Pie Crust Scraps

This is a guest post by my sister, Karen Kolavalli:

“Tonight I’m remembering the cinnamon and sugar pie crust scraps Mom used to make for us. I don’t know if this is just something my mom did or if it was a common practice back in the day. The scraps, of course, are what’s left over after a pie crust is rolled out and fitted into the pie pan. The excess is trimmed off with a knife.

The pie crust scraps are placed on a cookie sheet and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and then baked for about 10 minutes. As soon as they’re out of the oven, they’re divvied up among the kids and eaten hot and fresh.

The pie dough scraps ready to go into the oven. (photo by Karen Kolavalli)

The pie dough scraps ready to go into the oven. (photo by Karen Kolavalli)

The ones I made tonight (in the picture) are bigger and not as “scrappy” as my Mom’s because I had a small ball of dough left over after making a small fruit cobbler. I rolled out the ball and cut it into strips. They were lovely. 🙂

Those sweet pie crust scraps are a special childhood memory.”

Karen's photo of the ready-to-eat pie dough scraps. Just like Mom used to make. My mouth is watering already.

Karen’s photo of the ready-to-eat pie dough scraps. Just like Mom used to make. My mouth is watering already.

D is for Doll Clothes

(A Christmas memory by Virginia Allain) Although I’m 65, I still play with dolls. Well, that is, I have a vintage doll and I make clothes for her. I think the reason I enjoy this goes back many years. Here’s my memory:

One Christmas when money was extra-tight, all the gifts were homemade. With six children to provide a Merry Christmas, it must have been quite a challenge. Mom helped each of us to make gifts for the others, plus she sewed and created gifts to give us from Santa. Heaven knows where she found the time for this.

I particularly remember the doll dresses she sewed from scrap of material for my sister’s doll. Karen’s doll was a Toni doll and she came with the standard short dress of the 1950s.

The outfits that Mom made were straight out of Gone with the Wind and Dr Zhivago, well, at least straight out of Mom’s imagination of outfits from those eras. She used leftover curtain material to make an ivory ball gown. Another dress of blue plaid wool even had a warm hat to go with it. There was a lightweight dress of green with cap sleeves and a ribbon around the waist.

Toni Doll by Ideal

Toni doll in the blue plaid outfit that Mom made for her.

My sister still has the doll dressed and on display in her home. Even after all these years, I was jealous of her doll and the dresses created by Mom. That’s when I went to eBay and found a Toni doll for myself a few years ago.

My sewing skills are not nearly as good as Mom’s but I’m having fun making outfits for my doll.

photo by Karen Kolavalli

My sister’s doll named Belinda wearing one of the dresses made by Mom.

Read more about the Toni doll and my pages with instructions for making outfits.

1957-58 Memories of Gail and Clyde

Guest Blogger is Les Paugh Sr. who married Gail’s cousin Treva Mae Davidson. He remembers that he was out of work for 6 weeks when the union went on strike, so he went to El Dorado after hearing from Roy McGhee (Treva and Gail’s uncle) that Clyde needed help on the oil drilling rig.

“I went to work there November 1957. We only had two weeks of work in November and 1 week in December. We were living with Gail and Clyde Martin at that time. We had 3 kids and they had 4 or 5.

The only meat we had on the table was rabbits that I shot. Clyde had a Kaiser-Frazer car with wide flat fenders.

At night we would go out on the country roads and I would set on the right front fender and shoot rabbits with my 22 pistol. That was all the meat we could afford. We had boiled rabbit. baked rabbit, fried, and any other way Treva and Gail could think of to fix them. Red Drilling Company gave us a turkey at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas.”

He found other work and the Paugh family found a place to live about a block from the hospital. “While I was working on the highway, east of town with the blade operator, a tornado came up on the west side of town. I told the operator that it looked like it hit our area. We both took off and went to the tool shack and our cars. I got into my 55 Packard and he went into the tool shed.

The tornado turned and came over the cars and the tool shed. My Packard and his 56 Chrysler parked by mine tipped up on their sides and I thought they were going to go over, but they didn’t. The blade operator and about 6 other men came out of the tool shed and they were all as white as a sheet. I asked what had happened. They said that a long piece of 2 X 6 had gone through the shed but didn’t hit anybody there.

I was afraid that the tornado had gone over to Clyde and Gail’s which was closer to the path of the tornado. I started over there and Treva and my kids came out of a house up the block that had a basement. When I saw all of you were OK, I went over to Gail and Clyde’s. The tornado hit about 1/2 a block from them.”

Owen, Susan, Virginia, Cindy, Karen Martin 1950s Image

Back to front: Owen, Susan, Ginger, Cindy, Karen Martin in El Dorado

Note by Virginia Allain: At the time of the tornado, Clyde Martin was in the hospital after a serious car accident. Gail was pregnant with their sixth child, Shannon.

Mom and Baseball

“You’re missing the world series, Mom!”

She and my dad devoted a lot of hours to watching baseball on television the last few years. Sometimes they would watch two games in one day. Back in the sixties, she was a big Cardinals fan, so I’m sure she would have been rooting for them to beat the Red Sox.

Back then, the Cardinals were the nearest team. There was no team in Kansas City. We would listen to the games on a portable radio as we weeded the vegetable garden. I remember the names still; Ken Boyer, Bob Gibson and Orlando Cepeda. There was Dick Groat, Ray Sadecki, Steve Carlton and Lou Brock. Stolen bases, amazing pitching and big hitters. What a great and memorable team.

Mom liked baseball at all levels. My sisters played on little league teams and Mom sat in the stands scoring the hits, plays and errors in the tiny boxes of the score sheet.

Gail and a favorite activity

Gail and a Favorite Activity

She became a Cubs fan in the last five years of her life. They could get all the Chicago games on cable. After Dad’s death, she still watched the games but missed discussing the players with him and complaining about the umpires.

My sister Karen started taking her to see the summer collegiate games in El Dorado. Despite the beastly heat, they cheered the young players on and made a family outing of it with Mom’s sister, CJ, and another daughter, Cindy participating and assorted grandchildren or great-grandchildren. A baseball fan to the end.

Photo by Karen Kolavalli

Gail Martin (in cap) and Her Sister