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Oh baby

Special to the Post Independent/Lee Devenish
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Men, watch out: It’s infant season.Spring inevitably brings a baby boom. New life is beginning to appear everywhere, from the sprouting crocuses in my garden to the baby rabbits and chicks decorating the Easter candy aisle at Safeway and the baby zucchini and artichokes in the produce aisle.Baby season has hit the newsroom, too. Recently I walked in the front door to find almost all the women in the office gathered in the lobby, cooing and chattering excitedly.Patti, one of our graphic designers, had brought in her newborn son, Charlie, and was showing him to a rapt audience of ladies. All the men were still seated at their desks, oblivious to the fuss.”When I got in the door, I couldn’t move – everybody kept coming up to me,” Patti said.It must be embedded in the female genetic makeup: Babies attract women like a pop star attracts groupies.”Oh, big yawns,” one girl said as Charlie opened his mouth and shifted.”He’s got so many expressions,” remarked another.”Are you taking lots of pictures?””How are you sleeping?””Oh, little Charlie looks just like his dad.”And so forth and so on.My co-worker, Charlie, muttered, “I’ve never heard my name cooed over so many times in my life.”Our classified advertising manager also recently had a baby, and our community editor’s daughter is expecting. It’s been all baby talk, all the time. Among the girls, at least.But not all women have those maternal instincts. I mean, the only babies I know how to deal with are baby vegetables and baby back ribs. I can dress a baby spinach salad, but don’t ask me how to put pajamas on an infant (much less a diaper). Although I can bake a cake using baby food, I’ve never fed a baby.One girl was telling me that some females are kind of afraid of babies. Maybe they feel that infants are too fragile, or that pregnancy is contagious.And well, admiring someone else’s baby is one thing; being pregnant is another. Personally, I’m not quite ready for that, although my dad tells me he would love to be a grandfather. (Sorry dad, but I’m not even dating anyone at the moment!)Besides, Patti described a newborn mother’s life perfectly: “Everything is baby and sleep – or rather, lack of sleep.”I think I’ll stick with baby carrots and baby spinach, or using baby food in recipes.Gabrielle Devenish is the food editor at the Post Independent. If she ever has a baby, she sincerely hopes that no one will say it’s “breathtaking,” like in a Seinfeld episode. Contact her at 945-8515, ext. 535, or gdevenish@postindependent.com.

Baby food cake3 eggs2 cups white sugar1 1/4 cups vegetable oil2 cups all-purpose flour2 teaspoons baking soda1 teaspoon salt1 (2.5-ounce) jar applesauce baby food1 (2.5-ounce) jar carrot baby food1 (2.5-ounce) jar apricot baby foodPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13-by-9-inch pan.In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, sugar, and oil. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the egg mixture. Finally, stir in the baby food. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool and frost with your cream cheese frosting (recipe follows) or powdered sugar icing (mix 2 cups powdered sugar with 2-3 tablespoons of milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla – add more milk or powdered sugar until icing reaches desired consistency).Cream cheese frosting 1/2 cup butter1 small package cream cheese1 teaspoon vanilla1 pound powdered sugarCombine butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.Gradually add the sugar, while beating well.If mixture is too thick to spread, thin to a spreadable consistency by adding a small amount of milk.- allrecipes.com


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