When Willa was a baby and we’d just begun introducing her to solids, I took great pleasure in making homemade baby food. I would steam sweet potatoes, pass them through a food mill, and then freeze individual portions in an ice cube tray. I loved admiring the bounty of a zip lock bag filled with colorful frozen cubes of perfectly smooth food.

Feeding Arlo was a different matter. Arlo was physically and developmentally precocious. She weighed more than 9 pounds at birth and could hold up her head on the day she was born. She outgrew her infant car seat in a matter of weeks and leapt past the baby food phase in a flash. At about four months she could tweeze Cheerios between her thumb and forefinger and carefully feed herself. She moved past the baby food stage before I found time to steam, mill, and freeze little pops of fresh organic vegetables for her to enjoy. Instead, Arlo moved on to handheld foods such as “dough-duts.”


Arlo was a remarkable child. And had a pretty good memory too. For a time, she and I had a routine on Tuesday mornings after we dropped Willa off at the Learning Tree Preschool that involved swinging by the Vivace coffee stand on Broadway so that I could get a coffee and she could enjoy a treat of her own. One Tuesday morning after we’d let our routine lapse for many weeks running, Arlo turned to me as we made our way out through the gate of the preschool.

“Dya wanna coffee?” she asked.

“Sure,” I answered.

“Good,” she said. “’Cause I wanna dough-dut.”

Offering: One vintage food mill with groovy green handles

8-Food Mill


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