Christine and John, Staten Island, NY

How many people does your fridge need to feed?
Christine: Just two. Just us.

What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Christine: I always eat vanilla yogurt. That’s all. And coffee, definitely coffee.
John: I try to have fruit every morning. Sometimes a granola bar. And coffee, too.

Is there anything you eat every day? 
Christine: Nothing except yogurt.
John: I go through phases with snacks, like, I’ll be a pretzel guy for months and then stop and move on to something else. And hot sauce every day on something.

Every week?
Christine: We tend to have a taco night, maybe a homemade pizza night, always an Italian dish—either eggplant parmesan or pasta.
John: Beer. 

What item are you forbidden from purchasing right now?
Christine: I should really stop eating Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s.
John: When I bring ice cream home I’m in trouble and the best at the same time. Right, Christine? You get mad and then you get a spoon. I try not to have bread in the house anymore. I used to have a sandwich every day, but I’m trying to lose weight. And the bread I ate wasn’t even good bread—I grew up on Wonder Bread. But I don’t really have the urge for bread anymore. And I’m not allowed honey mustard and onion pretzel pieces anymore. I’ll eat the whole bag.

What’s the most delicious thing in here?
Christine: I’m obsessed with the American Wit beer. It’s so good. It’s made by Flagship, a Staten Island brewery. They just started bottling.
John: I have a duck in there. I never made duck before. Every time I see duck at the store it’s always in a solution of junk, but I found an all-natural one. So, I roasted a whole duck, but Christine doesn’t eat duck at all… I’ve been picking at it for two days now. I think I’ve eaten half a duck so far. I also love the cherry tomatoes. We grew them in our garden this year and they got out of control. Normally we don’t keep them in the fridge but we just had so many so they got super ripe. 

The most disgusting?
Christine: The Breyer’s French vanilla. 
John: Yea, we’ll feed that to somebody. It used to be all-natural but now it has a lot of junk in it. Somebody brought it here. I say the most disgusting thing is something I made: all summer I’ve been doing a pico de gallo with the cherry tomatoes and this time I got lazy and just threw everything in the blender and it’s terrible. It’s all the same ingredients but it’s really watery and gross.

The oldest?
John: That big Costco bottle of vanilla. I think that was one of the things my mom dropped off when I moved into my old apartment. She gave me, like, five pounds of honey and a big bottle of vanilla. 

Anything you regret buying?
John: I bought a bottle of horseradish, forgetting that we already had a bottle of horseradish. And maybe those hotdogs. We had a barbecue and everybody wanted the burgers instead of the hotdogs. And I don’t like to waste things so I have them from time time.

What's your guilty pleasure?
Christine: Anything chocolate.
John: Buffalo wings with lots of blue cheese. 

Where do you do most of your food shopping?
John: During the CSA season we’re not shopping that much. But I go to the local Shoprite. I worked there from when I was 17 to when I was 23, so I still know where everything is.
Christine: I’ll say, “we need detergent,” and he’ll say: “aisle 23.”
John: Aisle 19. I can find stuff faster, but if go during the day I run into people I know and then I get stuck. I like to go at night and just go in and get out.
Christine: He’s like the mayor of Shoprite. We also go to Trader Joe’s and Costco.
John: We just did a huge Costco trip. We did some Christmas shopping.
Christine: We’re so married. We’re such Staten Islanders. We have a section of the basement that’s for presents.

How much do you spend on groceries each week?
John: The price of the CSA went up this year, it’s about $28 a week. They raised the toll on the bridges and farmer has to pay per truck axle. But it’s hard to calculate the rest because of the way we shop. Like, we just did that huge Costco shop.

How often do you go grocery shopping?
John: Twice a week.
Christine: As little as possible. And we get the CSA once a week. And we can eat stuff from our garden.
John: We grow cherry tomatoes; Swiss chard; thyme; jalapenos; Cubanelle peppers, which I wouldn’t grow again; raspberries; strawberries; cucumbers; mint; shiso… But we have a squirrel and a baby possum who are stealing a lot.

What percentage of your meals do you prepare at home?
Christine: 80%.

Is there anything in here that we would have found in your childhood fridge? 
Christine: The Welch’s jelly, only it had high-fructose corn syrup in it when I was a kid; chocolate syrup, but it wasn’t Trader Joe’s organic Midnight Moo; ketchup.
John: Cheese, but it was always Kraft singles; mayonnaise: I lived in a mayonnaise house. My mother will eat a mayonnaise sandwich.
Christine: I grew up on Wonder Bread, cereal, and Hungry-Man TV dinners.
John: When we started dating she was always convinced that she had stomach problems. I would ask her what she ate: coffee in the morning, a bag of chips around two, and a soda….And then she was starving at night and had a bowl of cereal. My family and I have always cooked so I would send her off with packed lunches.
Christine: I went through so many doctor’s tests. There’s only so much cereal you can eat.

What do you wish you had in here?
Christine: Ice cream.
John:  Buffalo wings.


John, 35, is senior college laboratory technician and adjunct professor at CUNY College of Staten Island. He’s also a stand-up comedian and producer and co-host of the Super Live Adventure podcast. He’s holding some of his cherry tomato crop. Christine, 30, is manager of education at the Staten Island Museum and a library science graduate student at Syracuse University. She’s holding a bottle of American Wit beer. They live in Mariners Harbor, Staten Island.