How many people does your fridge need to feed?
One, plus various animals.
What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Fruit and yogurt: blueberries, right now; mango; peaches; Greek yogurt, perhaps with a little vanilla on it; some granola if I have it.
Is there anything you eat every day?
Coffee, obviously. That’s it.
Tons of vegetables at this time of year. I’m held captive by cucumbers right now, because I have a garden out back, and it is so full of cucumbers I can’t keep up with it. It is also very full of tomatoes and string beans. But it is not full of figs this year because the fig tree died. Ordinarily there would be figs in August. Also, eggs, because of the chickens I keep in the backyard. We have three chickens in the back. We got them for the eggs. They lay about more than a dozen eggs a week, so I have to give a lot of those away. One of them lays green eggs. This year I’m not really working my beehive. I’ve still got the hive but I’ve brought in a sharecropper. After four or five years, I felt like I just didn’t have the touch. So I met this guy from the neighborhood at a bee Meet-Up. He had two hives and wanted a third. This year he’s already taken out 100 pounds of honey, and he’ll have one more taking. I wanted him to do this so I could still have the bees in the backyard to pollinate everything and keep the hive going. I knew that if he was good at it he’d have some honey to give me.
What item are you forbidden from purchasing right now?
Oh, geez. Brownies, cookies, ice cream, pizza…
What’s the most delicious thing in here?
This pasta with kale from the recipe my neighbor Jim gave me. Pasta hits the spot.
The most disgusting?
Probably something down in the crisper. I have scallions that are completely stiff and ginger that’s growing. In the freezer I have bags of mushroom stems that I was going to turn into mushroom broth—it’s like recycling. Nothing much that’s disgusting.
Probably the green and red Thai curry paste. I went to Thailand a few years ago and got the idea that I would do a lot of Thai cooking. Ha.
Anything you regret buying?
Almond milk. I try to like it and I buy it periodically thinking I’ll eat it on oatmeal or something but I don’t like it.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Definitely bacon. There’s only a short window of opportunity for tomatoes, so I simply gave myself permission to have a BLT every night for dinner for about two weeks in August.
Where do you do most of your food shopping?
Key Food. In the summer, also the farmer’s market. And for last minute needs, Union Market, which is two blocks away. But in the summer I get most food from my garden.
How often do you go grocery shopping?
In the summer, once every two weeks, maybe, because I have so much produce.
What percentage of your meals do you prepare at home?
How much do you spend on groceries each week?
Every time I go to the grocery store for anything I spend at least $30.
Is there anything in here that we would have found in your childhood fridge?
Peanut butter. Hellman’s mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard—all the things that would go on a hamburger. Eggs. Milk, but not 1%. Hershey’s chocolate syrup—somebody left this here but I can’t throw it away because maybe some day I’ll use it. I think in my day the syrup was Bosco.
What do you wish you had in here?
I wish I had some prepared foods that someone else made so I didn’t have to think of what to do with all the food from my garden all the time. I want someone who would come in and make some incredible new version of cucumber soup or roast these tomatoes and make some kind of pasta I’ve never had before.
Deborah is retired but has an unofficial career as an urban farmer. She’s holding just a small portion of the cucumber bounty from her garden.