How many people does your fridge need to feed?
What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Kimi: Oatmeal, and an apple, sunflower seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and some yogurt. And I have orange juice and milk.
Steven: Oatmeal with dried fruit—raisins or apricots. I don’t get too carried away. And on Sundays we always have waffles.
Is there anything you eat every day?
Steven: Milk, coffee, grapefruit juice.
Kimi: Milk, orange juice, pears.
Steven: That’s true, it’s the one fruit she can eat.
Kimi: I have an allergy to salicylate, which is the same chemical compound found in aspirin but it’s also in a lot of fruits and vegetables. It’s a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory compound, actually. And it’s in everything. If I eat foods with salicylate I get hives. I had my first real attack in graduate school; I remember I was eating berries and alfafa sprouts a lot then. So, now I can eat pears, bananas, and apples…
Steven: We generally have rice daily but we have it less these days because Kimi’s cutting down on carbohydrates.
Kimi: Yes, carbohydrates are supposed to contribute to calcium leaching from your bones. And rice is also supposed to have a lot of arsenic in it.
Steven: Well, I’m big on carbos and it doesn’t seem to be a problem for me. Although I guess it’s more of a concern when you have less mass.
Steven: Fish, chicken, pork—we don’t eat beef at all because it’s not good for the environment, and we don’t get too excited about it. We’re not really carnivores, we’re omnivores.
What item are you forbidden from purchasing right now?
Steven: We don’t buy many prepared foods, like baked goods. We make them ourselves.
Kimi: I try not to buy potato chips because I’m very addicted to them.
What’s the most delicious thing in here?
Kimi: The key lime pie we made last night.
The most disgusting?
Steven: Oh, look down in the freezer!
Kimi: We keep compost in the freezer so that the trash is less smelly. The garbage just gets picked up once a week.
Steven: We have a compost pile but we don’t use it.
Kimi: Because the bear will come.
Steven: It’s destroyed a number of composters and we’re not fighting the bear anymore. Besides, it’s bigger than Kimi.
Kimi: This mangosteen juice drink has been in here a long time. [Upon review, it had expired in 2011.]
Steven: Hmm, what’s the date on that tube of wasabi on the door? [It had expired in 2001]. Ha, well, out of sight, out of mind—it’s a small tube!
What's your guilty pleasure?
Kimi: Plain potato chips.
Steven: It’s hard for me to feel guilty about anything because I don’t gain any weight and I can eat as many sweets as I want. I inherited that from my father.
Kimi: What about salt?
Steven: But I don’t indulge in it that much anymore.
Kimi: That’s what you think!
Steven: OK, I guess it would be salty snacks.
Where do you do most of your food shopping?
Kimi: Price Chopper supermarket. And we do a little at the Brattleboro Food Co-op.
Steven: We’ve been Co-op members since 1973.
How much do you spend on groceries each week?
What percentage of your meals do you prepare at home?
Kimi: 90 to 95%.
Steven: 75 to 80% .
How often do you go grocery shopping?
Kimi: Multiple times a week.
Steven: Whenever we need something, we stop at the store after work. We have a good excuse because Kimi is downtown for work and rehearsals, and I go past town on the way home. One of our favorite things is Saturday night date: after we go out to a concert we usually end up at Price Chopper. It’s very good, there are no lines then!
Is there anything in here that we would have found in your childhood fridge?
Steven: Ice cream; milk; eggs; butter. My parents didn’t buy any prepared stuff either. We didn’t have orange juice because we couldn’t afford it. My parents always had jam, but thinking about it, I don’t think they kept it in the refrigerator.
Kimi: My parents didn’t refrigerate jam either. We had milk; eggs; beer; the standard vegetables. We lived on a small farm so for a period my parents had an additional small freezer for vegetables and meat.
What do you wish you had in here?
Kimi: Well, we need to buy some things for the Japanese dinner we’re going to make, like lotus root and burdock root.
Steven: I remember being out with Kimi’s dad and him finding burdock growing in the cracks in the sidewalk and pulling it up to take home.
Kimi, 63, is a physical therapist and a musician, and she’s holding a container of pistachios. Steven, 68, is an amateur musician (with a bit singing part in Funny Farm!), a long-time educator, and a school superintendent. He will be retiring in the summer after 46 years of teaching. He’s holding a jar of sambal. They live in Marlboro, Vermont.