Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Spring Cleaning Time

Happy Monday to everyone! Mondays are so special! I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

It’s that time of year again! We’ve leaped ahead into Daylight Saving Time and spring re-blossomed in Michigan just over a week ago, with a lot of blue skies and sunshine! But my enthusiasm for this week is mostly because it’s also National Cleaning Week (March 28-April 3, 2021)!

Can you sense my excitement? Call me weird but I love to clean and especially to organize. I actually enjoy flipping the bedroom mattress at the onset of both, spring and fall. Likewise, I also get enthusiastic about cleaning out cupboards, closets, and drawers while rotating the seasonal linen and clothes.

Cleaning was not Mom’s forte. It’s not that she didn’t do it, she just didn’t LIKE to do it. Not everyone finds joy in cleaning or organizing. In fact, most people would probably agree with Mom, in not caring to do such chores. Many will find numerous reasons and excuses to put them off or avoid them all together. Mom used to joke that a good excuse was one you could use over and over again!

#ProcrastinationWeek

Even though the first TWO weeks of March is recognized as National Procrastination Week; it is, by no means, limited to only then – especially for procrastinators, as it can be celebrated whenever you get around to it! Is there a chore (aka: housework responsibility) over which you procrastinate or avoid altogether? Here’s a humorous memory I shared about Mom and her least favorite chore…

#NationalCleaningWeek

FROM MY MEMORIES…

As seen in my 03/25/19 blog post…

Spring Into Cleaning

One particular memory I have of Mom, regarding cleaning is from shortly after her stroke in 2015. Mom had to go through a lot of therapy, including physical and occupational. One of her therapists called me one day, very concerned about Mom’s sudden dislike of her since they seemed to get along so beautifully during her first couple of visits. I met her at Mom’s place during her next scheduled visit to see just what she was describing to me.

The therapist went through everything she did during the previous visit. It all seemed to be going fine, at first; thus, I was beginning to think that either she misinterpreted Mom’s reactions to her, or it wasn’t happening on that day because I was there.

Then, after having Mom do some simple stretches, the therapist asked Mom to make her bed as part of her daily exercises. In an instant, Mom’s mood went from ‘sunny-and-75’ to [a ‘winter-storm-warning’]! Right away, I started laughing out loud, while both, the therapist and Mom, looked at me very strangely. I guess it was an inside joke.

Mom hated cleaning – well, ‘hate’ is a strong word; let’s say she clearly ‘disliked’ it. I’m not saying Mom didn’t clean; but that never meant she had to like it! Mom was brought up in a generation that just did what they ‘had to’; keeping a clean home was just something that they’re parents taught them to do as responsible, civilized people – at any age. 

In fact, I think making the bed was at the top of [Mom’s] ‘torture’ list. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at the situation, as did the therapist when I explained it! Not everyone gets a joy out of cleaning any more than they have to!

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

I read an awesome article about American’s least favorite chores and what they would give up to avoid them, which I recommend reading! It was called “These Americans Would Give Up Alcohol And Sex To Never Do Chores Again”, by Marie Haaland (Aug. 8, 2019) at SWNSdigital.com.

In general chores or housework responsibilities are comprised of, but are not limited to, such things as cooking, “doing” the dishes, laundering, making the bed, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing/wiping/cleaning (the majority of which happens in the kitchen and bathroom – including walls, window and door frames, window panes, other glass, computer and TV screens, mirrors, sinks, tub/shower, toilet, table and counter tops, cupboards and drawer fronts, appliances, light fixtures, fans, trash cans, etc.)

There’s a few other groups of responsibilities to add to that basic list if you also have to homeschool your children, care for a yard/garden or have dependents such as pets and/or small children. Among the many truths that have come to light this past year, during the nationwide, pandemic lockdowns, one of the most prominent is that housework is a tiresome and unrelenting mass of responsibilities.

According to NationalDayCalendar.com, the most disliked cleaning tasks are as follows:

    • cleaning the bathroom (52%)
    • kitchen cleaning (23%)
    • dusting (21%)
    • mopping (20%)
    • doing the laundry (17%)

Sorry, Mom – making the bed did not make it onto this list! However, dusting is my least favorite, mostly because it impacts my allergies more than anything else.

To make cleaning less intimidating, while observing National Cleaning Week, NationalDayCalendar.com also suggests, that we “tackle one room at a time, start from the top and work down; dusting ceiling fans, door moldings and window tops. Don’t be afraid to move furniture…”

Additionally, we should also share our favorite cleaning tips on social media, using #NationalCleaningWeek or #CleaningWeek for others to follow. Mom liked to say, “Great recipes are meant to be shared.” I think Mom’s good friend, Linda Cobb (aka: the Queen Of Clean) would agree that so are great cleaning tips!

Like many standup comedy routines, Mom often stretched and twisted our family’s boring reality life a little bit to generate a few laughs from her syndicated columns and cartoon panels. So I’ve re-used a few, today, in regard to cleaning. Here is a copy of some of Mom’s comical household tips…

#CleaningWeek

Maybe it’s because of being OCD but organizing is like a favorite hobby to me. I just love having a place for everything and having everything in its place! However, when it came to Mom’s desk, she preferred what she called an “organized mess”. She had her own chaotic filing system, but SHE always knew where everything was!

That is, until I had taken it upon myself, one day, to clean and organize Mom’s office and desk as a good deed. Afterward, I was banned from her part of the office and she bought the following sign to keep on her desk.

My kids and my husband like to tease me that I’m CDO, rather than OCD, because I like things in alphabetical (and numerical) order. What can I say? I really enjoy organizing and I’ve been known to dump things out of cupboards, drawers, and closets just to re-organize them – and not because I was stuck at home during the Covid-19 “lock down”.

For me, it’s like re-doing a puzzle over and over because I enjoyed solving puzzles. As Mom proved time and again, in her recipe sleuthing, there’s more than one way to solve a mystery. When Mom was trying to imitate a dish as close as possible to the real thing, she didn’t stop at just one way.

She was always refining her imitations until she felt they were spot-on! And then, sometimes, for various reasons (like ingredient availability or diet), she’d revamp them again, proving that there was usually more than one way to reach the same goal.

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in… “No Laughing Matter”; a syndicated column by Gloria Pitzer

(date unknown; circ. 1970s)

GIVE ME LIBERTY OR…

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT to Women’s Lib, I don’t think they can help me. I think they’ve done enough for me already! Frankly, I think I was doing alright before they came along. At least I could get a seat on a bus. Now I’m lucky if a man will offer to hold my packages for me.

I can also remember when cutting the grass was considered “man’s work”. These days my husband flips me two-out-of-three to see which of us gets the lawn mower and who will fix the iced tea and sit on the patio chair to watch.

Last week, I was visited by a new militant group of women in our neighborhood who are protesting the proposed 4-day work week for MEN. They advocated a simple test. If you cannot get through a two-week vacation and the Christmas holidays with a man who over-waters your house plants and alphabetizes your refrigerator then how can you get through a three-day weekend, 52 weeks out of the year?

For you must then decide if you have to run the sweeper [aka: vacuum] while he’s taking a nap, or does he have to take a nap while you’re running the sweeper. Arguing with a husband (especially when he’s your own), is like taking a shower/bath in a scuba outfit. But I have a theory!

There are some things in this liberated life, which a woman just cannot control. You have tasted instant failure when neither of you can agree on who gets custody of the only controls on the electric blanket; and if it’s fair that she who makes the garbage must also carry it out; and whose mother calls more – yours or his?

This is the same man who warned me not to go into labor on his bowling night and who, on Christmas, gave me a monogrammed tool box and a gift certificate from Sunoco for an oil change and lube job, and a can of Easy-Off in my stocking.

The liberating females of our society have missed the joy of knowing what it means to live with a man who claims he’s always out of socks, but YOU know there are two more pairs in the drawer and [of course] only YOU can find them!

Most husbands are generally quite liberal with their wives in spite of the ‘Lib Movement’… I’ll have you know that my husband has always allowed me to make all sorts of important decisions – like: ‘Does that child need a nap?’ ‘Should that baby have her pants changed?’ ‘Do you really need another new pant suit?’ ‘Must your mother call here every day?’ ‘Should we recognize Red China?’ ‘Will they find Howard Hughes?’

The only liberation I want is to get away from the kids once in a while, without having the school counselor label me as a parent who doesn’t care. When you cannot free yourself from the oven encased in molten lasagna and apple pie fossils, you know that liberation is but a piper’s dream in your soap opera saga.

On the other hand, my husband takes a realistic approach to my emancipation. He claims women have never had it so good… (What does HE know?) His trying to tell me about women’s rights is like trying to tell General Eisenhower about World War II. However, I look at it this way: ‘Either give me liberty… OR GIVE ME A CLEANING LADY!

LAST THOUGHTS

#WHBY

TODAY IS ALSO my regular monthly visit on the Good Neighbor” show, with Kathy Keene! The show airs from 11am to 1pm, Central Time; I’m usually on during the first half hour of the show. If you’re not in the Appleton, WI area, to find the station on your radio, you can listen to the broadcast, live or later, through WHBY’s website!

IN CLOSING…

#LemonChiffonCakeDay

In honor of National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day

Here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for one, plus her Thin Vanilla Icing recipe as seen in her self-published cookbook,…

Gloria Pitzer’s Mostly 4-Ingredient Recipes (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; April 1986, pp. 67 & 100)

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

March is still observing… Irish-American Heritage Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Celery Month, National Craft Month, National Flour Month, National Sauce Month, and National Women’s History Month!

Furthermore, Thursday is the beginning of April – the monthly commemorations of which embrace… National Month of Hope, Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, National Autism Awareness Month, National Couple Appreciation Month, National Decorating Month, National Fresh Celery Month, National Garden Month, National Humor Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Soy Foods Month, National Straw Hat Month, National Poetry Month, National Pecan Month, National Volunteer Month, Scottish-American Heritage Month, and Stress Awareness Month!

Additionally, some other celebrations of note this week include:

Today is… National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day and National Nevada Day!

Tuesday is… National Take a Walk in the Park Day, National Doctors Day, National I Am in Control Day, National Pencil Day, National Turkey Neck Soup Day, and National Virtual Vacation Day!

Wednesday is… National Bunsen Burner Day, National Clams on the Half Shell Day, National Crayon Day, and National Tater Day!

Thursday is… April Fool’s Day, National One Cent Day, National Sourdough Bread Day, and National Burrito Day [1st Thursday in April]!

Friday is… National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, National Reconciliation Day, World Autism Awareness Day, and Good Friday!

Saturday is… National Chocolate Mousse Day, National Find a Rainbow Day, World Party Day, and National Play Outside Day [which is the 1st Saturday of each month]. Also, as the first Saturday in April, it’s National Love Our Children Day and National Handmade Day, as well!

Sunday is… National Chicken Cordon Bleu Day, National Hug a Newsperson Day, National School Librarian Day, National Vitamin C Day, and Easter [which changes annually – April 4, 2021]! It is also the start of National Public Health Week!

#TGIM

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…13 down and another 39 to go!

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Spring Has Sprung!

Happy spring season and happy National West Virginia Day, but especially HAPPY MONDAY! I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#NationalAgricultureWeek

#NationalAgDay

Spring has finally sprung – and so have my crocus, daffodils, hyacinth, and tulips! Although, in Michigan, the weather doesn’t usually get consistently nice until around May – March and April are all-seasons-rollercoaster months. So this is when I start planting my vegetable garden seeds indoors, to be transplanted outside around Mother’s Day weekend. By the way, yesterday began the week-long observance of National Agriculture Week and National Ag Day (Ag = Agriculture) is tomorrow!

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Unofficially, this is also maple sugaring month in Michigan! It’s not a national holiday but making maple syrup is a big event around here! There’s a really great article about sugaring [which is the process of gathering maple sap and making it into sugar and/or syrupNOT the hair-removal process by the same name] at the Michigan State University’s Extension’s website, called March is Maple Syrup Season in Michigan.

I recently saw a report on one of our local morning newscasts about the process of sugaring. It’s a lot of work and quite a big activity. A couple of years ago, I learned a smaller scale way to do it, collecting only a few gallons of maple tree sap and then cooking it down for a day or so in a slow cooker. However, it only yields about a half cup of homemade syrup when done! Two gallons of sap doesn’t make much, but it’s a fun project to at least try. Check out the story and video at http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/backyard-maple-syrup-with-jill-of-all-trades.

#NationalCleaningWeek

Before starting my spring deep-cleaning regimen, which really starts next week for National Cleaning Week, I have already begun sorting through my stuff (and I have a lot of stuff) in order to purge some things. I have to keep reminding my husband that I’m not a hoarder YET, since I occasionally purge about as much as I collect. I’ve also learned how to better pack and organize things, so it doesn’t look like that much!

April is usually when the garage and yard sales start popping up in my area. Right now I’m going room-by-room, creating “piles”, from which I am deciding whether to “keep”, “sell”, “donate”, “toss” , or “recycle” the items. If it’s for the sell pile, I will sometimes, depending on the item, put a price sticker on it right away. My sorting process was inspired years ago, by a short-lived, unique renovation series that I really enjoyed, on the cable channel TLC.

The show was called “Clean Sweep” (2003-2005) and it involved a room organization and makeover – but first the homeowners had to purge their “disastrous catch-all room”. The process included some related “therapy” regarding why some people hang on to certain things and how to best let them go. Additionally, after sorting through all of their stuff, the homeowners had a one-day-only, “prize-winning-competition” yard sale with their “sell” pile. It was a lot of fun to watch.

There’s an inspiring article at PsychologyToday.com, which I saved to “My Favorites” a few years ago, about cleaning and de-cluttering by Dr. Sally Augustin, Ph.D.; titled, “Fall Cleaning As Important As Spring Cleaning” (Oct. 9, 2013). I liked the way the doctor says that… “We continually accumulate stuff and dealing with it is part of Fall cleaning.”

As soon as I had read that, I excitedly told my husband, “See – I’m not the only one who accumulates stuff!” Regardless of the season, the article’s information is interchangeable with spring, as well. After re-reading it recently, I was inspired to purge my basement (again), as it has been a growing, disorganized, accumulation of stress on my OCD personality. The sooner I get to it, the better, so I can have it ready for a yard sale as soon as some nice weekend weather permits!

Michigan weather changes often during the first half of spring. That’s why I called it an “all-seasons-rollercoaster”. There’s an old adage that says it “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. Being especially dependent on favorable weather, hosting a proper YARD sale in April is a LOT of work! Trust me – I know all about “April showers” and yard sales. It can be a crapshoot, picking the optimum weekend.

I wish I had a garage but, since I don’t, I use two 10’x20’, carport-style tents. When set up side-by-side, they have the approximate size of a garage, with 400-sq-ft of covered space. These are very important for keeping my tables and displays dry or shaded, whatever the weather may bring.

The day before I want my sale to start, I try to set it all up and cover it, because it’s under a temporary structure that’s still somewhat open to the elements (and the public).

I like to make my yard sales “worth stopping and shopping”! Maybe it’s because of all my years of working in retail.  Being OCD, I take a full day just to set up my “store” (as that’s how I think of my sale); with all of my tables, table-coverings, display shelves, clothes “racks”, and sale signs.

After deciding what I want to sell, I bring out all the boxes of stuff that I’ve cleaned out of various closets, drawers, cupboards, and of course the basement. I sort it all by “departments” such as clothes and shoes, which are sub-sorted by size and type; plus accessories like jewelry, glasses, belts, scarves, and purses.

Other “departments” (aka: tables) include curtains, bedding, towels and bath accessories; storage containers, kitchen wares and small appliances; crafting and sewing stuff; candles and décor; electronics, movies, music, books and office/school supplies/equipment; lamps, rugs, and furniture; tools, hardware, and auto accessories; games and toys; yard, garden, and sporting goods, plus other outdoor stuff; as well as pet stuff.

I get a lot of compliments about my yard sale set-ups because of the store-like organization. To me, that makes it worth the time and effort that I put into having one. I also sell a lot because I price my stuff to sell! To save time on pricing everything individually, I use a lot of general pricing signs – for example “All Clothes $1 per Piece” or “All Books 50₵ Each”.

I’m not putting it all out there just to haul it all back into the house, just because I wanted to squeeze out every penny I could from my old “junk” that MIGHT be somebody else’s “treasure”. I look at each item as if I were going to purchase it at someone else’s yard sale and ask myself, “How much would I be willing to pay for that?”

The following is a satirically humorous editorial that Mom wrote about a “garage” sale we supposedly had, in the mid-1970s, before moving from Algonac to St. Clair. [Funny thing is… we didn’t even have a garage back then!]

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

‘No Laughing Matter’, a syndicated bi-weekly column by Gloria Pitzer

[Published in the “Times Herald” (Port Huron, MI), during the 1970s.]

HAVE A GARAGE SALE IN ONE EASY BREAKDOWN!

Until you’ve had a garage sale, you just don’t know what you’re missing. I’ve just had one and I know! I’m missing three garbage cans, my husband’s workbench, a swing set, four lawn chairs and our station wagon. Actually, those items weren’t for sale, but you can’t refuse a good price when it’s offered to you.

All I really wanted to sell was a few odds-and-ends like 7 dozen Ruby Bee Jelly glasses, a coke bottle mosaic of my mother-in-law, a transistor radio guaranteed to crack plaster when operated by a teenager, an illustrated guide book to Disneyland and my husband’s bowling ball.

Of course, if the truth were known, I just had to do something about the closets before we were cited for contempt by the Pollution Control Commission. The kids were cleaning out their rooms and dragging out microscopes that had only examined curdled milk.

There was an electric train with which only their father had played, a guitar that never played a tune (but made a neat tennis racket), socks that scratched and even their old report cards. But I drew the line when it came to selling their toothbrushes and underwear. I mean, a person has to be reasonable about these things!

I had heard that garage sales were successful, but I didn’t believe it until I saw 23 cars double-parked in our drainage ditch, a pick-up truck on the back porch and a dune buggy in the furnace room! It takes a garage sale to prove that a woman will buy anything, if she thinks it’s on sale.

After all, what can one do with a dead philodendron plant – a plastic one, yet? I also learned that there’s no exercise so efficacious for the upper arms as standing in the midst of a group of mad women and trying to keep them from taking the rafters apart while trying to get at our storm windows (which I’ll have you know were NOT for sale); but little did they care.

One woman offered me a dollar for the dress I was wearing, and I had to run half a block to catch up with the lady who gave my son 50 cents for the sheets on the clothes lines. Did she care it was my laundry and I had to make the beds before the day was over – and where would I be without those sheets?

I finally had to administer first aid to the two girls who fought so bitterly over which of them was going to drag off to their car a plaid CPO jacket and a pair of blue worsted men’s slacks! Mind you. I wouldn’t have cared under any other circumstances, but my husband was still in them AND he didn’t want to go with either of them. He wanted to stay home and watch the ball game on TV!

By 6pm, they had bought everything that wasn’t breathing, barking or encased in concrete. As I sat at the kitchen table, counting up the profits of the day, my husband came staggering in, bruised and breathless. ‘You know that guy with the flat-bed truck, who’s been hanging around all day?’ […he asked.] ‘Well, he just gave me $50 and drove off with our garage!’

It all goes to prove, if I had put a price on those kids of ours, I might have sold them – but, who could afford to feed them once they got them home?

LAST THOUGHTS

#NationalWestVirginiaDay

A lot of great people, food and other things have come from the great state of West Virginia; including both of my dad’s parents – thus, I’m compelled to give a shout-out in celebration of National West Virginia Day! I haven’t been there since I was a young girl, but I have wonderful memories of our family reunions there.

IN CLOSING…

In honor of #NationalWestVirginiaDay, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for #HamStuffedSwetPotatoes; as seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s The American Cookery Cookbook – written and published by Gloria Pitzer (Happy Newspaper Features, Pearl Beach, MI; July 1976, p. 39)

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

March is still observing… Irish-American Heritage Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Celery Month, National Craft Month, National Flour Month, National Sauce Month, and National Women’s History Month!

Additionally…

Today is also National Bavarian Crepes Day and National Goof Off Day!

Tuesday is National Chia Day, National Chip and Dip Day, National Near Miss Day, National Melba Toast Day, National Puppy Day, National Tamale Day, National Education and Sharing Day [changes annually – March 23, 2021], and National 3-D Day [which is the 3rd day of the 3rd full week of the 3rd month]!

Wednesday is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day, National American Diabetes Association Alert Day [the 4th Tuesday in March], and National Cheesesteak Day! In honor of the latter, here is Mom’s imitation for the one that “nobody doesn’t like” – and you can re-vamp it, using a sugar substitute in place of table sugar, for diabetics! My dad loved it and so do I!

One of Gloria Pitzer’s first copycat recipes from the early 1970s.

Thursday is National Lobster Newburg Day!

Friday is Epilepsy Awareness Day (aka: Purple Day), National Nougat Day, and National Spinach Day!

Saturday is National Joe Day, National Scribble Day, and National Spanish Paella Day!

Sunday is National Black Forest Cake Day and National Something on a Stick Day!

#WHBY

REMINDER: NEXT MONDAY is my regular monthly visit on the Good Neighbor” show, with Kathy Keene! The show airs from 11am to 1pm, Central Time; I’m usually on during the first half hour of the show. If you’re not in the Appleton, WI area, to find the station on your radio, you can listen to the broadcast, live or later, through WHBY’s website!

https://www.whby.com/goodneighbor/

#TGIM

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…12 down and another 40 to go!

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Americanized Irish

Happy Monday and happy Irish-American Heritage Month to EVERYONE! After all, don’t we all feel a bit of the blarney blood running through our veins this time of year! But I especially look forward to Mondays because they are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#IrishAmericanHeritage

#StPatricksDay

#NationalCornedBeefAndCabbageDay

We are half-way through March and the official start of spring is just days away, now. Additionally, one of the month-long observances happening in March is the commemoration of Irish-American Heritage Month. In relation, Wednesday is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day!

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Did you know that corned beef and cabbage really isn’t the traditional feast in Ireland for the observance of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday? Irish (Lamb/Mutton) Stew and Soda Bread is likely to be what’s for dinner in most of the homes observing St. Patrick’s Day on “The Emerald Isle” (nicknamed as such for the country’s legendary rolling, green hills and lush landscapes).

BACON and Cabbage, however, is a very popular dish in Ireland. But it’s not what Americans consider bacon. Irish bacon is a cut of pork also known as “back bacon”, which is very similar to Canadian bacon but with more fat in the cut. Like everything else that comes our way, the dish was Americanized into CORNED BEEF and Cabbage.

The Irish, who immigrated here hundreds of years ago, learned to adjust their traditional dish, with “Irish bacon”, to the cheaper cut of corned beef as it was much more accessible and affordable than “back bacon”. Thus, a new Irish-American tradition was born.

By the way, Mom often wrote about being versatile in cooking throughout many of her newsletters and cookbooks. She frequently gave a variety of options in a lot of her recipes, depending on tastes or availability of ingredients. When Mom changed up a dish, she called it “Pitzerizing” the recipe.

Did you also know that St. Patrick’s Day (aka: “Feast Day”) is not celebrated in Ireland the same as it is here, in America? In Ireland, it is more of a religious observation that started about four centuries ago – in the 1600s – to observe the life and death of St. Patrick; who was a captured “Brit”, enslaved to the Irish Protestants. He had escaped to France, but later returned to Ireland, on a mission to convert the pagans to Christianity.

The “battle” of Christians vs. Protestants has split Ireland for centuries. In fact, on the Irish flag, the white stripe between the green and orange stripes is supposed to symbolize the peace between the Roman Catholic majority (represented in the green) and the Protestant minority (represented in the orange).

The celebrations for this holiday, which we’ve come to enjoy even if we aren’t Irish, were originally started here by the Protestant immigrants from Northern Ireland. Ironically, it’s considered taboo to wear orange in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

Great information on how St. Patrick and the holiday in his honor is viewed by both the Christian and Protestant communities, on the “divided” island of Ireland, can be found in a great article by Marie McKeown, called “Can Orange Mix With Green?” (April 4, 2017) at Owlcation.com.

The St. Patrick’s Day celebration that started in the U.S. in the 1700s, was a way for the oppressed immigrants, who were living here, to show pride in (and teach others about) their culture. Here, the holiday has evolved into more of a pagan celebration of the Americanized Irish “culture”; as opposed to Ireland’s somber, religious observation of a “saint”.

However, we celebrate with Celtic-infused parades, music, dancing, and food. Somewhere along the way, Americans also added drinking green beer to the other Irish-American traditions for the holiday; which isn’t done in Ireland. In fact, bars (and most businesses) are closed in Ireland for the sacred observance.

The first St Patrick’s Day parade ever recorded was in Boston on March 18th, 1737. The Americanization of the holiday has created many symbolisms for St. Patrick’s Day, including a LOT of green, a bit o’ blarney, Celtic knots, four-leaf clovers, leprechauns, pots of gold at the ends of rainbows and the-LUCK-of-the-Irish!

The old Irish legend about kissing the Blarney Stone (which is located at Blarney Castle), claims that’s how one gets the “Gift of the Gab” (eloquence or skillful flattery, for persuasion). “Blarney” actually means skillful flattery, as well as nonsense and cajolery.

The catchphrase about having “the luck of the Irish” originated in the “old west”, in the late 1800s, when a large number of the most successful miners of the “Gold Rush” era happened to be of Irish decent.

According to Irish folklore, leprechauns were cantankerous little charlatans. Supposedly they lived alone and passed the time, when they weren’t performing shenanigans, by mending the shoes of the Irish fairies. Traditional leprechauns were Americanized, as well, into good-natured, pranking imps, who soon became symbols of both, St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland, in general.

I don’t know if our family has any Irish ancestry or not, but I do know that several members of my family have been known to be relatively “lucky” and some are even quite talented in the “art” of blarney, as well. I don’t think I have either trait but I’m sure Mom had more than a bit of both!

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

No Laughing Matter (circa 1970s)

JUST A HOUSEWIFE AND A PRO!

As a ‘suburban housewife’, I fail to see how anyone could classify my routine as ‘dull’! For one thing, everyone knows that the mother of an active family has no routine! We’re lucky if we can get our slippers on the right feet first thing in the morning.

In fact, we’re lucky if we can even find those slippers, having to, first, plow through an undergrowth of Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs on the way to the kitchen, where we must witness testy debates over who gets the [prize] in the box of [cereal] and why a 40-year-old man refuses to take the Donald Duck Thermos in his lunch…

What’s wrong with a quest for a roll of Scotch tape that’s your very own or having the phone ring and the call is for you instead of your teenager? [Margaret Mead’s] working definition [of a ‘first-class’ woman, not being a housewife or homemaker,] is a ‘trained, competent, professional woman’.

Now, I’d be the last one to contradict an expert, but in defense of women who become wives and mothers… we have had training (although much of it’s on the job), are extremely competent and are professional [according to Webster’s dictionary] in that we have ‘a vocation requiring knowledge of some department of learning or skill’…

If you don’t think it takes learning or skill to varnish a complex-of-disorder with enough love and efficiency that husbands and children grow up with security and comfort, drop around my kitchen some Sunday night…

No matter what they tell us [working-outside-the-home homemakers] about turning our kids over to a day care center, there’s nothing like coming home from school to know that Mom’s in the kitchen, whipping up a pitcher of Tang and a plate of [Hopeless Twinkles©].

#twinkieday

[By the way, April 6th will be National Hostess Twinkie Day!]

See Mom’s imitation of these, which she called “Hopeless Twinkles©”, at:

http://therecipedetective.com/2019/06/24/hopeless-twinkles-an-imitation-of-hostess-twinkies/

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 119)

MAKING FRIENDS

LUCK, as the critics said, really had nothing to do with our success, unless the definition of LUCK is when preparation and experience meet opportunity. That is, indeed, a blessing worth counting twice, also. However, I have learned from my very wise mother, whose advice was always inspiring and encouraging, that rather than count my BLESSINGS, I should carefully count my OPPORTUNITIES!

In my kitchen, where all of these famous recipes are developed and tested and prepared for publishing, I have one significant problem. The ‘Good Hands People’ are about to declare my kitchen an accident going someplace to happen! My sense of organization is not what Heloise would enthusiastically endorse. So, even when my cup runneth over and over and over, I can’t always find my mop!

It is with appreciation that, in spite of my lack of organization, Mary Ellen Pinkham, the famous household hints author, took an interest in our recipes just recently. I really should get together with Mary Ellen and learn exactly how to become better organized but, somehow, time keeps getting away from me.

I am either in the kitchen, cooking up something for the next book [or] the next issue of the newsletter; or I’m writing about what I’ve been cooking – with time in between to do two, sometimes three, radio shows a day, on a regular basis, running anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours. No two shows are ever alike – with the exception of the [wonderful] hospitality and warm response from the listeners.

I have had very few unhappy experiences on the air… Some of the highlights of these radio broadcasts will probably remind you of the first time you heard of me, through one of these shows, for this is where most of our family of readers have come and they continue to listen with as much enthusiasm and as many challenges [for me to decipher] today as they did the day I spoke to my first radio audience and became affectionately dubbed by them ‘The Recipe Detective’. I thank them!

IN CLOSING…

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here is Mom’s secret recipe for Irish Soda Bread…

ADDITIONALLY, here are TWO re-shares of Mom’s secret recipes for Corned Brief and The Reuben According To Julia Lega; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, pp. 184 & 187)

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Don’t forget – the whole month of March is still celebrating, among other things: National Women’s History Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Celery Month, National Craft Month, National Flour Month, and National Sauce Month!

Some other celebrations for the week include:

Today, March 15, is… American Legion Birthday, National Everything You Think is Wrong Day, National Kansas Day, National Pears Helene Day, National Shoe the World Day, and National Napping Day [the day after Daylight Savings Time Day]!

Tuesday, March 16, is… National Artichoke Hearts Day, Everything You Do Is Right Day, and National Freedom of Information Day!

Thursday, March 18, is… National Awkward Moments Day, National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day, and National Sloppy Joe Day!

Friday, March 19, is… National Certified Nurses Day, National Chocolate Caramel Day, National Let’s Laugh Day, and National Poultry Day!

Saturday, March 20, is… World Flour Day, National Proposal Day, National Ravioli Day, National Corn Dog Day [which is the 1st Saturday of the NBA’s March Madness], National Quilting Day [which is always the 3rd Saturday in March], and Spring Begins! [NOTE: the Spring Equinox changes annually – 2021’s is March 20th.]

Sunday, March 21, is… National California Strawberry Day, National Common Courtesy Day, National Countdown Day, National Fragrance Day, National French Bread Day, and National Single Parent Day! It’s also the start of the week-long celebration for National Agriculture Week!

https://www.whby.com/goodneighbor/

[Our next visit is scheduled in TWO WEEKS – Monday, March 29th!]

#TGIM

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…11 down and another 41 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – The Legacy Effect

Happy Monday and happy International Women’s Week, as well as International Women’s Day! Aren’t Mondays marvelous? I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#NationalWomensHistoryMonth

#WomensWeek

#InternationalWomensDay

As I mentioned last week, the whole month of March is celebrating, among other things, National Women’s History Month. Additionally, Saturday was the kick-off of International Women’s Week [which starts the first Saturday in March]. PLUS, today is also International Women’s Day! That makes this a really great time (to the third power) for celebrating women around the world!

Today, this week, and all month we’re celebrating women’s achievements –socially, spiritually, economically, educationally and politically. Furthermore, this day is also dedicated to bringing world-wide awareness to gender equality – or rather the continued lack of it!

According to NationalDayCalenar.com, “In many parts of the world, women are less likely to own land, a business, or attend school. Education alone is a powerful tool leading to financial independence for women. Their children reap the rewards, often for generations to come.”

As an avid reader, Mom often promoted, in her many food-for-thought articles, the benefits of always trying to learn something new each and every day.

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

“My mother had many sayings. She would say, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things; make sure you’re not the last.’ Which is why I said [in my victory speech], ‘I will be the first, but I will not be the last.’ And that’s about legacy. That’s about creating a pathway. That’s about leaving the door more open than it was when you walked in.” – Kamala Harris, Dec. 2020, TIME’s Person of the Year.

Back in December, when I heard this statement (above) in Kamala Harris’ interview with Time, as one of their two persons of the year for 2020, I was so impressed! I think my mom would’ve been, also, for that was the kind of “legacy” she wanted and tried to leave.

Like Kamala’s mom, my mom had many positive sayings too – those she picked up from her own mother, those she developed through her life-long faith, and others she created from her own comedic talents combined with her real-life experiences as a “working-woman in a man’s world”.

Through many of her inspirational, food-for-thought articles, geared toward the Women’s-Lib-Movement-fence-sitting-housewives-turned-homemakers (like herself), Mom promoted the importance of identifying our strengths and developing our skills, while always being true to ourselves. She encouraged being a good role model and mentor. “And if you can’t be a lighthouse,” she would say, “at least be a candle!”

What does it mean to leave a legacy? It’s like putting an indelible mark on the future by contributing to forthcoming generations. People naturally want to feel that their life had purpose and mattered to someone. But many wonder how to succeed at such a task.

How To Leave a Legacy”, by Marelisa Fabrega, at DaringToLiveFully.com, offers up some great advice on the many ways people can leave an everlasting mark in this world BEFORE they’re gone. I loved her analogy about how to know if you’re successfully leaving a legacy (or not) by picturing your 80th birthday party! Marelisa wrote:

“Everyone you’ve had an impact on, or have influenced in some way, is there. As they get up to toast you on your birthday, what would you like them to say about you? That’s what you want your life to stand for.”

My family helped me put together a wonderful 80th birthday party for Mom! However, her birthday is in early January – when we Michiganders are usually dealing with snow storms and that weekend, of Mom’s party, was no exception! Thus there were a lot of guests who couldn’t make the drive.

The expected large party turned out to be quite small. We were almost disappointed, if not for those who did make it; because Mom heard so many wonderful memories from them – things about her genuine care, her heart-warming friendship, and the positive impacts she made in their lives! In most cases, Mom didn’t even realize she had done so much.

‘I’ve had so many good examples to follow – I’ll try to be one, myself, to somebody else.’ Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book… (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 8)

I imagine Mom would’ve really been flabbergasted by the tribute our local museum paid her just a few years ago, after her passing. Every year, the St. Clair Historical Museum puts on a presentation called “The Next 10”, paying tribute to 10 former residents, (people no longer with us) who contributed greatly to our community.

Their Fall 2018 presentation included my mom as one of “The Next 10”. I was so happy to contribute what I could when a few different people, working on the project, contacted me for information, stories, photos and other materials. They put on a beautiful slideshow presentation for each of the 10 legacy honorees; and each one had a different “speaker”, presenting the family’s and community’s memories of them.

So many friends and family members of those honored filled the room. I felt very privileged to be among them – to feel all the love in the room was tremendous! I was especially pleased during the social that followed, because they served ice cream with a batch of Mom’s Sanders-Style Hot Fudge Sauce that someone had lovingly made for the event! Here’s an encore copy of one of her versions – I shared this version last April, on WHBY’s Good Neighbor” show, with Kathy Keene:

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 88)

TELEVISION COULD DO so much to better inform and entertain us in a positive way, but it hasn’t. Responsible journalism has many times, succumb to irresponsible hashing and rehashing of tragedies in the world, and man’s inhumanity to man, when there is still so much good going on that could be reported. There ARE good things happening.

There are people behaving with compassion, people constructively setting a worthy example to follow. There are government officials who are representing those who elected them, in a responsible and respectable way. There is good taking place all over the world.

Reporting such events along with the tragedies, would give balance to the news and reinstate public trust and faith in responsible journalism. Where and how does such a change begin, but with the individual. Separately or collectively, opinions can be directed to news agencies at every level of the media.

RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM

“Give me not your headlines of murder and deceit,

But tell me of the better things that make our lives complete.

Fill page one with happenings that speak of loving giving.

Fill a column with advice on better ways of living.

Tell me of the births today, they are our salvation.

Let death take a holiday. Tell me of creation.”

– James Grimes

There are the obvious monetary inheritances we can leave behind – cash and other such assets for our heirs (to serve as foundations on which to build their own financial futures and legacies), money bequeathed to charities that are dear to our hearts, or scholarship fund endowments for future students.

“The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives… The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.” – Bill Graham

But leaving a great legacy isn’t about what we’ve accumulated in money, assets, or position. More accurately, it’s about how we can use what we have to improve, around us, whomever and/or whatever needs it. Here are some examples I’ve gathered on how we can leave our own legacies behind through our…

WORK: by starting our own businesses and adding knowledge and new skills to our chosen fields. We could also start non-profit organizations in our communities, creating neighborhood recycling programs, gardens, parks, or playgrounds – to name a few different legacies. Or we could be volunteers, passing on our own expertise from hard work and experiences. We could even leave a legacy by “working” to right a wrong.

#NationalWriteDownYourStoryDay

WRITING: by authoring a book. We could write our memoirs, capturing the essence of who we are by penning our family-traditions, life-lessons, values, accomplishments, beliefs and hopes. In fact, next Sunday is National Write Down Your Story Day! We could also write “legacy letters” to our loved ones – including everything we’d want to say if we knew we didn’t have long to live.

ELECTRONIC RECORDS: by recording videos of ourselves – either one or many. We could also create websites dedicated to the kinds of legacies we’d like to leave behind for future generations. Likewise, we could write blogs to post on those websites!

ANCESTRY: by passing on to our descendants some of their “roots” through traditionally family-held heirlooms, like generational bibles, wedding rings, and/or wedding dresses; as well as irreplaceable, handmade afghans, quilts, recipe collections, photo albums, journals and scrapbooks.

‘WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, do better. Just because you are not doing wrong doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing right. Remember the importance of setting a good example. The things we do each day influences others.’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 24)

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Reliable Recipes For Reluctant Cooks (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1983, p. 8)

BE SOMETHING TO SOMEONE!

BEING APPRECIATED FOR what you are and the good you can offer is one of the greatest rewards for trying to improve one’s life. The real test comes when there seems to be no one to appreciate you and you have to face the temptation for crumbling under self-pity or pretending that it doesn’t matter – that you can make it alone if you have to.

The test of real strength comes with the realization that you are alone. That’s when you have to make the decision to give up or stand up! It’s never easy, but no one ever promised that it would be! Being alone and yet surrounded by people makes the feeling of the famished affections one of the most challenging aspects of nourishment today… Be something to someone!

IN CLOSING…

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

In honor of this week also being National Girl Scout Week and National Girl Scout Day being on Friday, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for imitating their Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 224)

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Don’t forget – the whole month of March is still celebrating, among other things: Irish-American Heritage Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Celery Month, National Craft Month, National Flour Month, and National Sauce Month!

Furthermore, one of the many celebrations for last week and this whole week is aimed at National Procrastination Week – which is actually celebrated during the first TWO weeks in March (or whenever it’s convenient)!

And some other celebrations for this week include: Sunday, March 7, was the start of the 1st FULL week in March (7th-13th for 2021), which celebrates Words Matter Week and Read an E-Book Week (see below)!

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

Today, March 8, is also National Oregon Day, National Peanut Cluster Day, and National Proofreading Day!

Tuesday, March 9, is… National Barbie Day, National Crabmeat Day, National Get Over it Day, and National Meatball Day! In honor, here is a re-share of Mom’s imitation for meatballs like Win Schuler’s:

Wednesday, March 10, is… National Blueberry Popover Day, National Pack Your Lunch Day, and National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day [the 2nd Wednesday in March] !

Thursday, March 11, is… National Johnny Appleseed Day, National Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day, and National Worship of Tools Day!

Friday, March 12, is… National Baked Scallops Day and National Plant a Flower Day!

Saturday, March 13, is… National Good Samaritan Day, National Coconut Torte Day, and National Open an Umbrella Indoors Day!

Sunday, March  14 is… National Children’s Craft Day, National Learn About Butterflies Day, National Pi Day, National Potato Chip Day, and Daylight Saving Time Day [the 2nd Sunday in March]!

#GoodNeighbor

[Our next visit is scheduled in three weeks – tune in, Monday, March 29th!]

https://www.whby.com/goodneighbor/

#TGIM

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…10 down and another 42 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Who Never Got A Dinner!

Happy Monday and happy March to everyone! As for myself, I always look forward to Mondays because they are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#NationalWomensHistoryMonth

March is, among other things, National Women’s History Month – which, according to NationalDayCalendar.com, was “established in 1987 as a way to celebrate women across the nation and their efforts to make the country, and world, a better place for women of all ages and races.”

I’m especially joyful today, regarding sharing Memories Of My Mom, as Mom’s pioneering efforts to imitate America’s favorite junk food, fast food, and other famous restaurant dishes – in a roundabout way, making home a better place, first, and emulating that into the community, the country, and the world – most certainly SHOULD be celebrated as historical!

Unfortunately, Mom didn’t make “the list” of “Top 100 Women of History”, by Jone Johnson Lewis (updated July 3, 2019), as seen at ThoughtCo.com; who used internet searches as a parameter. Likewise, Mom didn’t make “the list” in “Famous Firsts in Women’s History” (by History.com editors – updated Feb. 4, 2021) either.

Nevertheless, many of Mom’s own mentors and idols were on those lists – great women such as Maya Angelou, Lucille Ball, Jackie Kennedy (Onassis), the Bronte sisters, Anne Frank, Julia Child, Oprah Winfrey, and Erma Bombeck! That brings to mind the hilarious rantings about famous people who “never got a dinner” by Red Buttons, as a frequent guest “roaster” on many of the old Dean Martin Celebrity Roast shows.

Mom never won a Nobel Peace Prize or a Pulitzer Prize, nor had she written the “great American novel”. But, for over 40 years, she was a journalist, writing and self-publishing hundreds of food-for-thought articles and newsletters; as well as over 40 cookbooks, unlike any others on the market! My mom was a pioneer in the food industry, being the first person (let alone, the first woman) to carve out the “copycat cookery” niche – but she “never got a dinner”!

Mom didn’t make great scientific contributions, like Marie Curie or Florence Nightingale; however, she was the FIRST to develop recipes that imitated many American’s favorite foods like KFC Chicken, McDonald’s Special Sauce, Wendy’s Frosty, White Castle’s Hamburger “Slider”, Famous Amos’ Cookies, and THOUSANDS more! Mom made countless meals in her lifetime that  tasted like we were “eating out at home” – but Mom “never got a dinner”!

Mom developed her own “secret recipes” for “famous foods from famous places”, right at home – and shared those secrets in her books and newsletters! Mom often gave away “free samples” of her work through the mail, on TV and radio talk shows, as well as in newspaper and magazine interviews – and “never got a dinner”!

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Mom wrote and syndicated her own columns for newspapers and magazines, geared toward the Women’s-Lib-Movement-fence-sitting-housewives-turned-homemakers (like herself). Starting in the early 1970s, Mom was imitating the coveted (yet taboo) fast foods, junk foods, and convenience foods – taking the “junk” out of the “so-called” junk foods – but she “never got a dinner”!

Mom wasn’t a women’s rights activist, like Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In fact, she often had a few choice words for Women’s Lib (satirically speaking)…

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in… “No Laughing Matter”; a syndicated column by Gloria Pitzer

(date unknown; circ. 1970s)

GIVE ME LIBERTY OR…

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT to Women’s Lib, I don’t think they can help me. I think they’ve done enough for me already! Frankly, I think I was doing alright before they came along. At least I could get a seat on a bus. Now I’m lucky if a man will offer to hold my packages for me.

I can also remember when cutting the grass was considered “man’s work”. These days my husband flips me two-out-of-three to see which of us gets the lawn mower and who will fix the iced tea and sit on the patio chair to watch.

Last week, I was visited by a new militant group of women in our neighborhood who are protesting the proposed 4-day work week for MEN. They advocated a simple test. If you cannot get through a two-week vacation and the Christmas holidays with a man who over-waters your house plants and alphabetizes your refrigerator then how can you get through a three-day weekend, 52 weeks out of the year?

For you must then decide if you have to run the sweeper [aka: vacuum] while he’s taking a nap, or does he have to take a nap while you’re running the sweeper. Arguing with a husband (especially when he’s your own), is like taking a shower/bath in a scuba outfit. But I have a theory!

There are some things in this liberated life, which a woman just cannot control. You have tasted instant failure when neither of you can agree on who gets custody of the only controls on the electric blanket; and if it’s fair that she who makes the garbage must also carry it out; and whose mother calls more – yours or his?

Mom always felt that all of us could and should make the world a better place. It all counts – even in the smallest ways! Mom did it, herself, in all of her creations, through her comical cartoon panels, food-for-thought articles and food-for-the-soul inspirations; not to mention her very UNIQUE food-for-the-table recipes. My mom was a “creative guru” at whatever she attempted – but she “never got a dinner”!

She wore so many hats in our family – as cook, maid, chauffer, nurse, seamstress, counselor, mentor, teacher, and so on. Additionally, in her dining-room-table-based “family enterprise”, Mom was the recipe developer, author, illustrator, layout creator, publicist, promotion specialist, public speaker/lecturer and (again) so much more! She was a “Wonder Woman” – who “never got a dinner”!

As a semi-modernized, yet somewhat old-fashioned, working “housewife”-turned-“homemaker”, during the 1970s – amidst the Women’s Lib Movement – Mom felt extremely blessed to be able to do what she loved most, WRITE; while being able to do it from home, balancing and juggling her many hats as “Mom”, “Wife”, and “Business Woman”. Yet she “never got a dinner”!

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 295)

A MEAL BY ANY OTHER NAME

FAST FOOD RECIPES were not published in the best-sellers – and these were the restaurants where families were apt frequent if they wanted a meal that was affordable!

Paul and I could take all 5 of the children to Capri’s, an Italian restaurant down the road from us in Pearl Beach, and we could feed the whole family for less than $10, providing we ordered the large pizza with only pepperoni and cheese on it and one soft drink for each of us. It was not for substance that we ate out. It was for entertainment.

We could take the kids to McDonald’s and it did the same thing for us that going to the movies did for our parents. It was an affordable pleasure. It was a diversion from meatloaf and pot roast and peas and carrots.

It was a treat. We looked forward to it. We felt good about the experience and even better after it was over. It carried us through a long week of paying the utilities, insurance, house payments and car payments and grocery expenses.

When we had to have our 10-year-old station wagon repaired, we had to skip eating out that week. If one of us had to see the dentist, it might be 2 or 3 weeks before we could afford to eat out again. We made do with what we had. We could make the most of what we had. In the 50s and 60s and early 70s, this is the way parents raised their families, budgeted their earnings and allowed for their pleasures.

Things changed, as well they should. Women went out to work. If they weren’t working to supplement the family income, they went to work for their own satisfaction. Whatever the reasons, families changed. Eating at home became less and less appealing – and less and less convenient. Homes were built with smaller kitchens and bigger bathrooms. Microwave ovens were more affordable – and defrost and heat became more popular.

WE WANTED OUR CAKE AND WE WANTED TO EAT IT, TOO!

We wanted to eat out at a price we could afford; and, when we couldn’t afford to eat out, we wanted to dine-in as if we were eating out! At the time, there were few recipes for this kind of cooking. We wanted to spend less time preparing the foods and less money on the ingredients and still serve a dish to those who shared our table with us that would be equal to – if not better than – anything we could buy in a restaurant or from a supermarket.

For all of these reasons, I have pursued the investigations of the food industry with the greatest joy and the utmost care, translating into recipes, those secrets that I have been able to decipher.

AGAIN, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 141)

MARITAL BLISS

BREAD-BAKING has filled my house with the most delicious aromas – on those occasions when I have ventured into the catacombs of conscious cookery. I was taught by a grandmother who believed that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach; and, if you kept your man well-fed and loved and listened-to, everything else would fall into its proper place in perspective. Well, we can’t all be right all the time. Grandma tried.

Bread-baking was not the Elmer’s “Glue-All” of my marital bliss and stability. In fact, on occasion, it might have threatened our harmony – considering that, before I learned a few chosen shortcuts to better baking, I could (at the drop of a hat) clutter the countertops with every bowl, dish, spoon, pan and ingredient possible! This, of course, necessitated having to “eat out” on those nights when there was no place to prepare a deserving dinner at home.

It reminded me that somewhere there should be a clause in every cookbook warning young wives with old-fashioned morals about marriage that there are some things Mother never told us… Or if she did, I just wasn’t paying attention!

In any case, I recommend cooking as being thoroughly therapeutic! Bread-baking includes the energetic kneading of the dough – which enables one to work off pent-up emotions that one cannot otherwise rid themselves of verbally.

Whenever I had problems to work out (which was like every other minute or so) I would either be in the kitchen, cooking something, or at the typewriter, writing about cooking something! Kneading a large batch of yeast dough is a great way to unwind and relieve tensions.

Of course, it didn’t always solve my problems, since most of them were directly related to my finding my utensils, which I had to locate before I could start relieving myself of unwanted tensions. I’ll bet I was the only woman on the block who had to sift through the kids’ sandbox before I could set the table or bake a loaf of bread!

LAST THOUGHTS…

If you missed my visit last week on WHBY’s Good Neighbor” show, with Kathy Keene, you can listen to the podcast recording here:

https://www.whby.com/2021/02/25/laura-pitzer-emerich-touchmark/

I’ve also created a list of links to all of our monthly WHBY “Pitzer” Podcasts, thus far, including Mom’s recipes that I’ve shared with Kathy’s audience. See the “Media Friends” tab on this website, as I will be updating the list monthly with more links and recipes of our radio visits.

[Our next visit is scheduled in four weeks – Monday, March 29th!]

https://www.whby.com/goodneighbor/

IN CLOSING…

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

#NationalPeanutButterLoversDay

In honor of National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, today, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for Peanut Butter Pie like that of Ohio’s Goody-Goody Restaurant; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 239)

AND HERE’S AN ENCORE of Mom’s “secret recipe” for RecessTM Peanut Butter Cups, as seen in her “free recipes” offerings – also, part of her “Original 200” collection!

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

March is also…

Irish-American Heritage Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Celery Month, National Craft Month, National Flour Month, and National Sauce Month!

Furthermore, one of the many celebrations for this whole week is aimed at National Procrastination Week – which is actually celebrated during the first TWO weeks in March (or whenever it’s convenient)!

Additionally…

Today, March 1, is… National Dadgum That’s Good Day, National Fruit Compote Day, National Minnesota Day, and National Pig Day!

Tuesday, March 2, is… National Banana Cream Pie Day, National Old Stuff Day, and National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day)! 

Wednesday, March 3, is… National Anthem Day, National Cold Cuts Day, National I Want You to Be Happy Day, National Mulled Wine Day, and Soup It Forward Day!

Thursday, March 4, is… National Grammar Day, National Sons Day, and National Pound Cake Day!

Friday, March 5, is… National Cheese Doodle Day; and as the first Friday in March [2021] it’s also National Day of Unplugging, National Dress in Blue Day, National Speech and Debate Education Day, and National Employee Appreciation Day!

Saturday, March 6, is… the kick-off of International Women’s Week [which starts the first Saturday in March]! It’s also National Frozen Food Day, National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day, and National Oreo Cookie Day! In honor of the latter, here is Mom’s famous imitation of the famous sandwich cookie:

Sunday, March 7, is… National Flapjack Day, National Be Heard  Day, National Cereal Day, and National Crown of Roast Pork Day! It is also the start of the 1st FULL week in March (7th-13th for 2021), which celebrates National Girl Scout Week, Words Matter Week, and Read an E-Book Week (see below)!

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

#TGIM

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…9 down and another 43 to go!