportunity to express his preferences and boundaries. so how do we show respect to him, and begin to give him a sense of physical autonomy?

first and foremost is keeping his body safe, warm, and nourished. these are his rights, and it is our privilege and responsibility to make sure they are always met.
part of this, to us, means immunizing him, to protect him from disease. it also means refraining from circumcising him, or doing anything else to physically alter his body before he is old enough to choose it for himself.

but i think our job goes further than that.

part of the carer/baby relationship means that the adult is largely doing stuff to the baby. we have to physically carry him around from place to place, dress and undress him, make decisions about what food and medicine goes into his body. there isn't much we can do about that power imbalance, but we can control our approach, the attitude we take to being so responsible for this small person.

if we are going to do something surprising, out of the ordinary, or uncomfortable to him, we always warn him verbally.
for example, if i am about to wipe his bottom with a cold wipe i say "cold on your bits!" and put it on his hand first, so he knows what's coming. that way he is not so startled. likewise, when we are about to put him in the bath, we always tell him so.

we do our best to respond to the cues that he gives us about physical closeness. while we love to kiss and snuggle him, and he loves to kiss and snuggle with us, he's not always in the mood for it. sometimes when we're playing he'll push us away, and we have to respect that he doesn't want us to keep doing whatever we're doing (poking his nose, tickling his tummy, squishing his cheeks). when we go to kiss him and he turns away, we never force him. he is allowed to have boundaries with physical affection, just like an older child or adult, and we don't ever want to violate them.

finally, while i put plenty of pictures here on the blog for his family and friends to coo over, i will never post naked baby pictures of him on the internet. while every mum has a couple of those, and we are no exception, putting them online is that's a line that i'm not comfortable crossing.

as an overarching principle, i always try to exercise empathy with arty, and ask myself how i would feel in his position.
what is it like to be picked up and carried around all the time? how does it feel to be tickled so you laugh that hard? would i like it? would it make me uncomfortable?

it's so important to us that he feels safe in his body, and confident in his ability to create boundaries with people. we want to model the kind of behaviour we'll expect from him once he's old enough to take responsibility for his own actions, and it's difficult to know how to be respectful of others, when you haven't been shown that respect yourself.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

dear arthur: nine months

my dear little boy,

you are nine months old today! you have officially spent more time out in the world than you did in my tummy. that's pretty amazing.

your biggest achievement this month has been learning to crawl. it has been so fascinating to watch you go from just holding your head up, to pushing up with your arms, getting up on your hands and knees, rocking, and finally taking off. it's been the work of many months, and your mummy and i are just unspeakably proud of the effort you've put in and the strength and determination you've shown. you can get around on your own now, and while that means we have to keep a very close eye on your movements, we're just so happy for you and excited that you have this newfound independence.


you finally got some payoff for all that teething work you've been doing too. your top four front teeth have now well and truly emerged from beneath your gums, taking your tooth-count up to six! you are very much enjoying biting and chewing things with them, particularly your spoons during mealtimes.

your social skills are developing very quickly. when you're hanging out with a bunch of grown-ups and we all laugh at something, you do a little laugh too, as though you want us to think you get the joke.  it is pretty gorgeous.

speaking of gorgeous, you've started doing this adorable little head tilt when you grin at people. i've been trying to catch it on camera, but i haven't managed to yet. it is so completely disarming, that i'm pretty sure you could couple it with the most outlandish request and instantly be granted what you wanted.
"what's that, arty? you want a pony? no, i don't think-"
*head tilt*
"hang on, i'll just nip down to the pony shop. will one be enough?"

you've started showing a real interest in hand gestures, and particularly in songs with actions. you love twinkle twinkle, and incey wincey spider - anything with hand movements. we're making the most of this interest, and beginning to introduce baby sign language to you, but i'll write more about that another time.                                            

the new routine we implemented last month is suiting us all very well. we don't stick to it religiously every day (sometimes things come up!), but it's certainly how we structure most of our days. we think you like knowing when to expect things like main meals, bottles, and rest. it is definitely helping you relax into your naps and night sleep.

you are such a cheerful, funny, clever little lad. i love spending my days with you - watching as you discover your world, and find delight in so much. your smiles are infectious, and your laugh is still the most wonderful sound i have ever heard. i love you so very, very much!

your mama xxx

Friday, October 19, 2012

baby noms: beetroot, carrot, apple and ginger

i've been trying to think of a way to prepare beetroot for arty, because it makes a change from the more standard root veg, and it's such very good food.

inspiration came while flicking through wholefood for children by jude blereau. i've altered her recipe somewhat, but the basic flavours and ingredients are from that excellent book.
my main change was to add apple for sweetness, because beetroot can sometimes be a little bitter.

beetroot, carrot, apple and ginger


5 baby beetroots, scrubbed and quartered
2 medium carrots, scrubbed and chopped
1 large sweet apple, peeled and grated
1 tsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated


  • preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • place beetroot and carrot in a baking dish with a drizzle of water, cover with aluminium foil and bake until tender (approx 45 mins)
  • remove from oven, and place in blender with butter and grated apple
  • as you blend, add little pinches of fresh ginger to taste. it should give a hint of flavour without becoming overwhelming (remember that your baby's taste buds are much more sensitive than yours, so err on the side of caution)

this puree is the most magnificent magenta when it's finished. yum!