Around the Table Calling From the Back of Your Cupboard

“Calling from the Back of your Cupboard!” is a response to the unprecedented times we are living. This creative project seeks to reflect on some of the difficulties we are currently facing, through recycling, story telling, cooking and photographing.

“Mike, Kasia and I were disappointed not to be able to meet in person for the originally planned workshop in which we would have created dishes and photographs together…but this phone chain has been a lovely thing to initiate.

It was great to have a chat and fascinating to discover the very special ingredients we keep secret in our cupboards!” – artist Caroline Gervay

We had 3 groups – Lowestoft, Claydon and Bury St Edmunds.

Each member of the group called another member from their group with the first phone call setting the instructions to be passed on. These were the questions that were discussed:

What secret ingredient did you discover or rediscover at the back of your cupboard?
Is it something you had forgotten about?
Is it something you don’t know how to cook?
Have you ever cooked it?
Would it go nicely with another ingredient?
Have you forgotten what it is?
Is it decanted into a jar or is it in its original packaging?
Is it out of date?
Do you remember how it ended up there and why it’s still there?

Each group ended up with a list of ingredients, click each ingredient below to see suggested uses.

Some mysterious plum sauce

A Joe Wicks inspired tamarind paste jar

How to make savoury muffins and sweet muffins

Bran Muffins – makes 6-9 muffins depending on the size of your tins/cases
Wet ingredients
1 large egg
50g oil or 60g butter, melted and cooled
75g grated vegetables or apples/pears
150g yoghurt or 90g milk

Dry ingredients
75g white self-raising flour
50g bran (if you don’t have bran, substitute with more flour)
50g sugar (if you are making sweet muffins)
1 tsp spice if using
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp bicarb
50g – 75g inclusions such as nuts, dried fruit, cheese

Preheat your fan oven to 190C (210C without the fan, Gas Mark 6-7).

Sift the flour and mix well with the other dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and then whisk in the other wet ingredients. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and combine using a spatula until they are only just combined. It’s crucial not to over-mix, even the odd streak of uncombined flour is fine.

Line your muffin tin with muffin cases, spoon the mix into the cases (no higher than the top of the case) and bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 190C. The muffins should brown a little on top and you can check they are cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle, which should come out clean rather than being coated in wet, uncooked mix.

• For the savoury muffins, we had carrot, coriander, lime pickle, feta, made with butter and yoghurt

• For the sweet muffins we had date, raisin, cinnamon, pear, made with sunflower oil and milk

Some ideas for modifications

• For the fruit/veg element – apples, courgettes, parsnips, celeriac, beetroot

• For the spices – cumin, smoked paprika, clove, allspice, ground ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, caraway, sumac, dried herbs

• For the flours (use along with some wheat flour) – buckwheat, barley, rye, oat, chickpea, yellow pea, rice

• For the inclusions – hard cheeses, tofu, pickles, seeds, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate pieces

• For the yoghurt or milk: buttermilk, cheese whey, sour cream, creme fraiche, plant-based milks – be aware that you may need to alter the amount you use of these ingredients, depending on how thick or thin they are.

• For the neutral oil or butter: olive oil, lard, toasted sesame oil (use a bit less and top up with neutral oil), pumpkin seed oil, nut oils

• You could brown the butter in the recipe (cook in pan until the solids in the butter caramelise) for a nutty, toasted flavour

• The sweet muffins could be topped with nuts, buttercream, or a sauce such as butterscotch

Here are some of the delicious muffins that have been made since …..

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