FOL­LOW­ING SUIT

AS A GIFTED COUN­TRY COOK AND KEEN CARD PLAYER, ET­TIE TAY­LOR HELD HER RECIPES — AND HER HANDS — CLOSE TO HER CHEST.

Country Style - - CONTRIBUTORS - WORDS TRACEY PLATT PHO­TOG­RA­PHY AND STYLING CHINA SQUIR­REL

Et­tie ‘Mim’ Tay­lor’s hand dur­ing cards was a well-kept se­cret, as was her fa­mous date slice recipe.

WHEN MENSWEAR MER­CHANT Harry Tay­lor in­vited com­mer­cial trav­ellers home for din­ner, they knew they would be treated to a gen­er­ous meal, fol­lowed by a lively game of solo or bridge. But it wasn’t Harry they looked for­ward to play­ing, it was his wife Et­tie. “Af­ter din­ner they al­ways wanted a game of cards with my grand­mother, be­cause they said she was such a good player,” ex­plains Les­ley Giles, 73. Born in 1894, Et­tie — known as Mim to her fam­ily — was also a “fe­ro­cious” golfer, which Les­ley at­tributes to grow­ing up with three sports-lov­ing brothers (and a sis­ter) at Dyrabba, a sheep prop­erty on the Turon River, 10 kilo­me­tres from So­fala in the NSW Cen­tral West. In 1917 Et­tie mar­ried Harry Tay­lor, whose fam­ily owned the So­fala gen­eral store, which flour­ished dur­ing the town’s gold rush hey­days. By then the gold frenzy had fiz­zled, so the cou­ple moved to nearby Kan­dos, which had opened new ce­ment works. “My grand­fa­ther built two shops with res­i­dences at­tached. He set up his menswear busi­ness in one and rented out the other. Mim only worked in the store when he went to Syd­ney to buy stock, but the lo­cal men weren’t keen on buy­ing their sin­glets and pants from a woman, so they never did much busi­ness on those days,” Les­ley says with a laugh. When she wasn’t caring for their three daugh­ters or her beloved gar­den, Et­tie (pic­tured) sup­ported the lo­cal Angli­can church, while Harry was the town’s hon­orary coro­ner and act­ing mag­is­trate. Et­tie also honed her culi­nary skills by host­ing reg­u­lar cock­tail par­ties. “She only had a small fridge and a meat safe, but some­how she man­aged,” Les­ley re­calls. “But she cer­tainly didn’t give her recipes away. When peo­ple asked for them she’d say, ‘Oh yes, that’s fine,’ and then pre­tend she’d for­got­ten.” Cin­na­mon ap­ple pies, tomato rel­ish and this date slice were among Et­tie’s sig­na­ture recipes that Les­ley cher­ishes to­day (next of kin be­ing ex­empt from the recipe ban). “The date slice was al­ways ready for us when we vis­ited dur­ing school hol­i­days,” Les­ley says. “Mim was a fan­tas­tic grand­mother and had end­less pa­tience to play dress-ups and hi­lar­i­ous games of sar­dines. I’m sure she would for­give me for shar­ing this recipe, which is a great favourite with all the fam­ily.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.