It was during my pregnancy that I discovered the Béaba Babycook, a gadget that steamed and blended, during a trip to the Nursery department to John Lewis in Cambridge. Little did I know about weaning babies then but, within a few days, a friend of mine posted something on her Facebook status pointing at her love-hate relationship with the Béaba, I asked and she said that the hate was because she would spend hours on a Sunday using it to cook and freeze portions for her baby and the love was because precisely those Sunday hours spent with her Béaba were a great help for the week ahead. Well, now that is me, but without the hate. I love my Babycook, I even use it for grown-up soups and last night I quickly steamed some carrots for dinner for the adults in the family (Mr and Mrs Tapas, i.e. my husband and me).
The hefty price tag put me off for a little while but once LittleT started eating solids it was clear that it would be handy to have some help in the shape of a gadget since I insisted in preparing it all myself and, let's face it, it is time-consuming. So when I received a discount for an online baby store, I bought my Babycook in white-purple-green colours with an insert for steaming rice.
As the female I am, I read the instructions thoroughly and started steaming away. I actually don't remember the first thing I cooked for LittleT on it but I do clearly remember the first thing I cooked for the adults, Carrot soup with chorizo croutons, we were very impressed.
How it works: Basically I just need to chop by hand any raw ingredients, add them to the steaming basket, use the measurements engraved on the plastic jug to add the relevant level of water to the jug (1, 2 or 3), insert the basket in the glass jug, close the lid firmly, attach to the main body of the Babycook, set it to the steaming function et voilà it starts steaming away, when it finishes I just remove the jug, open the lid, lift the basket out with the provided spatula (to avoid burning fingers), tip the contents into the jug, put the lid back on, attach the jug to the main body again and start blending.
It does have its disadvantages though, the main one being a "getting to know you" period because the timings in the instruction book aren't always accurate and a lack of recipes online (I didn't buy the book they sell). The defrost function is very handy but the suggested Level 3 of water doesn't always defrost everything.
Another disadvantage is the discolouration of the basket and that it seems to gather a bit of dirt around its holes, but I have discovered that a little brush that came with some of LittleT's bottles is perfect for getting rid of it.
The advantage is how much time it saves me, both when cooking baby food and adult food, and how good it is for shortcuts to make dishes take and that the jug is very easy to clean because the blade can be easily removed and reattached, although admittedly the reattaching sometimes takes me a little while.
I just wish it would also chop and, let's be honest, that one day it would magically turn into a Thermomix! For now, it is used on a daily basis at the Tapas residence.