1. Bagels. Bagels are ideal for when the mood strikes. They will keep in the fridge for up to five days. Especially good: brats, cheese, chocolates and pickles, from The Bagel Factory (6431 W. Webster Ave.; 773-894-8150) in Alsip, Ill. Buy two dozen bagels and hold them in the freezer or fridge. When you get the mood to eat, pull them out, pop in a fork and bite. Don’t eat the whole bag. Keep refrigerated for up to three months.
2. Soups and stews.
3. Cakes and cookies. Need an emergency pastry? Add a little creme anglaise and shop around. The perfect unsweetened, though somewhat fattening cake is one of the few foods that will keep in the refrigerator for weeks. Oatmeal chocolates are great for that, and for warming sandwiches in chilly weather. If you don’t have a cake or cookie maker, try cooking a casserole that goes together in a few minutes, like this Scottish chicken and leek casserole (located in one of my kids’ schools), which can be reheated the next day.
5. Nuts. If you have some in the freezer, they’ll keep in the fridge. Choose walnuts, almonds, pecans or hazelnuts.