In 1948, Myrtle and her husband, Ivan, a fruit grower (now deceased)—who were living on a farm in Shanagarry, not quite 20 miles southeast of Cobh—moved to a house nearby called Ballymaloe. (The name means place of sweet honey, says Tim, or possibly of milk and honey; Shanagarry is an English corruption of the Irish for old garden.) The house, originally part of a 15th-century Norman castle, sat on the edge of a large mixed-used farm. Ivan raised a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on the property, and Myrtle raised six children. "In 1943, in wartime," she has written, "large quantities of tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers and apples were … exported from the farm to England and Wales. The surplus came into my kitchen along with cream, butter and eggs and slowly I learnt how to cook with them, guided by my gourmet husband." She also took cooking classes at the School of Commerce in Cork City and started writing a recipe column for the Irish Farmers Journal.