Lois L. and her posse came to the Holler, Tuesday, May 18, for homemade custard and chocolate mousse pie. To get pie, visitors have to sit through a gourd program of truth (mostly), gourd trivia historic and contemporary, and hands on passing of quirky and/or beautiful gourd specimens.

Despite a toughies reputation in the genteel world of the learned, the Art and Antique group of Tulsa was well-behaved. The help was left unmolested, and all silver accounted for. 

 I promised to share Grandma Gertrude May’s pie crust recipe. Grandma May was a wizard in the ways of cookery. She and my Grandfather Herman May (whom I always thought looked like Clark Gable) had a Linneaus-light streak: they named my mother June (May); my Auntie, April (May). Their courage failed them when my uncle was born. They gave serious thought to naming him August….but didn’t. We call Uncle Paul, Butch. In my heart he’s always Uncle Auggie. 

Here’s Grandma May’s recipe for constructing four masterwork crusts: 

In a big bowl put this stuff: 

4 to 4-1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons salt
1-3/4 cup shortening (I use Crisco)

Then get a measuring cup for this part:

1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg
Mix the dickens out of the above

Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients and then drizzle in the wet ingredients. Keep cutting it until it’s all blended. Then dust your hands with flour and make four equal balls and put those balls in a smaller bowl you’ve dusted with a little flour. Put the bowl with the balls into the fridge and chill for hours…I leave it overnight. Then about an hour before I’m ready to roll out crust, I take the bowl out to bring down the chill so the dough rolls out more easily.

Now it’s up to you.


  1. Looks like a fabulous time had by all. I’ll have to try your crust recipe (I haven’t attempted a homemade crust since I was a teenager). The part about “it’s up to you” scares me. Something tells me there’s some magic involved that I never mastered.

  2. Wow – I recognize some of those faces!

    You counted the silver afterwards but did you count the hens & chicks?

  3. Stephen says:

    That homemade custard and chocolate pie sounds awesome. That’s a great idea to have a group come out and visit. Looks like they had a good time.

  4. Shanley in Ponca City says:

    What mighty large gourds you have there missy.

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