Bought a lot of stuff in jars on a recent visit to East Cork and must say now, a few weeks after, that I’m quite happy with the loot.

Perhaps the real star was Darina Allen’s Ripe Tomato Chutney, bought at the Garden Shop in Ballymaloe. Absolutely brilliant as a dip or with pates, cold meals, cheese, foie gras (if you’re lucky enough to have it) and so on and quite reasonable at €4.20 for 340gms.

Another Ballymaloe product also hit the mark. That was the Ballymaloe Seville orange marmalade (Medium Cut). An excellent spread, again at a reasonable price of €3.29 per 340 grams.

While in the Ballymaloe Shop (this one alongside the house – the Garden Shop is by the Cookery School), we also bought a Plum Jam, €3.50 for 340gm. This as handmade by Helen Gee, a Good Food Ireland member from Abbeyleix. Again this was a splendid product, so different to an anonymous paste (billed as Plum jam) that we bought recently from one of the big chains.

Now the Village Greengrocer in Castlemartyr has many good things on the shelves there, including a pot of homemade Blackcurrant Jam. Absolutely gorgeous, as it should be this time of year. The small jar though didn't have a weight mark on it. It was probably about the 220gm mark and I thought the price €2.75 was rather expensive.

Picture: Ballymaloe House