CROSBY - The aroma of pasties - a meat and potatoes kind of mouth-watering smell - lofted into the street outside St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Crosby.
Inside, 89-year-old Virginia Zarr was making about 450 pasty crusts to be filled with beef, carrots, potatoes, onions and rutabagas by a crew of other helpers.
"They wouldn't have anything to do if I didn't roll the dough," Zarr said of the crew. "They're a lot of good workers. They're all beautiful people."
Pasties are sold for $5 each through the month of October and made as a fundraiser for the Council of Catholic Women.
Pasties made at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Crosby are filled with beef, carrots, onions, rutabagas and potatoes. Brainerd Dispatch/ Kelly Humphrey» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Zarr and the pasty crew work assembly line-style once a week on the project during October.
"I love to do this for the church," Zarr said.
Zarr's sister Rose used to make the pasty crusts, but since she died Zarr has taken over the position. She loves the camaraderie of her fellow pasty makers and looks forward to the fundraiser every year. She even works with a woman she used to baby-sit decades ago.
Originally from Crosby, Zarr and her husband moved to St. Paul where he worked for 3M and she opened her own business, Gina's Beauty Salon (after her daughter, Gina).
Zarr recalled using her daughter as a hair model back then, cutting and styling her hair to follow the latest trend.
"I had a ball," Zarr said. "We used to have the most beautiful styles in the shop."
Virginia Zarr made dough for pasties at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Crosby. Zarr made dough for 450 pasties in one day. The church sells the meat and vegetable turnovers in October as a fundraiser. Brainerd Dispatch/ Kelly Humphrey» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Zarr's husband and Gina have since passed away. Zarr now lives in her family's Serpent Lake cabin and attends St. Joseph's, the church she grew up in.
"I sit in the same pew (my parents) sat in," Zarr said.
Age: Thursday she'll be 90.
Favorite hairstyle: Sassoon.
Hair or nails: "I hated doing nails. I didn't do it unless I had to. And pedicures, that's not my bag."
How many pasties she's ordering this year: 12. "I buy a bunch and freeze them."
Pasty crust recipe: Top secret.
Get your pasties: Pasties must be preordered by calling Anita at (218) 546-5430. Pasties are $5 each and can be picked up at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Crosby Wednesdays in October.
She has three gardens and grows things like tomatoes, peppers, cabbage and beans.
"I love to watch God's creation grow," she said.
Tending to the gardens keeps this spry woman busy. She also volunteers to cut and style hair for Edgewood Vista residents.
Zarr said hairstyles are one of the first things she notices when she meets people. She admits she's not fond of current hair trends, though.
"Now it doesn't even look like it's combed," she said.
Besides volunteering, Zarr enjoys dress making, sketching, cooking and dogs.
HEIDI LAKE may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5879.
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