Happy Monday and happy 2022 to everybody! As I’ve been saying for the past couple of years, #TGIM! That’s because I look forward to every Monday. Each year, they’re my 52 Chances, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!
Today is the first Monday of the first month of the new year! More than any other Monday of the year, today represents new beginnings! Today is also celebrated by many as National Thank God It’s Monday Day! Mondays are more often thought of as the beginning of a new week, rather than Sundays.
I love how NationalDayCalendar.com says we should… “Stop shaming Monday and look at what Monday has to offer… 52 chances to see a beautiful sunrise… share your talents with the world… teach someone a new skill that will better their lives… of meeting new people.”
Mondays have been my favorite day of the week for years, especially since I started writing and posting these blog posts on Mondays, in the fall of 2018. Thus, I’ll continue to reiterate my 2020 New Year’s resolution, to celebrate every Monday (especially today) as my own 52 chances per year to share my mom’s story with everyone!
I do this, still, in hopes of stirring up more wonderful cooking memories (which many readers have shared with me); as well as to re-inspire love in the kitchen, in the home, and in the family. I hope, in turn, that love will spread throughout the neighborhood and around the world; because, as Mom used to say, “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.”
FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
My Cup Runneth Over – And I Can’t Find My Mop, (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 23)
IN THE BEGINNING
AT THE TIME THE ASSIGNMENT was handed to me by the newspaper editor for whom I then worked; I knew more about cooking than anyone else on the staff. I was also the only ‘married lady’ on the staff, which in those days of homemaking, housewives and the Donna Reed show, automatically qualified me to handle the food page at the newspaper (when I had been a feature writer and columnist for a long time.)
I accepted the challenge wholeheartedly because I did want to write for the paper. If they had told me to do the obituaries, I would’ve given even that assignment my best effort. The food page was a challenge for me, in view of the fact that there was no test kitchen at the newspaper. I would be testing the recipes in my own kitchen at home. There was a small compensation in my paycheck at the end of the week for the groceries I used, but not enough to fully reimburse me. I accepted what they gave me gratefully, however…
Of course, I look back now in amazement at what I was able to do for a whole week with a 3-pound package of hamburger. How it began as spaghetti sauce, then sloppy Joe mixture and, with the addition of red kidney beans and some other seasonings, chili concurrently… It was fun, too, now that I recall those early days.
‘Don’t count your days, make your days count!’ – source unknown
Reading more and learning something new every day have been other successful New Year’s resolutions of mine, which I continue to repeat each year. Mom instilled in me, when I was very young, the importance of knowledge and to Learn Something New Every Day! As the old adage indicates, knowledge is wealth!
There was a time when women and girls weren’t even ALLOWED to read or learn anything other than how to be a good wife and homemaker. Unfortunately, I think that’s still so in some places around the world. So even evolution, itself, is still evolving.
Over the past few years, in my own quest to Learn Something New Every Day, NationalDayCalendar.com has been one of my favorite go-to-sources for information. Something is celebrated every day of the year even if it’s not a federal holiday and I’ve found National Day Calendar’s website to be a really great source of information about what’s being commemorated (and how) each day, every week, and in all months!
Some of January’s month-long observances include… National Blood Donor Month, National Hot Tea Month, National Mentoring Month, National Oatmeal Month, National Slow Cooking Month, National Soup Month, and National Sunday Supper Month!
Since January is also National Hobby Month, I want to re-share one of Mom’s stories (aka: memories) about her dining room table, family-based business not being a hobby. It was her profession, career, and livelihood; but it was never work – not to Mom – and certainly never a hobby!
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. 53)
THERE ARE MANY RISKS involved with going into business for yourself, no matter what product or service you intend to offer. If I had thought more about the risks, than I did about the possibilities, I never would have moved an inch toward doing any of the things about which I now write. My husband is not a risk-taker. I am. We complement each other well. He still becomes uneasy and anxious about every new idea I have for another book or another project, on the basis that ‘we can’t afford it.’
I have learned, over the years, to keep many of my projects to myself until they are completed; which, in the long run, saves Paul from worrying unnecessarily about something that will very likely turn out well, and keeps me from worrying that Paul is worrying.
When I have been asked about goals or destination, it is been my feeling that every corner I turn has a new goal, a new destination awaiting us. I have never thought of any one point as being the top. Life has so many wonderful opportunities for each of us to take advantage of, that it does not seem reasonable that I should give myself the limitations that would determine just how far I should be able to go.
Because this was never a hobby, never WORK, never a job, I have had no problem with the worry or concern that accompanies a position from which one expects to retire. I would not want to give up what I have been doing [writing] since I was a child. It would be unfair to have to give up doing something that has also brought so much pleasure and good information to so many people.
It was, however, only when I realized WHAT I should be writing about and what I should be sharing with the readers – what I knew best – that things really began to happen. Of course, my husband wisely reminds me, when someone asks about writing their own cookbook, that WRITING it is the easiest part. Knowing how to SELL it is the hard part!
Starting yesterday, this first week of January began observing, among other things… National Diet Resolution Week, National Celebration of Life Week, and National New Year’s Resolutions Week! Next week’s celebrations include… National Mocktail Week, National Folic Acid Awareness Week, Universal Letter Writing Week, and National Pizza Week!
In honor of TODAY, being National Chocolate-Covered Cherry Day, here’s Mom’s copycat recipe for homemade Chocolate-Covered Cherries AND two related recipes (for Truffles and Vanilla Candy Icing); as seen in her self-published cookbook, The Joy Of NOT Cooking – Any More Than You Have To (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1983, pp. 199 & 220).
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
Friday, January 7th is… National Tempura Day! Friday is also Mom’s birthday! This year she would’ve celebrated the 50th anniversary of her 36th birthday!
January 9th is… National Apricot Day, National Balloon Ascension Day, National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, and National Static Electricity Day! Plus, as the second Sunday in January (2022), it’s also… National Sunday Supper Day!
…once again, one down and 51 to go!