It is spring cleaning season, and if you're like me you probably have a few strange food items hanging around in your kitchen. Well, our producer, Selena Simmons-Duffin, is here to explain a new project NPR is doing about these mysterious items that we all have hanging around. Hey, Selena.


GREENE: So what is this project? Tell me about it.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: OK. It's called Cook Your Cupboard, and it's an online tool that you can use to get advice on how to make your mysterious pantry puzzlers into things that you can use for a meal.

GREENE: Actually eat.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Exactly. Something that you can take from your pantry to the table. So what we're asking is that people find no more than three things that they have around, take a photo, submit it at NPR.org/Cupboard, or if you're on Tumblr, it's Cook Your Cupboard is the name of the Tumblr. And you can tell the story behind it and then other people, other viewers, listeners will be able to comment with ideas and recipes and advice.

GREENE: They could give you some sort of recipe or they could just say this stuff is way too weird. There's nothing you can...

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Yeah, throw it out. That's possible too.

GREENE: OK. Well, all this explains why you had me bring in a photo from my cupboard of some weird items.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: So, tell me what you found.

GREENE: OK. Well, what we're looking at here, this is the photo - it's red and white premium popcorn, a strange jar of something which my wife tells me is actually apricot oil, and Lydia's blackberry jam - was a gift from my friend Lydia, and she saw it in a store in Amish country, Pennsylvania, where Lydia and I are both from. And we haven't used these things. So...

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Oh, well, that seems like a shame, especially the jam.

GREENE: So I could put this photo on this website and explain what I just explained to you and people will say, hey, I got an idea for popcorn, apricot oil and jam.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Totally, totally. And already we've just launched and we've gotten watermelon preserves and tamarind paste and pigeon peas and all sorts of things that people have hanging out in their kitchen already that they need advice for what to do with it.

GREENE: Pigeon peas?

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Yeah, pigeon peas. Now, I have to say that I am not a chef. We need other people to go and offer their guidance.

GREENE: OK. So a lot of online elements to this. Are we going to be hearing some stuff on the radio, on MORNING EDITION also?

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Yeah. There will be a home for Cook Your Cupboard on air. You'll hear segments with chefs who are talking to submitters about their - things in their cupboard and the excellent, delicious things that they can make out of them. And the first chef who's going to be on is Nigella Lawson, who is one of MORNING EDITION's favorite and a very famous cookbook author and TV personality. So you'll have to stay tuned for Nigella's advice about your pantry.

GREENE: Excellent. This sounds fun. MORNING EDITION producer Selena Simmons-Duffin. Thanks, Selena.



GREENE: Once more, that website is NPR.org/Cupboard. Send us photos of what's in your pantry.


GREENE: This is NPR News.

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