Margaret Ezzy OAM of Mondrook reveals family lamington secret on 2019 National Lamington Day

Margaret Ezzy OAM with her 'albino lamingtons'. Photo: Ainslee Dennis.
Margaret Ezzy OAM with her 'albino lamingtons'. Photo: Ainslee Dennis.

"A Beef Week judge branded them 'albino lamingtons' years ago and the name just stuck," laughs Margaret Ezzy OAM.

Today is National Lamington Day and the kitchen of Margaret's home in Mondrook is where thousands of albino lamingtons have been baked, packed and frozen ready to give to friends or community organisations.

She laughs as she recalls how she worked with a friend for two days to make 100 dozen for an Old Bar Preschool fundraiser.

"It was an enormous job, and I made all the sponges but they were very popular," Margaret said. "When our kids were growing up lamington drives were so popular but you don't see them much anymore."

Margaret's albino lamingtons were once known by another name.

"Mum used to make them and she called them snowballs and the story of how the name changed is a little funny.

"Many years ago we were involved with Bos Indicus cattle and during Beef Week we had people down from Queensland to do judging.

"We had a barbecue and I had put them (snowballs) on a tray outside but didn't realise there weren't any left. A Beef Week judge came inside and said, 'Well, I've had lamingtons and I love them, but those albino lamingtons ...,' she laughs.

Albino lamingtons are a not-too-sweet cake that is soft and moist with the subtle flavour of coconut and light cream. Photo: Ainslee Dennis.

Albino lamingtons are a not-too-sweet cake that is soft and moist with the subtle flavour of coconut and light cream. Photo: Ainslee Dennis.

Margaret is happy to share how she makes them.

"I make a sponge and not a butter cake - most lamingtons are made from a heavier and denser cake - and then I coat them with blancmange.

"I make the blancmange, let it get cold and then beat butter and sugar to cream it, like you do a mock cream, and then beat the blancmange into it and spread it on the sponge before rolling in coconut. They are a tad different to a normal lamington."

The result is a not-too-sweet cake that is soft and moist with the subtle flavour of coconut and light cream.

"I used to make 12 dozen at a time without any trouble and freeze them, and people would say, 'Have you got any?' and I would say, 'Yes, come and take some'.

Robert and I don't eat a great deal of cake, it would go bad before we finish it, but I enjoy making them and so I usually give them to people who I know will enjoy them.

Margaret Ezzy OAM

Margaret's generosity with her time and cooking has benefited numerous community groups, organisations and charities over many decades. This year she received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her service to the community of Taree.

Margaret has been a volunteer with the Manning Valley Support Group of Camp Quality since 2004 and also served as president for a number of years. In 2015 she received a Volunteer Community Service Award from the combined Rotary Club's of Taree North, Taree and Taree on Manning for her work with the group.

Margaret was also the director of the Purfleet Aboriginal Community Preschool from 1967 to 1988, and she is the current treasurer of the Manning River Trefoil Guild, a past leader of Taree Girl Guides, and past craft steward for the Taree Show Society. She also volunteers to support the Mondrook Public Hall Association, Tinonee Historical Society and Museum, and the Taree and District Eisteddfod.

Her main contribution is through her cooking, mainly baking cakes, although she says she does "all different things with cooking". She cooks for the eisteddfod for the adjudicators to have refreshments, or if the Mondrook Public Hall Association is having a stall or supper, she will cook.

"It is something that you've got to like to do. I often do it for therapy if I am really mad," she laughs.

"If I get in the kitchen and put a sponge on to mix, make it up and fill it, well you feel better. To finish something and to get a result is like therapy."

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