At one time, Kris Shoup was as emblematic of Whistler as the newly minted green-and-white resort flag. As a municipal clerk for nearly a decade during Whistler's roller-coaster start-up, Kris was responsible for keeping council, municipal records — and more — on track. There she sat, next to the mayor of the day, whether it was crusty old Pat Carleton, the young upstart Mark Angus, or the gracious and thoughtful Terry Rodgers.
In 1995, she was named Citizen of the Year for her bazillion hours of volunteer work, a tradition she carries on today volunteering at the food bank and for the Whistler Naturalists.
Last installment, we looked at how Kris landed in Whistler in '76; how the place grabbed her heart and she, in turn, grabbed its. So now it's time to peek inside her fridge and see what it might tell us about such a classic Whistlerite.
Much of the grocery shopping in the Shoup-Kleinman household is done by daughter Chana, who does a run every Sunday in Squamish, where she works weekends. Nesters Market is a big source, too, and they like to buy as much organic food as they can.
"But really," Kris says, "I would love to eat a 100-mile diet, which is why we have all kinds of vegetables from Pemberton." It doesn't hurt, either, that daughter Rachel lives there.
Pemby potatoes, beets, carrots and parsnips are nestled under an old sheet out in the garage, which acts like a cold room. They also buy a whole pig or cow from Pemberton farmers whenever they can. These get butchered for the freezer in the garage, where you'll also find tons of fresh Pemby berries Kris picks every summer to freeze.
As for the fridge itself, on the top shelf we find two tubs: one of ancient grains and some of those Pemberton root veggies left over from a roast chicken dinner, and one of butter Chana took to school with her homemade challah. Chana works as an educational assistant at Spring Creek Community School, the same place Kris does, and her class had a potluck brunch where everyone made something that reflected their nationality. Chana made challah, a braided bread that's part of Jewish cuisine inspired by her dad, Alex Kleinman, who works as the capital project and infrastructure coordinator for the Ullus Community Complex at Mount Currie.
There's also green grapes along with fresh raspberries, blueberries and blackberries for Alex's morning granola (a favourite: The Granola King from North Van); a jug of water for his soda maker; homemade strawberry jam from Kris's colleague, Janet Penny; fresh pineapple; and all kinds of supplements Kris likes to take.
Shelf two holds kalamata olives; salsa that friends from California left behind; crunchy peanut butter; ranch veggie dip; and a container of aka miso, a delicious dark miso that her 93-year-old friend, Astrid, turned her on to before passing away last May. There's apricot jam; Dijon mustard; tipsy olives with vermouth; leftover salad; pepper jelly; Rice Dream (they've gone off milk: "It just didn't feel good."); yogurt; avocado mayo, two-per-cent milk for one of their international students; parmesan cheese and some Earth Balance spread (a butter substitute).
Next: the meat drawer, where we find tortillas, a turkey breast and some vegan egg powder bought specially at Christmas for daughter Becky. There's also a pork tenderloin Alex will probably barbecue for dinner. He likes to cook, and "does the majority, no question" says Kris. Both of them work five days a week, so Monday to Friday, it's whoever gets home first starts, then everyone pitches in.
Beside the meat drawer, we've got celery, almond butter, one hard-boiled egg, some baba ganoush, sour cream and two dozen beautiful white, brown and blue eggs that one of Kris's students brings from her dad's place in Pemberton.
Below, the produce drawer contains parsnips, potatoes and beets; fresh chives and thyme, and a bag of "very cool" Inspired Greens grown in Richmond — three different kinds of living lettuce in one plant that still has its roots, no pesticides.
Now we're on to the door, which is a cook's dream. I count 35 different items, including a host of condiments from a range of cuisines — basil pesto, hoisin and black bean sauces, and ghee, for a start — plus just about anything a cook experienced or not could need to whip up something excellent: Garlic, butter, two kinds of cheddar cheese, five kinds of salad dressing, rose hip syrup for waffles — yum; and much, much more.
With all this great food on hand, you sure don't have to run out and buy something for dinner.
"That's exactly what happens every night," Kris says. "You just walk in and you go, OK, what do I got?" Otherwise, if they want a night off to do a social thing, it's likely pizza night with a bunch of other Whistler classics.
"We'll have Mike and Laurie Vance, Jim Webster, Tom Barratt, Shelley Wonnacott and Alex and me, and whatever kids we can get for a big pizza night — just a casual night at home to catch up," she says. The young ones are an integral part, and not just because they have three daughters and international students.
"I want to hear what they're doing, and how things are going, and what's happening out there," says Kris, noting there's a second generation at Whistler now, and a third coming down the pipe.
"It's a whole different perspective on the whole town and everything else, right?"
Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning journalist who looks forward to Whistler's fourth generation.