Put a Pound Cake in Your Freezer

More gifts to future you: chocolate overnight oats and a big batch of oven beans.

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By Melissa Clark

My colleague Genevieve Ko and I have much overlap in our culinary tastes, like a predilection for dark meat chicken on the bone and a taste for bourbon cocktails. Her excellent column in this week’s New York Times touches on another subject dear to my heart, as she makes the case for filling your freezer with an array of homemade delights — acts of care, she writes, that represent “past you taking care of present you.”

If you’ve ever seen my overstuffed freezer, you’ll know I’m all-in on this strategy. But what dishes freeze best? Genevieve outlines the options, including stews, braises, casseroles and desserts, and offers up two fabulous, eminently freezable new recipes.

Her oven beans include an easy, hands-off method for cooking any dried bean from scratch. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to six months, at the ready for chilis, soups and salads. Then there’s her swirly marble pound cake (above) flavored with almond, chocolate and orange blossom water. Pound cake is one of the best freezable desserts; its high butter content helps it thaw gracefully, though I confess to liking it still frozen.

Yet another gift for future you: a breakfast of chocolate overnight oats that takes a pinch of prep tonight for a bowlful of pleasure tomorrow. The magic of Hetty McKinnon’s new recipe comes from cocoa powder, with dates for sweetness and chia seeds for … whatever healthful properties chia seeds have (plus a bit of texture).

Also new this week is a recipe for stir-fried lotus root, which Alexa Weibel adapted from M Shanghai restaurant in Brooklyn. Cooking lotus root at home is a snap: Peel it, slice into rounds and boil for five minutes, then it’s ready for the pan. Its mild earthiness is rounded out by green chiles for heat and edamame for a bit of protein.

You’ll want to subscribe to get the thousands of recipes available at New York Times Cooking. If you should hit any technical snags, you can email [email protected] for help. And I’m at [email protected]. Tell me what’s in your freezer — I hope there’s cake!

One More For Your Freezer

Did you know you can freeze buttermilk? This is a boon for bakers like me who buy a quart for pancakes or biscuits and use only a cup. I freeze the leftovers in four-ounce containers, which thaw quickly in a bowl of warm water. The buttermilk separates after defrosting, but it’s good for baking. Future you will thank you, both for the convenience and the extra room in your fridge.

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