How many people does your fridge need to feed?
Sarah: The five of us.
What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Sarah: Coffee. And right now, oatmeal, but it’s just a phase.
Eli: Coffee, and usually whatever Sarah’s eating.
Mackswell: I usually don’t have breakfast. I drink coffee.
Teague: Leftover alcohol, eggs, and sausage.
Dillon: Two eggs, coffee, and something else, like leftover bread.
Is there anything you eat every day?
Sarah: Rice, unfortunately.
Eli: Lately it’s been rice and popcorn.
Mackswell: I drink an $8 twelve-pack of Tecate almost every day. And popcorn.
Sarah: You do not eat popcorn every day.
Eli: He eats my popcorn.
Mackswell: And I eat Dijon mustard or honey on a spoon.
Teague: Usually we wake up in the morning and whatever was eaten by Mackswell the night before is just missing. I’ve had whole blocks of blue cheese disappear.
Mackswell: I leave a couple dollars on the fridge.
Teague: Quinoa. I burnt it this morning and I can still taste it, which is kind of a bummer.
Eli: We also got a pressure cooker recently so I’ve been doing a lot of beans. And rice. I used to just get canned beans. This is a lot better.
Dillon: A lot of popcorn. Kale.
Eli: We should explain the popcorn: we do hippy popcorn. It’s a recipe I got from my parents who were hippies, I guess. It’s a little bit of butter—to keep everything together—nutritional yeast, and then the main thing is Gayelord Hauser broth mix. It’s the number one childhood snack I get nostalgic for.
Sarah: But everyone has their own popcorn style.
What item are you forbidden from purchasing right now?
Eli: Bottled water is kind of off-limits.
Teague: Henry taught us a lesson…
Eli: I was working at Roberta’s restaurant and a kid named Henry had a birthday and they got custom first-birthday bottled water for all the guests. I took bottles home and decorated the cupboards with them.
Dillon: I’d like to say I’ve banned Bustelo coffee and ramen but ….
Sarah: I try to avoid all non-essential food items, like jam, cookies, pickles, yogurt, cereal… Anything that’s delicious or enjoyable is not really happening right now because I don’t have a lot of food dollars these days and I’m trying to make them last.
Teague: I have a gluten allergy, so bread, flour… But I’ve been getting really into making crackers.
What’s the most delicious thing in here?
Sarah: Those pickled carrots I just made today. I think they’re going to be delicious.
Teague: The Long Dong Bud sausage. It’s named after a man’s penis. This guy I worked with had an uncle named Bud with a notoriously large penis. It’s pork sausage mixed with cheese.
Dillon: The kimchi. But I’m mostly eyeing my own food and I only have one egg and some kimchi in there.
Eli: The vegetable scraps, because they’re going to turn into delicious vegetable stock.
The most disgusting?
Teague: The rabbit carcass in the tin foil.
Mackswell: I had a bite of that last week. It’s good! It’s these chipotle peppers in the can. I usually transfer them into a glass jar. These probably taste like aluminum.
Sarah: The turkey neck in the freezer. It’s from Thanksgiving.
Dillon: The Crisco’s pretty gross.
Sarah: We moved to this house with that Saucy by Nature jar.
Mackswell: Oh yea, I want to know about that. I tried to eat that a couple of times.
Teague: It’s Polish kimchi. It’s basically a chemical weapon. I got that jar three jobs ago; the place where I got that jar doesn’t exist anymore, that’s how old it is.
Anything you regret buying?
Mackswell: We don’t make regretful purchases. Everything in here is total survival gear.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Teague: Halal cart food. I love street meat.
Eli: The 99-cent instant ramen with the baseball player on the packet.
Dillon: Yea, Top Ramen on occasion. It’s a ten-minute walk to the grocery store and sometimes I’m hungry and don’t want to think about how long it would take to get groceries and make a healthy meal.
Mackswell: I used to eat Swiss cheese-stuffed beef patties from the bodega at least once a week. It’s 75 cents for the cheese.
Where do you do most of your food shopping?
Sarah: Food Bazaar.
Eli: Yea, Food Bazaar across the board. We all love Food Bazaar. And it’s got a great story. The owner is a Korean guy who moved to New York in the 80s and couldn’t find good ethnic food so he opened his own store.
Sarah: How do you know so much about Food Bazaar?
Eli: I went on their website!
Teague: I’d say 98% Food Bazaar and the rest from work.
Dillon: Yea, Food Bazaar and work.
How much do you spend on groceries each week?
Dillon: Yea, $30.
Eli: Normally I’d spend about $15 but recently I’ve been spending about $5 a week: I’ve been eating rice and beans and mooching off everyone else. I have a long history of not spending money on food. In Seattle I lived for about two years dumpster diving at Trader Joe’s and going to the food bank, and I had more food than I could ever eat.
Mackswell: Anywhere from $6 to $60.
Teague: Years ago I worked at Whole Foods and I used to rob them blind. We stole a $15 bag of Daiya cheese and a $60 bottle of olive oil. It’s nice working in the food industry: you won’t make a lot of money but you will be fed well.
How often do you go grocery shopping?
Everyone except Mackswell: Once or twice a week.
Mackswell: I would say I go—
Dillon: He goes once or twice a year. We used to live across the street from the grocery store. We’d go every day.
Eli: It was like our refrigerator. You’d buy one ingredient at a time.
What percentage of your meals do you prepare at home?
Sarah and Eli: 95%.
Teague: 95%, plus Halal cart food.
Dillon: 95%, but I like to get a meal with friends.
Is there anything in here that we would have found in your childhood fridge?
Mackswell: Pickled stuff? Pickles are a mom move.
What do you wish you had in here?
Teague: This fridge’s weight in gold.
Mackswell: A salad station, with sprouts, pre-cut lettuce, diced carrots, red cabbage…
Eli: I wish we were stocked up on Hotel Bar butter. Enough for the next three months.
Sarah: An endless pile of vegetables.
Dillon. Yea. Or even a small pile of vegetables.
Teague is a multidisciplinary food service specialist. He’s holding a piece of bacon-wrapped sirloin from his place of work. Mackswell is a clothing designer, and he’s holding a jar of Dijon mustard. Dillon is also a multidisciplinary food service specialist. He’s holding a pig leg bone that he hopes to someday turn into a flute or a shaker. Eli is a struggling freelance graphic designer and he is holding a 4-pack of Hotel Bar butter. Sarah is a jean salesman. She’s holding a jar of vegetable scraps that she’s going to make into soup stock.