How many people does your fridge need to feed?
Leda: The two of us, and what we make for our food truck. It’s called Dosa Kitchen: we specialize in dosas, fermented rice and lentil crepes that millions of south Indians eat every day. We serve them with different curries and chutneys, and we incorporate local foods, which is not too common in the ethnic food world.
What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Leda: I often cook ground lamb. Since there’s so much fat in it I can just throw in vegetables: I put in onions, greens; I like cauliflower because it’s substantial. Sometimes I’ll do chipotle chiles, sometimes fresh frozen coconut, sometimes fish sauce and lime juice.
Nash: I eat whatever Leda makes or anything leftover from the food truck the day before. Today we had eggs with last night’s noodles.
Leda: We mixed in lime juice, fish sauce, ground kaffir lime leaves, and chili. It’s our version of Thai laarb.
Is there anything you eat every day?
Leda: I write cookbooks and test recipes for other people so we never know what we’re going to eat from one day to the next. But I drink tea every day.
Nash: Tea for me, too. And beer, in the summertime.
Leda: Chicken curry leftovers from the truck—more than we’d like sometimes. And kimchi and sauerkraut. And ice cream.
Nash: Ice cream is important.
Leda: We’ve been making it for the food truck. And sometimes we buy Walpole ice cream from the Walpole Creamery nearby in New Hampshire.
What item are you forbidden from purchasing right now?
Leda: Factory farm meat and junk food—we don’t really buy much packaged food at all, nothing with high fructose corn syrup.
Nash: Sometimes I like to get my Indian cookies, which are loaded with glucose. They’re known as “baby cookies”; their real name is Parle-G. I grew up eating them. The ingredients are horrible.
Leda: I think the amount they make you happy offsets some of the bad ingredients.
What’s the most delicious thing in here?
Leda: The ice cream. If something was already made from this oxtail, or the stew beef, or the pierogies, then I might say that. But I’d have to make it.
Nash: Yea, ice cream.
The most disgusting?
Nash: Miso. I moved it to the other refrigerator so I see it less often. That fridge is mostly for food for the truck, this one is more for personal stuff or Leda’s projects. But this giant container in here is dosa batter, fermenting. I also hate coriander when it gets bad and we lose it in the fridge.
Leda: That’s the thing we lose most often.
Leda: The kimchi. We made that in March.
Anything you regret buying?
Leda: Well, we made too much kimchi for the truck. We only regret it because we’re running out of room. We don’t regret the actual making of it.
Nash: We definitely don’t regret it; we love it.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Leda: Ice cream.
Where do you do most of your food shopping?
Leda: The food co-op, the farmer’s market, and directly from farms. And every couple of months we travel an hour and a half to get our Indian groceries for the truck. Every so often I have to order special ingredients online for something I’m recipe testing, like corn husks for tamales, or huitlacoche. When I lived in New York I just went to Kalustyan's for things like that.
How much do you spend on groceries each week?
Leda: About $200 (just for us, not for the truck). We buy really expensive food and food is also really expensive in Brattleboro. We try to buy things directly from farmers as much as possible to avoid the mark-up.
How often do you go grocery shopping?
Leda: Probably every other day. Nash does the shopping for the truck.
Is there anything in here that we would have found in your childhood fridge?
Leda: Butter, milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream. I grew up vegetarian so there was no meat in my childhood fridge. I started eating meat about 18 years ago—I wanted to stay vegetarian but it didn’t work for my body. My mom was pretty shocked when I finally told her I wasn’t vegetarian any more.
What do you wish you had in here?
Leda: So many things! Thai basil, fresh green chilis, fresh curry leaves, and leftovers from all my favorite restaurants in New York.
Leda, 49, is the author of Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of Fermentation and other cookbooks. She’s holding a jar of homemade kimchi. Nash, 36, is the owner of the Dosa Kitchen food truck, and he’s holding a carton of Walpole Creamery maple walnut ice cream. They live in Brattleboro, Vermont.