Fred and Nora, Marlboro, VT

How many people does your fridge need to feed?
Nora: Two regularly, but my granddaughters come at least once a week.

What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Nora: A piece of gluten-free toast; I might put hummus on it, I might have a piece of sausage. In the summertime I like gluten-free toast with hummus, and a slice of Bermuda onion, and a slice of tomato, and radish sprouts.
Fred: Raisin Bran Crunch and a piece of toast with peanut butter. I love that.

Is there anything you eat every day? 
Fred: Coffee.
Nora: I drink tea every day. I don’t know if there’s anything I eat every single day.

Every week?
Nora: Apples, and whatever other fruit I’ve gotten, like grapes, or oranges, or clementines, depending on the season; chicken; beef; fish; salad; green vegetables; rice; potatoes.

What item are you forbidden from purchasing right now?
Nora: Well, I don’t eat gluten, but Fred does, so we have it in the house. And I don’t eggs or dairy, because they make me sick. But he eats both of those things so we have them in the house, too.
Fred: I eat anything that doesn’t eat me first.
Nora: I probably ought to forbid myself sugar and chocolate, but I figure I’m not eating all that other stuff, so I eat as much sugar and chocolate as I want. I generally eat what I want.

What’s the most delicious thing in here?
Nora: The maple sugar. It’s made of pure maple syrup boiled and then cooled down and whipped, and then poured into a buttered pan. It just melts in your mouth.

The most disgusting?
Nora: This half-eaten apple. I think my granddaughter probably started it and then I put it in the fridge so I could give it back to her in the afternoon and then I forgot about it.

The oldest?
Nora: This candied ginger is pretty old. I had a friend whose husband worked at a food warehouse and got this huge bag of this stuff. We divided it up at work; I haven’t worked for three years, so it’s pretty old.

Anything you regret buying?
Nora: The relish [marked with a sticky note reading “hot”]. It’s not what I thought it was when I bought it—I didn’t read the label carefully, and it’s super, super hot. I thought it would be like a hotdog relish. I’d give it to my daughter but she lives in Chicago and she can’t take it home on the plane.

What's your guilty pleasure?
Fred: Spice donuts from Lisa Hamilton’s farm at the foot of the hill: Paradise Farm. She has a sign on the door that says “closed at noon or until I run out of donuts.”
Nora: Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups. They’re made without any of the things I can’t eat and they’re so good.

Where do you do most of your food shopping?
Nora: I shop at the Brattleboro Food Co-op and at Hannaford’s. I do both stores on the same day. I decide where to get stuff based on price and availability. I usually go to Hannaford’s first and then fill in the gaps at the Co-op. But this order has more to do with how I want to drive through town than with what I want to get. 

How much do you spend on groceries each week?
Nora: It varies a lot, but at least $200. 

How often do you go grocery shopping?
Nora: Once a week.

What percentage of your meals do you prepare at home?
Nora: 97%. We don’t go out to eat very much.
Fred: Except for tomorrow night. It’s wing night.

Is there anything in here that we would have found in your childhood fridge?
Fred: Ice cream.
Nora: A lot of vegetables: broccoli, lettuce; apples; eggs; cheese; milk; butter; mustard; ketchup.
Fred: Well, according to Reagan, ketchup is a vegetable, so you’ve got to have it.

What do you wish you had in here?
Fred: Mega bucks.
Nora: I’m pretty impulsive about what I want to eat at any given time of the day, and since I can’t just go and get it, I just keep everything I think I might want here!

Nora, 69, is a retired town clerk and Fred, 72, is a retired carpenter. Nora is holding an unfinished large mocha decaf with soymilk that went into the fridge so she could savor it later. Fred is holding a bottle of milk from McNamara Dairy, which is run by cousins of Nora’s good friends. They live in Marlboro, Vermont.