Tim and Tamara, Lawrence, KS

Tim and Tamara are the first Refrigerator Spy subjects to own two fridges. Both are documented.

How many people does your fridge need to feed?
Tamara: Two.

What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Tamara: I have coffee early, at breakfast time, and a latte after that on my morning walk. Tim usually fixes me coffee when he gets up. I have breakfast at noon: oatmeal with flax seed, chia seed, dried apricots and dried prunes, cashews, almonds, and yogurt.
Tim: I have coffee when I get up. Then after a little while of staring blankly at the wall, I eventually eat—usually leftovers. Our refrigerator is incredibly full of leftovers all the time and Tamara won’t eat them, so it falls to me. I eat whatever’s there. But I’ve never been fond of regular breakfast stuff.
Tamara: He used to eat hamburgers for breakfast when he was a kid.

Is there anything you eat every day? 
Tim: Beer—IPA, that’s all.
Tamara: There is only IPA. Others seem to think that these other beverages called “beer” are beer, but they’re not. We got our second fridge to be a beer refrigerator.
Tim: We always overflowed the other fridge so I bought it at a garage sale for $35. We’ve had it for years, and it works great.

Every week?
Tamara: We try to eat salmon once a week for the omega-3.

What item are you forbidden from purchasing right now?
Tamara: Sugary stuff.
Tim: Yea, commercial sweets, with some exceptions, like chocolate.

What’s the most delicious thing in here?
Tim: Ice cream.
Tamara: I knew Tim would say that. I think the answer would be beer.

The most disgusting?
Tamara: Right now we have some canned biscuits to fix for our neighbor, and I would consider those disgusting, but he likes them. I feed our neighbor a big pan of food once a week. When we started out, he said he liked everything, so we made him what we were eating, and we’re largely vegetarian. And then I found his entire refrigerator packed full of soups that we had taken him. And so gradually we figured out that what he wanted was meat and potatoes, and really commercial food. That explains the Velveeta. Although I used to love Velveeta—I’d make Welsh rarebit with it.
Tim: Nothing that is human disgusts me unless it is unkind or violent. I’m using the jar of turkey and gravy Gerber baby food to bait mousetraps with. I found it dumpster diving. It’s actually worked really well.

The oldest?
Tim: That white wine—Shelley and Richard went over to Kansas City to buy that.
Tamara: Why do we have that? Shelley’s been dead for 20 years!
Tim: It’s been in the basement that whole time. I brought it up for cooking with.

Anything you regret buying?
Tamara: There are always things I regret buying, but that’s just because of my upbringing—anything you spend money on, you regret. Tim didn’t think we needed raspberry preserve the other day at Trader Joe’s, since we already have at least 40 jars of jam in our pantry.

What's your guilty pleasure?
Tim: The biggest thing is that I just eat more than I should. So it’s not a particular item, just too much of everything.
Tamara: Peanut butter, powdered sugar, and cocoa mixed together in a cup. I have a strong desire for sweets, but we don’t buy sweets for exactly that reason, so I end up making something weird. I used to have this every day, but now maybe a couple of times a week. 

Where do you do most of your food shopping?
Tim: Checkers. It’s a discount grocery store with a full line of groceries, a lot of it’s organic. Also, there’s an artisanal bakery in town, which makes everyone’s favorite bread. It’s expensive and we don’t buy it that often. But every day they take their excess to a charity in town, and one of them is a charity I easily pass by on Thursdays, so if we’re low on bread, I go by and get two or three loaves of their bread for free. Actually, they have a donation box and I put in about a dollar per loaf—the donation goes to the charity, not the bread people. And the bread people get a tax deduction.
Tamara: We do try not to eat too much bread or other high-carb, gluten things. 

How much do you spend on groceries each week?
Tamara: My guess is $50.

How often do you go grocery shopping?
Tamara: Usually once a week, but if we’re having company or if something special comes up, I could go two, three, or four times a week.

What percentage of your meals do you prepare at home?
Tim: 95%. We don’t eat out much, except when we’re traveling. We have our two monthly potlucks.

Is there anything in here that we would have found in your childhood fridge?
Tim: Cheese; eggs; lettuce.
Tamara: Mayo; mustard; ketchup; cheese—definitely Velveeta; butter.
Tim: We didn’t have butter, we had Oleo.
Tamara Actually, we had that, too. And we didn’t have many leftovers at our house because there were eight in our family all together.

What do you wish you had in here?
Tamara: More ice cream.
Tim: More ice cream.

Tim and Tamara IMG_8850.jpg

Tamara is retired and she’s holding a jar of leftover dal soup—her favorite. Tim is a teacher and he’s holding a bag of Romaine lettuce. They live in Lawrence, Kansas.