All the pregnancy books that I read – literally all of them – advised spending the weeks prior to giving birth squirreling away precooked meals in the freezer so that we’d have food ready for scavenging in the busy month to come. One even told me to while away the early labor hours “whipping up a casserole or two.” You know…in case I was bored.
As it turns out, the whole food-availability thing is one aspect of living in New York City that actually makes having a baby easier: a two-minute run to the corner store yields wondrous bounty like Yodels, and the takeout options are endless. But while city-dwellers don’t need to stock up like the Apocalypse is on its way as they might if any food-finding trip included a car ride to Costco, it’s still nice to have homemade things at the ready so as to avoid constantly relying on high-sodium to-go options.
I skipped the casserole-making during labor because I’m not a crazy person (and also because my labor was extremely nontraditional – more on that later), but I did pull it together to freeze up the basic elements for some of my favorite easy meals, as well as bake a whole bunch of loaf breads and stick them in the icebox, ready to be defrosted for sugar emergencies or guests.
And I’m just saying: this would be a really smart thing to do just before the madness of the holidays starts up in earnest. Not only will you have fabulous sweet things all ready to munch on on snowy mornings, but you’ll have options at hand in case you decide you want to bring something homemade over to a party in lieu of (or in addition to) the traditional bottle of wine.
1. Before freezing, cover loaf in two layers of Saran Wrap and one layer of foil.
2. Place loaf in the back of the freezer, and defrost by setting on a plate at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
3. Toast or warm individual slices in microwave before serving (if there’s any residual sogginess, toasting will get rid of it).
Favorite loaf cakes:
Orange-Poppyseed Loaf Cake (top photo; pictured without chocolate-chip glaze)
Lemon Bread (center photo)
Raspberry Oat Loaf Cake (bottom photo)