The night before I went to the hospital to have this little nugget, in one last burst of frenetic nesting — a tornado of focused, effective energy I sorely miss in these early months — I decided to do something so practical, I’m still patting myself on the back for it: I made a big volume of lazy baked ziti and divide it into three dishes, two that went into the freezer. I have not been this productive or effective since.
I’ve said this before, but there’s honestly very little reason you need to cook in New York City. You can get everything and anything you want, even healthier fare, delivered hot, often at a reasonable price with no advanced planning. So, if you’re going to be crazy like me and cook, you’ve got to have another reason to do it. Previously, I’d made the argument that a really great reason to do so is out of inherent persnicketiness; to pick the dish nobody else makes the way you like it and set out to master it at home, so you can eat what you want most of all. But upon coming home from the hospital with this easily-reheated, unequivocally comforting and loved by the whole family dish in the freezer, I found a new reason: normalcy. Sure, we’d upended my son’s life with an invader, sure, nothing would ever be exactly the same again, but there we were, sitting at the same table with the same people at 6 p.m. a few days after she was born, eating the same food we had a few days before she was born, and it kind of felt like we might just pull this whole thing off. (And we did again! Like, two months later, oof.)