I’ve been clearing out like a mad thing recently, getting ready for Winter. Doing a spring clean is traditional, but after the summer my cupboards have been slightly neglected. Now is the time to go though all those jars lurking on the top drawer of your fridge. Are you really going to eat that last teaspoon of ancient pickle? If not chuck it out, scrub clean the jars and start making up chutneys and pickles of your own. My lovely neighbour has just delivered a large back of quinces, so I’ll be making up some beautiful pink jelly very soon. Likewise look at the sell by dates on things like flour, baking powder and gelatine. Get rid of them if they are old, and while you are at it throw out all the unused herbs and spices. These really do deteriorate over time; many products bought in the supermarket weren’t that fresh to begin with. Once your kitchen has had a good clear out, you can start baking and boiling up jams and chutneys. This is such a satisfying thing to do. Even better when you can draw your family or friends around you to help. Happy cooking!