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One thing ALWAYS in your refrigerator?

What is one thing that is ALWAYS in your refrigerator?

emptyFridgeI used to always end my interview with this question so I thought it might be fun to re-visit. I put the call out to a bunch of our friends both authors and folks in the mystery community and here’s what came back~ Jon


Megan Abbott: If I’m honest: beer. (second: Sriracha)

Patti Abbott: Wine

Tasha Alexander: Plain 2% Fage Greek Yogurt. Boring? Maybe, but it’s damn good….

Charles Ardai: Pickles

Ace Atkins: Beer!

Jedidiah Ayres: Clean pee… …and the head of Alfredo Garcia

Donna Bagdasarian: Mustard

Eric Beetner: I always have some Half and Half to make my super rich and thick hot chocolates at night when I write. I’m not a coffee guy and if you have one of my hot chocolates, I can convert you too.

Laura Benedict: I always, always have yeast on hand in case I feel the need to break into spontaneous pizza making.

James Benn: Beer. Usually IPA.

Lou Berney: Ancient vodka (for emergencies only).

Judy Bobalik: Milk

Declan Burke: There is ALWAYS ham in my refrigerator. Ham is an integral part of any sandwich I make, and there are times when I live only on sandwiches. With ham, you can never go wrong – if you run out of bread, you can always slap a slice of ham between two slices of ham, et voila – the ultimate ham sandwich. This may well be, of course, why I am such a ham.

Kurt Busiek: Hard Boiled Eggs

CJ Box: Beer!

Chelsea Cain: Besides my collection of human hearts?
Hummus tubs. Lots of hummus tubs. Most of them empty or expired. I generally leave just enough hummus in a tub for maybe one cracker. That way I can put it back in the fridge while maintaining that it isn’t technically “empty” – because if it were “empty” then I have to clean it out and recycle it, and I am lazy. Then, once a month, when the fridge is so full of hummus tubs that I can’t fit in any more of them in, I will collect them all and I will put them in the trash because if I’m too lazy to rinse out one hummus tub I’m certainly not going to rinse out a dozen of them. I’m not a monster. I understand the importance of recycling. So I move other trash items on top of the hummus tubs so my husband won’t see them. And sometimes, if there are too many tubs to hide, I will take out the trash in order to cover up the crime.

Bill Cameron: For me, it’s Sriracha Sauce, because I’ll never finish it. Or ever use it again. I realize this is some kind of blasphemy, but I do not like Sriracha. I bought the bottle currently in my fridge because I like heat and because humanity seems to be having a collective orgasm for Sriracha. But when I actually used it, I had a deep sad because, to me, it tastes like slightly rancid Tabasco with dirt rubbed in it. But because my kid likes it (the little weirdo), I won’t throw it away. This ensures Sriracha a place, mostly ignored, in my fridge forevermore.

Dana Cameron: In regular play: cottage cheese and eggs. Relics: The crusty ketchup
from last summer.

Eric Campbell: Bacon…because it makes everything taste that much better!

Kathryn Casey: Louisiana hot sauce, because it’s good on pretty much everything.

Joelle Charbonneau: Diet Pepsi! I can’t live or write without it. Oh – and there might always be Prosecco in my fridge, too, but I’m a YA author and probably shouldn’t flaunt that! Then again, maybe I should. After all – we need to celebrate the happy things in life, right?

Sean Chercover: The head of the last man who done me wrong. Kidding… Hot sauce. Many, many bottles of hot sauce.

Lee Child: Cold air

Anne Cleeland: Dove’s almond dark chocolate.

Matthew Clemons: Eggs, my go-to protein.

Oline H. Cogdill : Dog food (seriously…may be no people food but the boys will not go hungry)

Reed Farrel Coleman: Chipotle peppers

Daniel Conaway: Hellman’s *light* mayonnaise…. And a package of sundried tomatoes whose provenance could only be ascertained through carbon dating….

Bill Crider: Pace picante sauce!

Ro Cuzon: Cornichons

Ray Daniel: “Almond butter. I always have an almond butter sandwich for breakfast, and if I don’t have the ingredients it makes for a cranky morning.”

Alison Dasho: That’s easy: cheese! A big block of sharp cheddar.

Hilary Davidson: We always have a bottle of sparkling wine chilling in the fridge. Dan and I are ready to celebrate at the drop of a hat!

Sean Doolittle: Outdated salad dressing.

Barry Eisler: I always want to say a severed head. Meyer lemons from our tree is so banal by comparison.

JT Ellison: Orange juice. I can’t function properly without my morning OJ. And it has to be Tropicana without pulp. The perfect way to start the day.

Gillian Flynn: Jello. Cherry or lime. I try never to go a day without it.

Jen Forbus: candles…votive candles

Margery Flax: Seltzer

Jamie Freveletti: Heavy cream for coffee and Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Life’s two basic food groups!

Lee Goldberg: Diet Shasta Cola

Heather Graham: Coffee – – I live in Florida, so, yes, it’s in the refrigerator!

Andrew Grant: Champagne. We like to be ready to celebrate anything, anytime.

PBRAlex Grecian: I keep the big cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon in my fridge all the time because it’s the favorite beverage of the cabinet-maker who lives next door. Whenever he stops by, he drinks a few PBRs and I try to get him to build something new for my kitchen. It works often enough that it’s worth having the stuff around permanently.

SE Green: “Mustard! I eat mustard on EVERYTHING. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that. Salad, eggs, pizza…”

Maggie Griffin: Everything is better with bacon, even my fridge.

Andrew Gross: Hellman’s Mayo.

Bryan Gruley: Feta and Greek olives.

Tim Hallinan: The head of Alfredo Garcia. (Courtesy of Sam Peckinpah, who’s done with it.)

Denise Hamilton: Milk. I drive 3 glasses a day! Also use it with coffee.

Elizabeth Hand: mesclun mix for salad, Greek yogurt, and scary cheese.

Sophie Hannah: Microwave-able Dim sum – I eat them for breakfast every morning, with Tabasco sauce!

Caryolyn Hart: Actually there are 3 items that are always in my refrigerator:
Jalapeno Pepper Jack Cheese, Fresh cut fruit, Skim milk

Matt Hilton: Out of date leftovers – that no one invariably eats – that gets thrown out once a funny smell is noticed.

Chris Holm: Mustard. Like, seventeen different kinds. Brown. Yellow. Dijon. Spicy. Garlic. Beer. Chinese. You name it, we’ve got it. Thank god mustard doesn’t impair mental faculties, or Kat and I would need some serious rehab. (At, perhaps, the Mayo Clinic?)(I can’t believe I made that joke. I’m so proudshamed.)

Victoria Houston: A dark chocolate Dove Bar. That way, no matter how miserable a day may be — there will be something good at the end.

Gregg Hurwitz: Martini olives.

D.E. Johnson: For me, it’s wasabi and soy sauce. My wife makes a killer vegetarian sushi that is to die for–but it needs those to work.

Jon Jordan: Nathan’s Hot Dogs

Ruth Jordan: 6 pounds of bacon, 11 kinds of mustard

Ali Karim: I keep a tub of Calcium Gluconate Gel in my fridge at work. In case of a Hydroflouric Acid leak, and burn, due to the reactivity of Flourine with Calcium as it will extract the Calcium from the body [Bones and Teeth], you need to apply Calcium Gluconate to the skin very fast

Dana Kaye: Sparkling water (in an effort to give up pop.)

Ellen Clair Lamb: Skim milk

Jon Land: You mean besides the severed heads? Orange juice!

Patrick Lee: I definitely always have Diet Coke in my refrigerator!

Laura Lippman: Something past its expiration date

Sophie Littlefield: Butter. I’m from Polish stock and butter runs through our veins.

Bill Loehfelm: Cool Brew iced coffee. Always.

Jess Lourey: So-hot-it-tastes-like-poison hot sauce. 🙂

Lisa Lutz: A leafy green vegetable on its deathbed.

Jeremy Lynch: Mustard, at least two kinds

Stuart MacBride: Since the last time you asked this question, I’ve made a radical change to the one thing that’s ALWAYS in my refrigerator. We now keep a little Lego version of me in there to guard the cheese and make sure no bastarding mice steal it. So far, Mini Lego Me has been 100% successful.

Val McDermid: A block of Parmesan cheese.

Craig McDonald: A stock of Perrier. I will in no way try to defend it.

Russel McLean: cheese. Of all kinds. Because you can never have too much cheese. And it can be used for almost anything (depending on cheese type and age). Of course, when I lived on my own, it was always mould. Because… well, single guy on his own… I still sometimes have mould in the refigerator but only if I forget about the cheese…

Dan Malmon: The tears of my vanquished enemies. I keep them in this really cool Tupperware.

Jenny Milchman: either…chocolate mousse or of course, since this is Crimespree, mystery meat!!

CheeseDenise Mina: A lot of Cheese

Erin Mitchell: My answer is predictable…chocolate (I live in a hot climate, so it has to live in the drawer that the fridge maker thought they designed to contain eggs or butter or something)

B. Clay Moore: Skim milk.

Clare O’Donohue: Mango and peanut butter. Not together, but they are two of my go-to snacks.

Ayo Onatade: Cheese

Daniel Palmer: Mayonnaise….because nothing says “yummy” like expeller pressed oil

Gigi Pandian : Spicy mango pickle!

Sara Paretsky: You can always find horseradish in my refrigerator: I buy a new jar every year at Passover for the Seder plate, and then it sits in the side door until the next Passover, when I throw it out and buy a new jar.

Lynne Raimondo: I think this shows me to be a stereotypical author, but the one thing I ALWAYS have in my fridge is gin.

Erica Ruth Neubauer: Cheese. In a glorious variety of its many shapes and flavors.

Brad Parks: My former mailman. Oh. Wait. I mean, nope, sorry, haven’t seen him…

J Kingston Pierce: sweet chili sauce!

Manuel Ramos: I always have a bottle of Mezzetta Hot Chile Peppers – eat them with almost every meal.

Ian Rankin: Frigid air

Cornelia Read: My miniature Titanic/icebergs ice-cube tray is always in my freezer…

Janet Reid: A coffee can with $5000 cash, fresh passport and a burner cell phone.

Kat Richardson: Carrots.

Todd Robinson: Iced Coffee

SJ Rozan: Milk! And I write this from China, where milk is a distant memory. One of my favorite things about going home, getting my milk.

Peter Rozovsky: Empty paper bags that postdate the last time I cleaned out that same refrigerator.

Greg Rucka: Dijon mustard. (Not necessarily Grey Poupon, however….)

Janet Rudolph: Butter ..and not any butter… but Irish sweet butter. A day with out butter…I just can’t imagine it — and I’m lactose intolerant. LOL!

Bryon Quertermous: Diet Pepsi is ALWAYS in our refrigerator. My wife insists on it. If someone uses the last of the pop without replacing it with a new one hell is brought down upon the house.

Marcus Sakey: Hot sauce. Always, and in lots of varieties. We’re on vacation right now and I still have six bottles in the fridge door.

Charles Salzberg: Ketchup.

Tom Savage: My face

Alex Segura: Almond milk. Exciting, right?

Jo Schmidt: Beer. Even though I don’t drink it.

Zoe Sharp: At the moment I’m away a lot, so it’s usually something small green and furry that needs to be beaten back with a stick every time I open the door.

Jeffery Siger: Batteries

Keith Snyder An odd smell.

Kate Stine: Little plastic packets of soy sauce. The one thing that’s NEVER in our refrigerator? (For long anyway) Martini olives.

Duane Swierczynski: A jar of horseradish. Just in case I get the chance to hunt and kill a wild smoked kielbasa.

Steve Ulfelder: The tax collector’s head! Also Chobani greek yogurt, black cherry.

Elaine Viets: A bottle of champagne.

Robert Ward: A human head. I really can’t exist without one in y fridge. When no one else will talk to me Heady will. Besides that, I always have ketchup and usually cheese.

Sarah Weinman: Chedder cheese

Bill Willingham: Always in my fridge: a brown paper wrapped parcel my next door neighbor asked me to hold on to until he asks for it back, with the admonition never to open it. His exact words were, “keep this on ice for me,” hence the refrigerator.

Ingrid Willis: A jar of minced garlic.

F. Paul Wilson: Prosecco.

Simon Wood: An unusual smell that can’t be nailed down…


How about you?? Leave a comment and let us know!!!