If you're into gadgets and looking to make your own baby purees, Williams-Sonoma is now selling the Beaba Babycook.
Pronounced "Bay-OBB-uh," the device has been popular for several years in Europe and is now available in the US. There's a video on the Williams-Sonoma site showing how it works. It's basically a mini-chopper than can steam food before you puree it. The industrial design is tops—with chubby curves and lime-green trim, it looks like a dollhouse accessory, albeit with a sharp blade.
I'm torn on the Beaba. On the one hand, I've always maintained that there's no such thing as baby food and babies can eat chopped or pureed adult food with no trouble. Plus, the Beaba costs $140. On the other hand, I love gadgets, and this thing is so cute! In fact, if you don't have a baby but feel the need for something in your life that is small, adorable, and noisy but not especially useful, this could be just the ticket—and it's much cheaper than an actual baby.
To be fair to Williams-Sonoma, there's a lot of great stuff on their wsKids site, including a weekly family menu planner, featuring recipes for just the kind of food (halibut with salsa verde, pho, osso buco) I used to serve my daughter when she was a Beaba—I mean baby. Now that she's four and likes to help out in the kitchen, I'm ordering her some of these tongs.
About the author: Matthew Amster-Burton lives in Seattle. His work appears frequently in the Seattle Times and Seattle magazine. He also maintains the blog Roots and Grubs. His favorite food is pad Thai.