Sunday 24 June 2012

Plum Baby Cookery School

When you have a child every day brings a new set of adventures. It could be those first steps or that magical first word, or it could even be the very first time your baby has solid food. 

Weaning is a adventure in a whole different league to anything else baby will ever discover. All those new tastes and fusions just awaiting to be discovered by their developing taste buds. Right from the start I have been very particular about what Leo eats, and my rule of thumb is that if it is not something I would eat...Then why should Leo?

We started off cooking up Leo's food up, he had Carrot and Apple, Sweet Potato, Swede and anything else that would be particularly tasty, that I could get my hands on to cook up for him. We took it slowly and let Leo guide us with what he wanted and did not introduce more than one food at any time, just so we could keep an eye on how he reacted to the new tastes.

When Leo got to 6 months old and he was able to try meat for the first time, that is when our home cooking seemed to go down hill. I could not get the consistency right when blending the meat, and instead of lapping up the new tastes that I thought he would love, Leo would refuse to eat it. Trying it myself it was soon clear why he would not eat it, and if someone presented me with such mush I would send it straight back to the chef!

I took to the super markets on the hunt for a tantalising meal that would tickle Leo's taste buds in all the right places, and after reading the back of many a jar and putting it back, I came across Plum Baby. Leo's meal that night was Mint Pea and Lamb puree which he absolutely loved. I tasted it too and boy did it taste good.

You may be aware that Plum Baby has recently launched a new range of stage 3 meals and very appropriately called them the 'Taste Adventures'. The yummy new dishes are based on world cuisine, providing baby with a totally organic yet toe curlingly scrumptious meal. 

What's on the Plum Baby Menu?
- Sweet Cape Curry with Beef
- Chickpea and Chicken Tagine
- Mediterranean Paella and Salmon
- Aubergine and Lamb Moussaka

These are all things that I would personally eat myself, and the aim of the game is to show parent's that weaning is the greatest adventure. If you can introduce good wholesome food at a young age, then there is much less chance of them falling off the rails further down the line.

Plum Baby has been a big part of Leo's weaning adventure thus far, so when we were invited to the Plum Cookery School to take part in a cookery lesson with children's food expert Beverley Glock, the author of the successful book 500 Baby and Toddler Foods. There was even the chance to become One of the stars in Plum’s brand new weaning videos. The videos will be a guide to help parents across the country with any weaning worries that they may have.

Plum has teamed up with Celebrity chef, Rachel Allen who will be on hand to give all of her recipe suggestions, answer any cooking-related questions and tell of her very own personal experience about weaning her little ones. Rachel will be working closely with Beverley Glock and together they will work with Mummy's to help create the next range of Plum recipes.

 The Plum Cookery School is even being run out of Beverley's very own kitchen! 

We travelled to Prince Risborough, where we were warmly greeted and welcomed into the cookery school. There was a cup of tea awaiting our arrival and the most yummy fruit muffins were laid out on the table, but they were not just any muffins. These muffins even incorporated some of the Plum Baby fruit purees. Clever Beverley had also reduced the amount of butter from 75g to 25g so we did not feel quite so guilty about indulging in 2...3...or the entire plate!

Plum Baby opened up their cookery school doors to 5 very very privileged parents and babies (myself and Leo included!) so we could learn all about the weaning journey, take part in recipe development classes and even have ample opportunity to speak to the people in the know with any questions we may have.

The aim of the cookery school is to show parent's that weaning does not have to be a run of the mill affair. It can be exciting.

So while myself and Becky - Mummy AdventureAngela - Mum of Three Boys, Lilinha - Lilinha Angel's World donned our plum baby aprons the babies were being watched by the careful eye of Two nannies. They later got to taste-test a range of the new 'Taste Adventure' recipes.

Once our hair was tied back and the food had been chopped and diced we were ready to step into Beverley's beautiful kitchen. There were Two very yummy recipes on the menu for lunchtime and the first one was a re-creation of the delicious Beef Cape Sweet Curry. This tasty curry has sweet ascents of mango and raisins to provide sweet flavours and multiple textures, that are ideal for a baby...and even us!

In fact Beverley has re-created the Sweet Cape Curry with Beef before... and even went as far to serve it to her dinner guests. The curry went down a storm and it was only at the end after the meal had been devoured, that they were informed that they had in fact eaten baby food. 

Second on the menu was a Maltese recipe that Angela had picked up from her Father. It is a rice dish like no other that I have ever tasted. Ross fil-forn is a traditional Maltese dish, and after the rice has been boiled it is placed in the oven to bake. It is then combined with baked mince, eggs and rice, and served with Parmesan Cheese.

The babies were soon in the kitchen and munching on all the Plum Baby snacks that they could sink their few little teeth into. Once the cooking was completed and the fragrant herbs and spices were filling up the kitchen, we all dished up a plate and sat out in Beverley's beautiful garden. The sun was shining high in the sky and it set the perfect setting for a chat all about the food and products.

 It was so lovely to see everyone at Plum Baby so excited and passionate about their products and what they do. You know a product is great when a company are excited about what they are doing and how they are doing it! 

So what did I learn?

The day was incredibly informative but in the best possible way. It was fun from start to finish. I have taken away so much from my time in the kitchen with Beverley and the Plum Baby team. Weaning does not have to be a daunting time for you or for baby. 

Make sure that everything you feed your little one is tasty. Make it a adventure, just because they are little it does not mean that they do not want something full of flavour and exciting! 

My biggest lesson of the day is something that I would never ever have considered, and you may even think I am losing my marbles...But make sure to wash your eggs before you use them. Why? Well if you ever do look at your eggs when you take them out of the box, and you witness lots of White speckles? Well...That's Chicken  poo and a simple rinse under the tap makes all the difference.

Happy Cooking!


  1. It was lovely meeting you and hope to see you again soon! :) x

  2. This looks great, and Mads loved Plum when she was little. x

    1. It was a great day! The new Taste Adventure range is fab! x


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