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Crawfish Meatloaf

From: marie 
Sent: Monday, December 24, 2012 12:32 PM
Subject: crawfish meatloaf recipe

My mother made a crawfish tail meatloaf that was out of this world delicious. She passed away and I can’t find the recipe.

Hello Marie,

I can find only one recipe for crawfish meatloaf. It’s here: Family Cookbook Project.

There are recipes on these sites for just “crawfish loaf”:



Since I have no idea what you mother’s crawfish tail meatloaf was like, then I have no idea whether any of these is similar. There is no way for me to search any further without more details about your mother’s recipe.


Curley Q Cookies

 From: Gayle 
Sent: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 8:26 PM
Subject: Heirloom Curly-Q Cookies from sweltering South Carolina

Hi Uncle,

(No luck googling or browsing cooking sites).
Here are a couple of pictures of my failed attempts. Family enjoyed the successive approximations, but not "it" for me.  
I got so discouraged I haven't tried this again in the 16 years since my last attempt!  The little boy is a college junior 
now and my husband is grizzled and graying.

Being the only family member who still cooks with butter, I have been entrusted with recreating this lost recipe.  
These cookies were baked in a sweltering South Carolina kitchen in the 1930's to 1960's, and no one is still alive who 
cooked them though all surviving family members over the age of 55 remember them.
1. We called them "Curley-Q's"
2. We believe they were a pretty simple refrigerator cookie.
3. An elderly uncle said he believes they just used "real short biscuit dough" (which I take to mean "with a lot of shortening"), 
   and the dough itself was not sweet.
4. My elderly mother remembers the rolled dough was spread with butter then brown sugar was lightly pressed in, then the dough 
   was rolled and chilled. Wax paper was involved.
5. What we ALL remember is that Curly-Q's always had crunchy carmelized brown sugar bottoms BUT the cookie above was still slightly 
   chewy (usually).  We kids, without exception used to nibble them around and around in a circle from the outer edge.  The baked 
   cookies were about 1/4" thick.  The arrival of a tin of Curly-Q's was an event that transported each of us back to lazy, hot, 
   innocent summers at our grandparents' cabin on a lake in the pines

I have tried 7 or 8 permutations attempting to recreate this using a rich biscuit dough from Joy of Cooking, but they were not "it". 
Tasty, but not that childhood memory. 
I want to create the cookie that will cause my widely-dispersed cousins to close their eyes in poignancy and utter bliss when they 
open a cookie tin of them.  "Close" doesn't cut it.

The ingredients are so simple the problem has to be with the process.  Here's where I know I have failed in culinary chemistry and physics:

1. What temperature should I bake these to carmelize the brown sugar without incinerating the rest of the cookie?  
   Ideally, a little chewiness left.
2. Should I be using baking powder or baking soda? I read that one creates crunchy and one chewy, but I don't know 
   the impact on carmelizing, or if salt should be added. 
I use unsalted butter.
I may have made it more complicated than it is.

HELP!  We would all appreciate being able to hand on an actual recipe to the next generation.


Hello Gayle,

I searched for “Curly Qs”, “Curley Qs”, and “Spiral Cookies” and various similar names, but I did not find a recipe that fits your description exactly. I did find one recipe called “Curley Qs”, but it uses pie crust and cinnamon & sugar rather than brown sugar. These would look very much like your cookies, and a pie crust is a “short pastry”, so with butter & brown sugar they might be similar. See below.

Sorry, I cannot answer your questions about leavening and baking temperature.

I’ll post this on my site in a few weeks. Perhaps a reader can help.


I found this recipe here:
This little cookbook appears to have been put together by a school class.

Curley Q's

Pillsbury pie dough      Cinnamon
2 pie crust dough        Sugar

Roll and flatten the dough (size of pizza). Sprinkle 1/2 of a cup of cinnamon,
covering the top. Sprinkle 1/2 of sugar, covering top. Spread gently with
fingers (no seeing dough). Roll from top to bottom until you have it looking
like a shake like piece. Cut about 1/2 inch slices until completely cut.
Transfer each piece to a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F. for 15 to 20
minutes (checking for golden color)

Morgan Doughty
7th Grade

Thanks for looking. I'll try not to be a snob about using something pre-packaged.
Maybe one of your followers will have an idea about temperature and 
leavening for my from-scratch attempts.


In your 01/23/13 edition, Gayle was looking for tips on finding a family recipe for Curly-Q Cookies. 
She mentions that the recipe started in the 1930's which rang a few bells for me.

The decade of the 1930's is earmarked as the Great Depression. Everything was scarce. Women's magazines 
and articles were all about using everything and wasting nothing. Ritz created the Mock Apple Pie, 
sewing columns had patterns galore and ways to re-fashion worn out clothes in to something else, etc. 
Uses for left-over pie dough were plentiful and ranged from savory to sweet. 

My Mothers remaining brothers and sisters remember my grandmother making the same kind of cookies during 
this time. They couldn't afford a lot of things but buttered, brown sugared pie dough was always plentiful 
because it was really cheap to make and you could usually find brown sugar and flour. Butter was easy as 
they had a few cows so they would make butter to both keep and use, but sell as well. Any of the kids 
stupid enough to say they were bored ended up on the porch shaking mason jars of cream to make the butter. 
I sat there shaking jars a few times myself when I stayed the summer at Granny's.

My thoughts on Gayle's cookies are:

1. It probably isn't a cookie at all, it's a shortening or butter pie dough. If the uncle remembers shortening 
   and flour, it's probably a typical shortening pie dough recipe. To help offset the humidity in the south, 
   it probably was a recipe using vinegar to help keep it flaky.
2. I'm guessing the chewiness was due to scrunching the left over dough and re-rolling it to make a cookie roll. 
   Pie crusts come out chewy if you handle them too much.
3. The oven temp was probably a "hot" oven 425-450 thus the cookies had to be thin or they burned to a crisp 
   trying to get the coiled dough to cook in the middle.
4. If the taste isn't quite there, then shortening may have been scarce in SC so try lard or bacon grease.
5. Someone in her family probably has the recipe used for pie dough. No one has the cookie recipe because 
   they were told, use the pie dough, slather it with butter and brown sugar, roll it up and refrigerate 
   for a couple of hours, slice it thin and cook it in a hot oven.


From: Gayle
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 10:24 AM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: Fw: Thoughts on Heirloom Curly-Q Cookies from sweltering South Carolina

Wow! What a well-reasoned, historically-based response.  I love the logic and this probably nails it on the head. 
Since the family is Jewish, it's unlikely lard or bacon grease were components, but the clues on vinegar, temperature, 
re-kneading and"why" absence of a recipe are likely parameters I had not thought of at all. My second-favorite dish 
from that kitchen was the small, flaky biscuits served at every meal so I am guessing that was the dough, but re-kneaded 
and cooked at a higher temperature than I had used. I can't wait to try this - this weekend!  
Please post my thank-you to Lisa.  I never did hear from NPR's "Lost Recipes" or from "Joy of Cooking", so she is my hero.

Peanut Butter Pie

From: Pam  
Sent: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 8:48 PM
Subject: a peanut butter pie recipe.

My name is Pam Lyon  from  Springville, Al. When I was in High School in Birmingham, Al.  in the 60’s, our lunch room 
served a peanut butter pie that was great. It was baked and had the consistency of pumpkin or sweet potato pie. It was baked, 
or at least the pie shell was. I think it was all baked. It did not have a topping. I had the recipe at one time and lost it 
over the years. One thing that  I remember about it was that the eggs were separated. I hope this is enough information. 
Please let me know if you need more information.



Hi Pam,

I cannot find a peanut butter pie recipe that mentions Birmingham schools, nor can I find one from any school cafeteria that fits your description. If your recipe is on the Internet, then it does not mention your school or that it is a school cafeteria recipe. There is a recipe below for a peanut butter pie that is baked in a pie shell and calls for the eggs to be separated. If this is not close enough, then I would have to have specific details about your recipe that would allow me to distinguish it from the hundreds of peanut butter pie recipes that are available.


Peanut  Butter  Pie

1 c. confectioners' sugar
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
3 eggs, separated
2/3 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 c. corn starch
2 c. scalded milk
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
9 inch pie shell baked and cooled

  Beat egg yolks until fluffy.  Combine sugar, salt and corn starch.  Beat into egg yolks.  Beat in hot milk gradually.  
Cook over hot water until smooth and thick stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add butter and vanilla.  Cover bottom 
of pie shell with 2/3 of confectioners' sugar, peanut butter mixture.  Pour in the hot custard.  Beat egg whites and cream 
of tartar until stiff.  Spread on top of filling. Then sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the peanut mixture over the top.  
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until brown.  Cool well before serving. 

Using Perma-Flo

From: Fred 
Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2012 11:35 AM

How do you use perma flo in making pie's ?

Hello Fred,

Fred, I cannot find general instructions or directions for using Perma-Flo in pie making. It’s used as a thickener like corn starch, which it is similar to. There may be instructions on the Perma-Flo package.

Then again, there may not be any specific instructions. It may be a trial and error process that is discovered only when working up a new recipe. In that case, then you have to either experiment or use a pie recipe that already calls for Perma-Flo.

There are pie recipes using Perma-Flo on these sites:

Cherry Pie Filling

Pumpkin Pie

Apple Pie

Fruit Pies 1

Lemon Pie

Fruit Pies 2


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