one of a kind

JEANNETTE LEE HAS AL­WAYS AD­MIRED HER BIG SIS­TER, WHO BE­STOWED PRAC­TI­CAL AD­VICE AND A FOOL­PROOF PAVLOVA RECIPE.

Country Style - - RECIPE HEIRLOOM - WORDS SARAH NEIL PHO­TOG­RA­PHY MARK ROPER STYLING LEE BLAY­LOCK

WHEN JEANNETTE LEE MAR­RIED in the late 1960s, she was a fledg­ling cook. “I was en­thu­si­as­tic, but not al­ways suc­cess­ful,” she re­calls. Sadly, Jeannette’s mother had passed away, so she turned to her older sis­ter for help. “Eu­nice was my life­line and some of the recipes she passed on I still use to this day.” Jeannette, 76, has al­ways thought of her big sis­ter as a sec­ond mother. When she was born in New­cas­tle, NSW, in 1940, her two sis­ters were al­ready in high school and Jeannette has fond mem­o­ries of Eu­nice, who spoilt her ter­ri­bly. “She was a very pretty girl and a real sweet­heart — ev­ery­one thought so.” Re­garded as a great home cook, Eu­nice (pic­tured) took a cake-dec­o­rat­ing course when she was a young mum and be­gan mak­ing wed­ding cakes from home. What be­gan as a hobby be­came a suc­cess­ful busi­ness and “she was known far and wide for her cakes”. Of all the recipes Eu­nice passed on to Jeannette when she was a novice cook, this pavlova must be the favourite. “I’d tried mak­ing pavlova a cou­ple of times and, even with my new Sun­beam Mix­mas­ter, I ended up with a mess,” says Jeannette, who again askexd Eu­nice for ad­vice. “She said, ‘I’ve got a fool­proof recipe.’ You just threw ev­ery­thing in and it worked.” Forty years later, Eu­nice’s hand­writ­ten recipe is still the one Jeannette uses when she makes dessert for fam­ily gath­er­ings, din­ners or street Christ­mas par­ties. “Pav’s pretty safe,” says Jeannette, who serves it topped with “any fruit that’s about”. Jeannette is still very close to her sis­ter, who is now 88 and lives in a nurs­ing home. “Eu­nice no longer cooks, but she’s known for her culi­nary knowl­edge and the nurs­ing home staffff of­ten ask her ad­vice. She is one of a rare breed who can do any­thing.”

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