Iacocca Cake – Beer Fudge Spice Cake

IACOCCA CAKE [aka: Beer Fudge Spice Cake]

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 210). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

 From my ‘Ask Your Neighbor’ recipe journal, I offered this cake to Bob Allison’s listeners (October 1972), in response to a listener’s request for a good, rich, feathery-light spice cake made with beer.

INGREDIENTS:

9-ounce box devil’s food cake mix

1 envelope Dream Whip powder

1 teaspoon apple pie spice powder

½ cup light beer

4 tablespoons oil

2 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl. Combine liquid ingredients in another bowl; then, beat liquids into dry mixture with electric mixer on high-speed for about 4 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 9-inch layer pan or 10-inch, fluted-rim, Pyrex pie plate. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Cover with topping and then drizzle with frosting (recipes below) and decorate with walnut halves.

IACOCCA CAKE TOPPING: mix well – ½ cup chopped walnuts, 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over layer before applying frosting (below.)

IACOCCA CAKE FROSTING: combine, in top of double boiler, over simmering water – 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 ounce (solid) unsweetened chocolate, 1/3 cup Half-&-Half light cream and 2 tablespoons light corn syrup. Stir until melted and smooth (about 12 to 15 minutes.) Beat in 1 ½ cups powdered sugar. Drizzle over topping-covered layer (above.)

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Home Is Where Our Health Is

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Transitions

Once again, happy Monday to everyone! I always look forward to every Monday because they are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

September is traditionally considered to be a month of transitions – from summer to fall, hot to cool, and long days to shorter ones; just to name a few. Kids are also transitioning into their new school curriculums. Additionally, September is deemed to be a great month in which to refocus our energies.

In fact, this month marks three years since I refocused my own energies and made the transition into being a blogger. Friday, the 17th, will be the anniversary of my launching Mondays & Memories of My Mom, carrying on Mom’s Legacy Of Love.

Mom’s first love was with writing. Inspired by a movie she saw as a young girl, about the Bronte sisters, she began journaling every day. She also loved to write short stories and poetry. From her childhood until she was a young adult, Mom dreamed of someday writing a great American novel.

#InternationalUpdateYourResumeMonth

However, her “great American novel” never came to fruition, not in the way she thought it would, at least, as Life took her in a slightly different direction. Every successful accomplishment that Mom ever had with her writing efforts in and after high school and college involved cooking, recipes, and homemaking in some manner.

In the 1950s and 1960s, she won multiple contests on radio shows and in magazines for her food-related stories and recipes. In 1963, Mom was so excited about finally being able to buy her very own typewriter, with the prize money she won from another contest; since she had always gone to the library or borrowed someone’s, previously.

As a wife and mother, Mom found her own family to be the best subject about which to write. She was very creative and sarcastically funny. She designed a few different columns (‘No Laughing Matter’, ‘Cookbook Corner’, ‘Woman’s Lip’, and ‘Minding the Hearth’) on her typewriter, mailing out samples to over 300 newspapers.

Within a year, she was writing two different columns for 60 regular papers. She even created her own cartoon panels, which she called ‘Full House – as Kept by Gloria Pitzer’. They depicted her life as a wife and mother of 5 in the “Women’s’ Lib” transitioning years of the mid-60’s to mid-70’s.

Then, when she was writing her food column, ‘Cookbook Corner’, she realized from her readers’ requests and her own family’s wants and needs that there was an uncharted area in the food industry that needed her secret sleuthing talents! No cookbooks anywhere on the market explored what Mom came to call her own, “copycat cookery”.

She approached her editor, at the time, with an idea to change things up from the usual meatloaf and chocolate brownies recipes. He loved the idea (at first) and told her to write the recipes that she thought would excite their readers. She did and the readers loved it!

However, some of the newspaper’s food industry advertisers weren’t so happy with Mom’s inventive ways to imitate their products at home. Thus, her editor told her to stop. That’s when Mom told him to mail her last check and she went home to start her own paper.

Mom carved out a totally new niche in the food industry with her copycat cookery concepts, which she also called “eating out at home”. She set to work, discovering how to mimic the taboo junk foods and fast foods, as well as shelf-stable and frozen grocery products and famous restaurant dishes in her own kitchen. If it saved her household money, she wanted to share it with others to help them save money too!

She didn’t just develop and self-publish her own recipes for duplicating famous foods from famous places, but she also promoted them, herself. It was mostly through radio talk show programs. However, newspapers and magazines picked up on it quickly, too, as Mom blazed a trail of uniqueness around all the “Betty Crockers” and “Julia Childs” of that time.

In the early years of her cottage-style, dining room table, family-run operation, Mom sold her recipe imitations on 4”x6” index cards, printed from a mimeograph she kept in our laundry room. Her index quickly grew to about 200 recipes, which began outgrowing our dining room table.

Mom went from printing the recipe cards to monthly newsletters and multiple cookbooks in the blink of an eye. She gained national and international attention and recognition, rapidly. Her copycat cookery concept was fresh and new – unlike anything else on the market, in her field.

She used to tell me, “life is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans.” In other words, while we’re busy making plans for how we’d like our lives to be, life changes and transitions all the time. We just need to refocus and transition, too.

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, pp. 54-55)

RADIO AND BOB ALLISON’S “ASK YOUR NEIGHBORS!”

RADIO TURNED OUT TO BE the most appropriate way by which we made people aware of what we were doing…my involvement with the wonderful world of radio actually came about without any specific intention of becoming a regular part of the broadcasting field… I didn’t know I had what is considered ‘a radio voice’.

Heaven knows our five kids will, to this day, even in their adulthood, testify to the fact that, on occasion, during their up-bringing, I had been known to discover conditions that would prompt me to accelerate, vocally, in a pitch that only dogs in the next county could hear!

My introduction to radio began with Bob Allison and [his] ‘Ask Your Neighbor’ show. I was folding diapers at the kitchen table, waiting for my favorite daily segment of ‘My True Story’ to come on the air when, instead, WWJ [a Detroit area radio station] announced that it had been replaced with a NEW show!

This new show turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me…almost every Monday morning I [would] visit with Bob Allison and his neighbors…

NEIGHBORS

When ‘My True Story’ was replaced by Bob Allison and his ‘Ask Your Neighbor’ show… I was, at first, very disappointed. Household hints and problems around the house that you cannot solve yourself seemed like just too much homemaking information to please me.

I soon, however, became ‘hooked’ on the show, as almost everybody does, to the point that, on Fridays, when Bob would sign-off and say he would talk to us again on Monday, I was spending the weekends just looking forward to the show on Monday.

I called the show about 2 or 3 times a month for the first year or two, to ask questions of Bob’s ‘neighbors’ that my newspaper column readers were asking me. When I couldn’t find the answer from consulting other sources, I knew I could rely on Bob Allison’s ‘neighbors’ to come up with the right answers for me.

In return, I would often… phone in an answer that I occasionally had, in reply to one of their questions or recipe requests. Bob did not recognize my voice as a regular caller until I had initiated the newsletter, however. He asked me where the [hamburger sauce] recipe came from that I was giving, in reply to one of his listener’s requests, which is how his program has always worked…

In mentioning that the hamburger sauce recipe would appear in the next issue of my monthly newsletter, which I had given in response to one of his listeners’ previous requests, Bob reacted with great interest and curiosity.

‘You have a newsletter, do you?’ He asked. ‘Well, tell us about it and how much it is and where our neighbors can get it.’

That was all it took to get us well-acquainted with Bob’s ‘neighbors’ and, in no time at all, our subscription orders went from a few to many. Sight-unseen was hardly appropriate to ask people to buy a publication that they could not first examine.

So, I spent all of one day and most of the next, thinking about and trying out a single page description with a few sample recipes from the publication that I could send out to interested and prospective subscribers…

LAST THOUGHTS…

Mom used the same process for advertising her “secret”, make-alike recipes and publications for over 40 years, until she finally, fully retired in 2014. It always worked very well for her business, offering 15-20 sample recipes along with information for ordering her current, self-published cookbooks and newsletter subscription in exchange for a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Mom was always grateful for her readers, listeners, and fans who kept her inspired with their requests to find the “secrets” to making this dish or that grocery product at home. She was also very thankful to all the media sources that interviewed, wrote, and talked about her imitations of famous foods (from radio and TV talk shows to newspapers and magazines).

#NationalWorkingParentsDay

By the way, Thursday is National Working Parents Day!

#NationalKidsTakeOverTheKitchenDay

Did you know that today is National Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day? No matter if you have kids in your house or you just want to tap into your inner child, celebrate with Mom’s copycat recipe for Hopeless Snowballs; as seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 14)!

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

The month of September observes, among other things: National Americana Month, Better Breakfast Month, Fall Hat Month, Little League Month, National Blueberry Popsicle Month, National Chicken Month, National Courtesy Month, National Honey Month, National Italian Cheese Month, National Library Card Sign Up MonthNational Mushroom Month, National Potato Month, National Preparedness Month, National Rice Month, National Self-Care Awareness Month, National Sewing Month, Self-Improvement Month, and Whole Grains Month!

Other celebrations happening this week include:

Yesterday, September 12th was the start of the second FULL week in September, which is… National Arts In Education Week! The second week of September also celebrates… National Biscuit and Gravy Week (which is also a national, celebratory DAY on December 14th)!

Additionally, today is also… National Peanut Day!

Tomorrow, September 14th is… National Cream Filled Donut Day, National Eat a Hoagie Day, National Live Creative Day , and National Virginia Day! As the second Tuesday in September, it’s also… National Ants on a Log Day!

Wednesday, September 15th is… National Cheese Toast Day, National Linguine Day, National Double Cheeseburger Day, National Creme de Menthe Day, National Online Learning Day, and Greenpeace Day! Additionally, this is the start of Hispanic Heritage Month (which is always September 15th to October 15th)!

September 16th is… National Play-Doh Day, National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day, National Guacamole Day, and National Step Family Day! Plus, as the third Thursday in September, it’s also… National Pawpaw Day!

Friday, September 17th is… National Professional House Cleaners Day, National Apple Dumpling Day, Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, and National Monte Cristo Day! Here’s a re-share of Mom’s copycat recipe for one, Toronto-style!

#NationalMonteCristoDay

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

September 18th is… the U.S. Air Force Birthday and National Cheeseburger Day! In addition, as the third Saturday in September, it’s also… National Dance Day, National Gymnastics Day, Boys’ and Girls’ Club Day for Kids, Responsible Dog Ownership Day, and National Clean Up Day!

September 19th is… National Butterscotch Pudding Day and Talk Like A Pirate Day! Plus, as the third Sunday in September, it’s also… Wife Appreciation Day!

Additionally, as the start of the third FULL week in September, it’s… National Farm Safety & Health Week, National Indoor Plant Week, and National Rehabilitation Awareness Week! The third week in September is also… National Farm Animals Awareness Week!

#TGIM

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

…37 down and 15 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – The Flavors Of Michigan

It’s another spectacular Monday! Happy Monday and happy Labor Day to one and all! I always look forward to each and every Monday, as they are my 52 Chances per year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

127 years ago (in June 1894), Labor Day officially became a federal holiday. It’s celebrated annually, on the first Monday in September. Just as Memorial Day marks the “unofficial” start of summer, Labor Day is considered the “unofficial” end of summer! However, technically, there’s over two weeks until fall begins.

There aren’t any specific traditions for rejoicing in Labor Day. Some end-of-summer celebrations include events like picnics, outdoor concerts, festivals, fireworks and even shopping; as retailers offer huge Labor Day weekend deals and discounts to move the rest of their summer stock.

I think the real reason that Mom loved to celebrate Labor Day, many decades ago, when my siblings and I were all kids, was because it meant that we were going back to school the next day and she could start her vacation!

#PureMichigan

Many Michiganders take advantage of this long, holiday weekend to go “up north” for one, last, summer retreat. Today is also the annual Labor Day Walk across the five-mile-long “Mighty Mac”, which has bridged the Straits of Mackinac since 1957. At 26,372 feet, it’s the third longest suspension bridge in North America.

According to the Mackinac Bridge Authority, “The bridge walk has been an annual event since 1958, with the exception of 2020. The 2021 walk will be the 63rd event. Between 25,000 and 30,000 people have participated in recent years.” The bridge is usually shut down to motor traffic for a half-day, for the safety of the Labor Day walkers.

#NationalAmericanaMonth

My husband and I have been wanting to explore more of the Americana oddities, natural beauty, and history of Pure Michigan‘s “Tip-of-the-Mitt”; as well as the eastern half of the U.P. We have a bucket list that includes some of Mom and Dad’s favorite places to visit, like Traverse City, Cheboygan, Petosky, Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island, St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie, Brimley, Tahquamenon Falls, Houghton, and Newberry.

Our home state is so rich in small-town, Norman Rockwell, Americana beauty, history, AND FLAVOR! It’s no wonder Mom loved reviewing different restaurants, locally and state-wide, throughout the decades, as the Secret RecipesTM Detective; figuring out how to duplicate their famous dishes at home, while simultaneously re-discovering her home state of Michigan!

The northern 45th parallel is the circle of latitude that lays halfway between the equator and the north pole. Here, in Michigan, this unique oddity crosses through the “Tip-of-the-Mitt”, from Leland, on the west side, to Alpena, on the east side.

There aren’t any big, roadside attractions for this Americana-style novelty. However, many of the towns along the parallel make the most of their unique locations; offering the oddity-seeking tourists fudge, food, and fermented fruit (aka: wine) – as well as little trinkets, t-shirts, and other commemorative souvenirs. There are about eight different, “45th Parallel” signs across Michigan, which make great photo op’s.

I agree with L.V. Anderson’s research, as seen in her article, The United Sweets of America (Aug. 24, 2014), which claims that Michigan’s unofficial “state dessert” is FUDGE! Likewise, Top 13 Best Foods Which Made Michigan Famous, by the Thumbwind staff at Thumbwind.com (Sep. 25, 2020), also claims that Mackinac Island Fudge is the #1 favorite! See my re-share of Mom’s imitation for Mackinac Island Dark Fudge below.

Moreover, according to an article at TheDailyMeal.com, called The Snack Food That Defines Every State, by Carolyn Menyes (Feb. 26, 2020), fudge was also chosen as the favorite snack food in Michigan! I know fudge seems to be the star in every Michigan “tourist town”, in which I’ve ever been.

Like other tourists, I love to stop and see a fudge-making performance, as well as buy some of their tasty treats. An interesting story on the history of fudge and how it came to be a tourism staple, in the first place, can be found at ChowHound.com. Another great fudge article to check out is called Why Does Every Tourist Attraction Sell Fudge?, by Kat Eschner (May 12, 2017) at Smithsonian.com.

Additionally, on Thumbwind’s list of famous Michigan-made foods, Detroit’s Coney Island Hot Dog, is #2 (even though the original Coney Island restaurant is on the Atlantic coastline); and Buddy’s Detroit-Style pizza is #3. Those are followed by Traverse City’s tart cherries, the U.P.’s pasties, and Frankenmuth’s home-style chicken to round out its top six choices.

Those choices are also supported by Samantha Lande’s photo collection/article in Great Lakes & Better Food: The Best Things To Eat In Michigan, which includes other iconic favorites like Sanders Hot Fudge Cream Puff, Franklin Cider Mill’s apple cider and donuts, Hamtramck’s paczki (pronounced “poonch-key”), Vernor’s Boston Cooler, and Tom’s Mom’s Cookies.

In an mLive.com article, These Are Michigan’s 12 Most Iconic Restaurants, by Amy Sherman (published: May 24, 2019; updated: July 9, 2020), the top four [(of 12) restaurants, most of which Mom had visited] are:

      1. Hack-Ma-Tack Inn (Cheboygan) – famous for their whitefish dip and prime rib dinners.
      2. Legs Inn (Cross Village) – famous for their authentic Polish cuisine.
      3. The Whitney (Detroit) – famous for its old world charm and dishes like Beef Wellington.
      4. [Win] Schuler’s (Marshall) – famous for their spicy cheese spread and barbequed meatballs (both of which were among Mom’s “Original 200” recipe collection.) Below is a re-share of her imitation of their famous bar cheese!

Michigan doesn’t really have any official “State Foods” but according to an article at TasteOfHome.com, The Official Food Of Every State, by Grace Mannon (Updated: July 24, 2019), a popular suggestion for Michigan was the Coney dog that came in at #2 on Thumbwind’s list (above).

I guess it depends on where you poll, because that may be so in southeastern Michigan; but, in mid-Michigan, chicken dinners are the favorite offerings! Iva’s (Standish, MI), Zender’s and the Bavarian Inn (both, in Frankenmuth, MI) are a few five-star-favorite, iconic spots where Mom and Dad loved to eat when travelling, as well as THOUSANDS of other people! They each serve authentic, Americana-style, chicken dinners, as well as many other fabulous menu choices.

In the “Tip-Of-The-Mitt” and throughout the U.P., the pasty (pronounced: “pass-tea”), a Cornish-style meat pie, is considered the area’s specialty! Below are two of Mom’s pasty imitations that I shared last year with Kathy Keene’s Good Neighbor” audience, on WHBY.

Michigan’s unofficial “State Dessert Pie” choice is a toss-up between apple and cherry – again, depending on where you poll. The Traverse City area (and the northern Michigan region) is famous for its cherry crops (and wine)! However, apples are the more abundant crop throughout the state, over all.

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 8)

[A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

THE SECRET RECIPE REPORT

ALTHOUGH I’VE BEEN WRITING longer than I’ve been cooking, the notion to investigate the secrets of the food industry didn’t become a full-time labor-of-love until I was working for a small-town newspaper [about 1971.] As the only ‘married lady’ on the staff, I was always assigned the food page and recipe column, and I was willing to try the dishes at home and present a column or article about their results to the paper.

When you work for a small-town paper, you wear many hats. You set type, sell advertising, proof read, design headlines, create art work, campaign for subscribers; and, before you know it, you acquire skills you didn’t even know you possessed. The food department became such a welcomed relief from the local politics that I poured my heart and soul into it, learning some of the essentials of good cooking purely by default!

Everything went well until I initiated an idea to create advertising interest among local restaurants. It started when I answered a reader’s request in my column for a recipe like McDonald’s ‘Special Sauce’. I knew it was a kissin’ cousin of a good Thousand Island dressing, so the development of the recipe wasn’t difficult.

The response from our readers was so appreciative that I contacted local restaurants for their advertising in exchange for my printing one of their recipes and menu in my column and a complimentary review of their place. No one was willing to part with any of their ‘secrets’! So, I decide to see if I could ‘guess’ how they prepared their specialties of the house.

I came across a hotel in town that advertised ‘home-baked’ cheesecake, and I felt they should be telling their customers ‘homemade’. The difference to the public is very slight, but they wanted the public to ‘think’ it was homemade, from scratch, when it was, in fact, simply taken from a carton and popped into the oven like brown-and-serve rolls.

That was before our ‘truth in menu’ laws, but no one at the paper wanted to make an issue out of it. The restaurant insisted it was an old family recipe. I said the cheesecake smacked of commercial automation, stainless steel computerized kitchens and the family they referred to was probably that of Sara Lee! At any rate, that was when I parted company with the paper and set out on my own to create the ‘Secret Recipe Report’, which I dearly miss now.

Mom self-published her ‘Secret Recipe Report’ ideas under a few different titles, as the newsletter evolved over the years. However, she always included, among other things, her own personal reviews and imitations of her favorite dishes at those restaurants, which she patroned.

IN CLOSING…

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

Since this is Better Breakfast Month and, as the first FULL week in September (the 5th-11th, this year), it’s also… National Waffle Week, here is Mom’s imitation for Biscuit Mix Like Bisquick from her Original 200 recipes and how to make waffles from it; as seen in her last book… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 173). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

To top it off, literally, there’s also a copy of Mom’s secret recipe for Belgian Waffle Sauce, as seen in her self-published cookbook… Top Secret Recipes Al’a Carte (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Sept. 1979, p. 6)!

TODAY IS ALSO NATIONAL READ A BOOK DAY!

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

The month of September observes, among other things: Fall Hat Month, International Update Your Resume Month, Little League Month, National Blueberry Popsicle Month, National Chicken Month, National Courtesy MonthNational Honey Month, National Italian Cheese Month, National Library Card Sign Up Month, National Mushroom Month, National Potato Month, National Preparedness Month, National Rice Month, National Self-Care Awareness Month, National Sewing Month, Self-Improvement Month, and Whole Grains Month!

Other celebrations happening this week include:

Today is also… National Coffee Ice Cream Day!

Tomorrow, September 7th is… National Beer Lover’s Day, National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day, National Grandma Moses Day, National Acorn Squash Day, National Salami Day, and National New Hampshire Day!

Wednesday, September 8th is… National Ampersand Day!

September 9th is… National Wiener Schnitzel Day! Plus, the second Thursday in September is also… National School Picture Day!

Friday, September 10th is… National Swap Ideas Day and National TV Dinner Day!

Saturday, September 11th is… National Make Your Bed Day, National Hot Cross Bun Day, and, of course, National Patriot Day!

September 12th is… National Chocolate Milkshake Day and National Day of Encouragement! As the Sunday after Labor Day it’s also… National Grandparent’s Day! Moreover, it’s the start of the second FULL week in September, so it’s also… National Arts In Education Week! Plus, the second week of September is also… National Biscuit and Gravy Week!

#TGIM

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

…36 down and 16 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Americana Happiness

Happy Monday and happy National Beach Day to everyone! Personally, I always look forward to every Monday because they are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#NationalBeachDay

The unofficial end of summer is just around the bend now, as September and Labor Day are quickly approaching. Today is the celebration of National Beach Day! Michigan is home to countless beaches, having 3,288 miles of coastline that borders four of the five Great Lakes! Moreover, there are thousands of rivers and smaller lakes with beaches throughout the state.

#NationalBackToSchoolMonth

Kids are going back to school next week (if they haven’t already), so it’s a great time to “play hooky” and hit the shoreline for one last summer celebration! Before you know it, the trees will be in full, fall colors like a Bob Ross painting! Football (pre-season) is already here, and Halloween merchandise is out in all of the stores, while Christmas stock is building up in their back storerooms.

#PureMichigan

My husband and I love to go for day trips around Michigan’s “Thumb Coast”, stopping at different beaches to take in the magnificent views and collect some rocks for our garden beds. One time, I found a rock on which someone had painted a silhouette of our state on a sea of white-capped, blue waves and wrote “Michigan Home Sweet Home”. On the back was the artist’s mark and Facebook page (Sanilac Rocks).

#HappinessHappensMonth

It inspired us to collect other beach rocks, on which we, too, can paint something area related and leave them on various Michigan beaches, to which we go, for others to find; hopefully spreading some happiness in the process. Maybe it will inspire others, like us, to do the same.

I haven’t made a Facebook page for our rocks, like the one from the rock I found. I may just add them to my own Facebook art page @ClearImpressionsofMI. I haven’t really used it in a couple of years, as I’ve been focusing more on writing this blog, as well as updating this website and my Facebook page for Mom, @TheRecipeDetective.

‘FRIENDS ARE A TREASURE and, when we count our blessings, we count our friends twice! It’s not possible to have a full and happy life without others to share with, to help when help is needed, to be helped when help is offered.’ – Gloria Pitzer

Mom and Dad loved to take a day or a weekend to just go on a scenic road trip and unwind from the workload at home, mentally refreshing themselves. Often, however, “work” would manage to creep back in whenever they stopped somewhere for a bite to eat. Mom always managed to find something good that she wanted to analyze and duplicate when she got back home.

My parents seemed to make friends everywhere they went. Some trips were just for relaxation and fun. But other trips involved some planned Secret RecipesTM work too. Mom really did enjoy what she laughingly called her “work”. It was easy to incorporate a restaurant review and an imitation of a dish (or two) into any trip.

Even an occasional, in-studio, radio show interview could be worked into a vacation or road trip, instead of through the phone lines, as Mom usually did. Once, Mom and Dad went on a “working” road trip/vacation to Branson, MO with one of her favorite radio show hosts, Art Lewis, from ‘Listen To The Mrs.’, on WSGW-Radio (Saginaw, MI) and “the crew”.

DEAR FRIENDS – The best part of April will be our bus trip to Branson, Missouri with ‘The Art Lewis Tour. Art is the co-host of my every Tuesday radio visits on [‘Listen To The Mrs.’] WSGW-Radio (Saginaw, MI)…Paul and I haven’t been to Branson in 8 years. The best part…we aren’t doing the driving…Art is! And we’ll be in the company of so many new friends! – Gloria Pitzer [As seen on the cover of her Spring-1995 newsletter, Secret Recipes Quarterly.]

Mom and Dad always loved to travel, especially after they became empty-nesters. They’d spend many of their spring-through-fall weekends here and there, camping with their “Good Sam RV Club” friends from the Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana chapters. In fact, Art Lewis used to love to give Mom some friendly teasing about the oven in her and Dad’s camper, as it was always gleaming like new – because it was never used!

Mom mentioned them all often – Art Lewis, Good Sam RV Club, and the friends they made – throughout her old newsletters, as well as in some of her self-published books. She always had happy remembrances and stories to tell about all the wonderful people they met, the delicious food they ate, as well as the beautiful places in which they stayed.

‘Recipe seminars that I have conducted for the Good Sam RV organization in, both, Michigan and Ohio, have given me the opportunity to meet with and talk to people from all over the country relative to their recipe interests and food needs.’ – Gloria Pitzer, My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 61)

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Mixed Blessings – Recipes & Remedies (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; March 1984, pp. 23-24)

IN THE SUMMERTIME…

…Throughout upstate Michigan, the roads borough through tunnels of green trees for miles and miles. There’ll be light traffic on these curving two-lane highways with single cars spaced two blocks or so apart coming toward you. There was the quaint and very unique Settling Inn at the village of Northport, the most northern point of M-22. And farther south there was the Sugarfoot Saloon at Leelanau, near the Sugarfoot Mountain Resort.

It was quiet country, secluded but refreshing, compared to sophisticated urban activity. At County Road 669, a sign announced, ‘Sleeping Bear Dunes straight ahead on M-22’. The road curved like a long licorice ribbon, up and down the hillsides of densely grown White Birches, Scotch Pines, Maples, Oaks and Poplars.

Suddenly we were conscious of how clean the air smelled. The city wasn’t like this! What a lovely contrast! What a splendid memory!

The first time we saw the Traverse Bay area and upstate Michigan, we fell in love with it. It was Labor Day and summer was still at the peak of its promise. Six weeks later, we went back to the bay area to feast our eyes on the glorious, fiery colors of fall. There was a crisp, clean chill in the air.

Those long, straight, two-lane roads through the peninsula still lay like licorice ribbons on the slopes and hills of Old Mission region. The side roads were cut like corridors through a series of canopies in brilliant orange, red and yellow, where the trees were all standing like military sentries in full dress uniforms, crossing their branches above the roads like honor guards with their swords raised high.

It was a trip back into another time zone – peaceful valleys and wooded hillsides abundant was sturdy hedges of tall trees framing well-manicured cherry orchards, acres upon acres of them, as well as apple groves in great abundance everywhere!

Here and there a farmhouse and a weather-worn, well-kept barn reminded you that it was a populated and prosperous region, after all. The prosperity appeared to represent hard work, a practical living style and simplicity of needs, unlike the atmosphere of city dwelling.

Some of the recipes from dishes of this area have become my personal favorites. At the Settling Inn, in the village of Northport, a huge and tasty sandwich presented on their own homemade bread, sliced quite right, and buttered on one side, grilling it until crispy, is the specialty of the house. Then the sandwich fillings are applied to the un-grilled side of the bread, and it’s assembled neatly and cut in half. With a mug of dark beer on a hot day, it hit the spot!

#NationalSandwichMonth

#NationalAmericanaMonth

Mom’s story reminded me that in just a couple of days it will be September, which is, among other things, National Americana Month! “Americana” is a style that reflects the stereotypical, cultural phenomenon of “Norman Rockwell basics” – the simple elements of American life, including those traditions and remembrances which have woven us together over the past couple of centuries and made us all Americans.

It includes everything that celebrates America’s cultural heritage, history, folklore, and geography. It’s a timeless, classic style that never goes out of fashion or falls from popularity. Like Mom’s description (above) of her and Dad’s drive in the Traverse Bay region of Michigan’s “Tip-Of-The-Mitt” area.

According to How To Capture Americana In Photography, by Britton Perelman (2018 – Updated Aug. 27, 2020), as seen at PassionPassport.com, “Americana is any artifact relating to the history, geography, folklore, and cultural heritage of the United States…  We often associate ‘nostalgia’ with Americana… Examples of Americana include Coca-Cola memorabilia, white-picket fences, blue jeans, apple pie, rock and roll, and small towns.”

#NationalSandwichMonth

In honor of this still being National Sandwich Month, at least for a couple of days, here are THREE of Mom’s Sanders imitations, for their lunch-counter sandwich spreads that Mom used to enjoy when she was young! There were many Sanders imitations among Mom’s original index-card-recipes.

Mom’s Sanders-Style Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad, and Ham Salad Sandwich Spread can be found in her self-published cookbook… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 37). It’s no longer in print but used copies of Mom’s self-published cookbooks can usually be found on Amazon and eBay.

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

There’s only a couple days left of August, for observing: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, International Peace Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, National Panini Month, National Water Quality Month, National Wellness Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Other celebrations happening this week include:

Today is… National Toasted Marshmallow Day and National Grief Awareness Day!

Tomorrow, August 31st is… National South Carolina Day and National Trail Mix Day!

Wednesday launches the month of September, which observes: Better Breakfast Month, Fall Hat Month, International Update Your Resume Month, Little League Month, National Blueberry Popsicle Month, National Chicken Month, National Courtesy Month, National Honey Month, National Italian Cheese Month, National Library Card Sign Up Month, National Mushroom Month, National Potato Month, National Preparedness Month, National Rice Month, National Self-Care Awareness Month, National Sewing Month, Self-Improvement Month, and Whole Grains Month!

September 1st is also… National Chicken Boy Day and National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day!

Thursday, September 2nd is… National Blueberry Popsicle Day!

September 3rd is… National Welsh Rarebit Day and U.S. Bowling League Day! In fact, the first Friday in September is always… National Lazy Mom’s Day, National Food Bank Day, National College Colors Day, and National Chianti Day!

Saturday, September 4th is… National Spice Blend Day, National Wildlife Day, National Newspaper Carrier Day, and National Macadamia Nut Day! As the first Saturday in September, it’s also… National Tailgating Day and National Play Outside Day (which is always the first Saturday of EVERY MONTH)!

Sunday, September 5th is… National Cheese Pizza Day and National Be Late For Something Day! It’s also the start of National Waffle Week!

#TGIM

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

…35 down and 17 to go!

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – The Food Effect

Happy Monday to everybody, once again! I, personally, 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

#HappinessHappensMonth

As August continues to celebrate Happiness Happens Month, I want to get back to how food affects our happiness, which I touched on briefly a few weeks ago. The inspiration came from a mention of it in Ann Pietrangelo’s article, How To Be Happy: 25 Habits To Add To Your Routine (Jan. 15, 2019). I recommend checking out the full article at Healthline.com.

I thought it was really interesting when Ann pointed out, in #4 Eat With Mood In Mind of her article, that different types of food can affect our moods in different ways; confirming that we are what we eat! So I wondered, if foods affect our moods and happiness, then what should we eat to always feel our best and happiest? Ann’s examples included the following generalizations…

Carbohydrates release serotonin, a ‘feel good’ hormone. Just keep simple carbs — foods high in sugar and starch — to a minimum because that energy surge is short, and you’ll crash. Complex carbs, such as vegetables, beans, and whole grains, are better.

Lean meat, poultry, legumes, and dairy are high in protein. These foods release dopamine and norepinephrine, which boost energy and concentration.

Highly processed or deep-fried foods tend to leave you feeling down. So will skipping meals.

Start by making one better food choice each day. For example, swap a big, sweet breakfast pastry for some Greek yogurt with fruit. You’ll still satisfy your sweet tooth, and the protein will help you avoid a mid-morning energy crash. Try adding in a new food swap each week.

The consensus on my Google searches seems to agree with Ann. It’s widely believed that, in times of stress, “comfort foods” will often make you feel better, at least for a short period of time. These foods are usually the carb-type, of which Ann mentioned to be mindful because of their high sugar and/or starch contents. I know, from personal experience, they can negatively affect blood-sugar levels.

Granted, they provide at least a temporary nostalgic or even sentimental value to our mood – but at what cost? They have very little nutritional value if any at all. Junk foods and fast foods are also considered to be “comfort foods”. This would be a good point at which to remind everyone that Mom was the pioneer who first took the junk out of junk food by imitating our favorites at home, where we can control the ingredients!

In fact, one can say with some certainty that not all fast food is junk food AND not all junk food is fast food! By general definition, “junk foods” are considered to be those foods that are heavily processed; typically containing high amounts of either trans fats, sugar, corn syrup, fructose, or salt (or a combination of any of those). Additionally, junk foods are high in calories. Beware – they are also high in luscious, tasty delightfulness and can be addictive!

Science has shown, time and time again, that emotions and food are very much linked together in many ways! Food is often the guest of honor at almost any event! As with eating for self-satisfaction, cooking is also a great source for happiness – whether it be for self-satisfaction or in pleasing others. Between the cooking AND the eating, I figured that I get to happily enjoy food twice as much! Although too much of a good thing is not always a good thing!

According to TimeAndDate.com: “Studies have shown that consuming junk food ONCE-IN-A-WHILE does not have a negative effect on health – it is only when one eats junk food for a majority of their meals that their diet can be considered unhealthy. Consuming large amounts of foods considered to be “junk”, can lead to several health problems, including a high risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart issues.”

Mom was a big believer in the psychological influences of food. Some foods are considered “happy foods” as they contain something called tryptophan, which is transformed into serotonin in the body. Additionally, serotonin is well-known to relax most of us, improve mood and, in general, produce feelings of happiness. Dark Chocolate is rich in many mood-boosting compounds.

Unfortunately, just when we start feeling comfortable and happy about how life is going, we find that happiness doesn’t happen without intermissions. These are the times in which we should take stock of our lives and be grateful for the good, as well as the lessons. From time to time, we forget that nothing in life is guaranteed to any of us.

I read a really great article at EliteDaily.com, which I refer to from time-to-time, called When It Seems Like Things Are Falling Apart, They’re Really Just Falling Into Place, by Paul Hudson (Sep. 23, 2014). The timeless advice and reasoning in this almost-7-year-old article, regarding how to deal with stress and create your own happiness, sounds like it could’ve been written for these days and the pandemic situation. I highly recommend the read!

#SimplifyYourLifeWeek

#HappinessHappensMonth

Many of us find happiness in food! Writing and cooking were among Mom’s top stress-relievers that made her happy. Being the Secret Recipes Detective for 40 years, Mom was more apt to be found in the kitchen, creating a new imitation of another popular restaurant dish or at her desk writing about the latest imitation she developed.

Mom loved to write about a lot of different things that she thought would interest her readers. She’d been calling it “Food For Thought” since the 1960s, when she wrote for various newspapers. She always liked to say that she made a living with her writing, but it was her writing that made living worthwhile. It gave her purpose and especially happiness!

‘Start now! Good thoughts and good feelings reinforce each other…When you hold on to one good thought, the better you’ll do things that make you feel good about yourself…Nothing will work for you unless you work for it.’ – Gloria Pitzer [This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p.32)]

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Reliable Recipes For Reluctant Cooks (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1983, p.6)

COOKING IS MORE THAN TURNING ON THE STOVE – IT’S PLEASING PEOPLE!

As often as we put things off, in life, it’s a shame that we don’t care more about the ‘now’, the ‘todays’, the here-I-am and here-you-are, and what can we do for each other to make things as good as possible for [both of] us! I know! There are people who can’t be bothered with such nonsense. They have jobs to work and bills to pay, things to worry about and goals to achieve.

‘If you’re going to talk about cooking and foods… what are you going off on tangents for, talking about people and their feelings?’

This is a question I’ve been asked over and over by inquiring reporters, wanting to know why we’re successful at what we do, why people go to such trouble to locate us and order our books! I think they answer their own question. Don’t you?

After all, cooking is not for robots! The way we present our food to those who share our table with us takes into account more than plopping the pot roast onto a platter and announcing, ‘Supper’s ready!’ Is that where it ends? When a meal is presented, there are many considerations for the cook.

Besides the balance, nutritionally, there’s the effort to please those who will hopefully enjoy the food. And trying to please those you’re feeding is a direct appeal, a definite effort, to consider someone’s feelings, the feelings of enjoyment and consequently of approval – approval of the food and… the one who prepared it.

Every day, the homemaker, with a family to feed, meets the challenge of proving they can be proficient, both, in the selections of foods, [as well as] the preparation and presentation of it and the management and the management of the cost.

Cooking is more than turning on the stove and opening the refrigerator. It’s pleasing people! It’s caring about what they might like to eat. It’s doing your best to prepare and present the dishes so that mealtime is not just a daily routine – but an occasion.

The cookbook industry has offended us… as if the recipes were designed for mindless bodies – not for folks with feelings! Food fanatics continue to advise us on how to feed the body while we let the famished affections go hungry.

The critics’ smoking guns right now are aimed at curing physical maladies with food administered medicinally. Food, as medication, is used as both a preservative and a cure. But what heals the broken spirit – the sensitive, the distressed, the lonely, the shy and withdrawn?

It takes more than adequate fiber intake; minimum daily nutritional needs being filled to cure the body of ills created by stress and anguish. It takes loving, caring and being loved and cared about in return!

Furthermore, while we’re on the subjects of happiness and the emotional effects of food, I also want to write a little bit about this also being National Sandwich Month. Sandwiches are super choices, whether for a meal or snack – especially in the summertime! They’re so versatile – from the bread to the fillings, even whether it’s served hot or cold or either way!

In honor of National Sandwich Month, here is a re-share Mom’s copycat version of Schlotzsky’s sandwich rolls, as usual, asking only for proper credit if you care to share it.

‘Having a goal gives us hope and it’s hope that keeps us going, enabling us each to meet whatever the world dishes out.’ – Gloria Pitzer [This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p.24)]

LAST THOUGHTS…

Mom penned her prayers, feelings, memories and hopes in journal-after-journal. She often wrote about finding happiness in every day we’re given on Earth. Mom truly believed that – good and bad, alike – everyday had some form of a blessing within it. That’s how Mom was raised, to be grateful everyday – not just for the joyful moments, but also for what she confronted and overcame or from which she learned.

My mom believed that life’s best lessons and experiences came out of life’s biggest disappointments, teaching us how to turn a “let-down” into a “set-up” for something else – maybe even something better – something out there, through the window that opened when the door was closed.

Mom also believed that every new day is a turning point and that each experience (again, good and bad, alike) eventually contributes in some way to our growth and happiness. She called it Mixed Blessings (which became the title of one of her books in 1984) and for those things she was always grateful.

IN CLOSING…

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

In honor of National Sandwich Month and TODAY, being National Cuban Sandwich Day, which is a Florida-based variation of a ham and cheese sandwich; here is Mom’s imitation of a Monte Cristo – Toronto-Style, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 185) [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some of this month’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Immunization Awareness Month , National Panini Month, National Water Quality Month, National Wellness Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Yesterday began the last FULL week of August, which is… National Composites Week! The last week of the month is also… Be Kind to Humankind Week!

Other celebrations happening this week include:

Today is also… National Ride The Wind Day and National Sponge Cake Day!

Tomorrow, August 24th is… National Maryland Day, National Peach Pie Day, and National Waffle Day! In honor of the latter, here’s another re-share of Mom’s Waffle House imitation… [NOTE: National Waffle Week is coming soon too!]

Wednesday, August 25th is… National Park Service Founders Day, National Whiskey Sour Day, National Kiss and Make Up Day, National Secondhand Wardrobe Day, and National Banana Split Day!

Thursday, August 26th is… National Dog Day, National Women’s Equality Day, and National Cherry Popsicle Day!

Friday, August 27th is… National Pots De Creme Day and National Just Because Day!

August 28th is… National Thoughtful Day, National Red Wine Day, and National Cherry Turnovers Day!

August 29th is… National Chop Suey Day and National Lemon Juice Day!

#TGIM

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

…34 down and 18 to go!

 

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Happy Monday everybody! As always, I’m happy it’s Monday because it’s one of my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#NationalTellAJokeDay

We’ve all heard the old adages, “Laughter is the best medicine…”, as well as “Laugh and the world laughs with you…”; well, in relation to August being Happiness Happens Month, today is also National Tell a Joke Day! Likewise, just as there are many health benefits to being happy, there are many health benefits to telling jokes and making others happy. Both of my parents loved to tell jokes and humorous stories.

I remember watching a lot of sitcoms and comedy/variety shows on television when I was growing up. Mom and Dad always picked the programs! Their favorite comedians included the classics, such as Milton Berle, George Burns, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Betty White, Johnny Carson, Dick Van Dyke, Don Knotts and the like. [On a side note: My dad’s mom is a Knotts (from West Virginia) and possibly a cousin to the famous comedian!]

Mom’s self-published cookbooks were very different than all the rest on the market – they stood out, not only for their crafty designs and lay-outs, but also because they were filled with food-for-thought and food-for-the-soul, as well as food-for-the-table ideas – all served up with a lot of clever humor on top!

Likewise, Mom wrote, illustrated and self-published a newsletter for 25 years (Jan. 1974 through Dec. 1998 – 219 issues in all), in the same patchwork-quilt-fashion. It began and ended as a monthly publication, but there were some years in between when she published it bi-monthly (doubling the size) and other years when it was published quarterly (quadrupling the monthly size).

Each issue of the newsletter was always stuffed full of witty and humorous stories about our family or Mom’s radio show visits all around North America, restaurant reviews, more food-for-thought and food-for-the-soul, as well as her wonderfully unique recipes. Mom would also write a little “Dear-friends-letter” (usually on the front page) about the goings-on of our lives, as she always thought of her readers as her friends too.

Even before the newsletter and books began, Mom first wrote and syndicated humorous columns under several different titles. She also illustrated amusing cartoon panels, which were called Full House as Kept by Gloria Pitzer. They were printed in The Richmond Review (Richmond, MI) for a few years, starting around early 1969.

Since they’re humor is so timeless, Mom reused many of her cartoons and witty columns in her newsletters and cookbooks that she, later, went on to develop. I often use them, myself, in my blog posts about her. Mom could see humor in almost anything. “They” say, in the comedy realm, that the best material comes from real life experiences! My mom had a way of taking our everyday life events and turning them into funny, exaggerated “fishing stories” and cartoon panels.

Below are some comedic examples from Mom’s cartoons, No Laughing Matter columns, and excerpts from some of her cookbooks. Regarding our family’s eating habits in the first story, keep in mind that Mom was a really good cook (despite her sarcastic humor, claiming otherwise) – so, of course, we were going to eat her out of house and home!

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in… No Laughing Matter

By Gloria Pitzer, The Recipe DetectiveTM

VITTEL STATISTICS – or How to Salvage Leftovers!

In order to prevent our kids from eating us right into bankruptcy, I’ve been, literally, forced to salvage food in the refrigerator by trying to camouflage it. Just last week, I made a banana look like a ballpoint pen and hid a stack of sliced cheese in an old stationary box. When our 15-year old discovered them in the refrigerator, I assured him it was for writing letters to those people who deserved a cold shoulder from me.

Several [readers] have written, asking me what I do with leftovers. I realize leftovers can be a problem but, in my case, I can hardly remember what they’re like. With five, fully-powered, automatic food disposals, walking around disguised as ‘Problem Eaters’, this house hasn’t seen a leftover in years. Leftovers are not my problem – having enough to go around the first time is!

I keep telling them, ‘Please! Eat like there IS a tomorrow!’ But they don’t listen. There was a time when I could have equated their appetites with a compliment to my cooking, but that was before I saw them eat [Kellogg’s] Pop Tarts© without removing the wrappers… They are problem eaters, alright; but the problem is they never stop eating!

There are some things they will avoid, like brown spots on an apple, as well as the core and the stem. Neither will they eat parsley flakes or dry minced onions. They also have an adversity for whatever might be good for them, like green vegetables; which means it’s perfectly safe for me to conceal Twinkies© in a box [from frozen] Brussel sprouts or Nabisco’s [Nilla] Wafers in a box that once contained prunes.

I’ve even hidden Christmas cookies so well that it wasn’t until we went to a 4th of July picnic that I discovered them in the cold drink thermos. I’ve hidden Oreos© in a tall, brown jar marked ‘NOT TO BE TAKEN INTERNALLY!’ I’ve tried to salvage enough of tonight’s pot roast to make tomorrow night’s stew, by wrapping it in a damp towel and trying to pass it off, on a lower shelf of the refrigerator, as my ironing.

When I discovered the three empty quart bottles that had, only moments before, contained ginger ale; it wasn’t difficult to expose the guilty person. It was the one [from whom], when he opened his mouth, I could hear the ocean roar!

I tried to frighten them away from what is loosely termed JUNK, like chips and doughnuts and pizza snacks; but they refuse to listen to how their teeth will rot and acne will make them unpopular.

Already, our 15-year old is supporting a 30-cents-a-day candy habit! [Note: In the early-to-mid 1970s, that was a LOT of candy!]

Just yesterday, in fact, I found the following reminder taped to the refrigerator: ‘Mom, we’re out of Pop Tarts again.’ I was very upset. The note had been written with the very last banana on the only slice of cheese!

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 4)

[LAUGHTER IS] STILL THE BEST MEDICINE –

YOU CAN’T SMILE ON THE OUTSIDE WITHOUT FEELING GOOD ON THE INSIDE!

When doctors told Norman Cousins that he had one chance in 500 to live, he remembered the old saying that ‘laughter [was] the best medicine’. Cousins then asked Allen Funt, producer of the TV show ‘Candid Camera’ to send him films of past ‘Candid Camera’ classics and a motion picture projector.

Cousins soon made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine laughter would give him at least two hours of pain-free sleep. Cousins and his doctors made the startling discovery that laughter not only eased his pain, but also produced measurable changes in his body chemistry…

AGAIN, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

The Joy Of NOT Cooking Any More Than You Have To (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1983, p. 52)

THE PENTAGON RECIPE

[aka: Kindness Begets Kindness]

One of the reasons that I always liked President Ford, was that he seemed more like the rest of us – but with strong convictions on doing the right thing when he had to…

But his first televised press conference, after his inauguration, was the incident that led to my receiving a letter from President Ford and, later on, the recipe from the Pentagon.

When the President opened his press conference on television, he explained there had been a mix-up!. Betty Ford had scheduled her first press conference for the same day – and, naturally, one of them had to postpone theirs.  

So, the president explained that like any married couple, he and his wife sat down to discuss it logically, intelligently and sensibly, as to which one of them would postpone their conference. Betty’s conference, it was decided, would be held the following week; and, in the meantime, the President explained, he would be making his own breakfast, his own lunch, and his own dinner!.  

I fell off my chair, laughing, when he made that announcement; thinking how human, how normal, how great! But my fellow journalists, in their usual humorless vein, didn’t even chuckle. They thwarted questions at him and the joke went unappreciated by probably everyone but me!

So I sent President Ford the copy of the cookbook I had then published [September 1974] with a note of sympathy that, if he were going to be doing his own cooking, perhaps he could use some help. And this was the letter I received from him:

In the meantime, I had a lovely note from Betty Ford, saying how much she had enjoyed the copies of my newsletter that she had been loaned by one of the congressmen’s wives. I gave her a complimentary subscription until she and President Ford left the White House and asked, in return, if I could impose on her to impose on her husband to use his influence in the Pentagon to acquire a copy of the Creamed Chipped Beef On Toast recipe that was served at Langley AFB, in Virginia, in about 1951.

It was the only thing my husband, Paul, would eat in their mess hall! Within a week or so I received the recipe and a kind note from Betty Ford, wishing me luck in breaking it down from 380 servings to a reasonable portion! It was a challenge! But I did it and Paul still enjoys it!

Here’s a re-share of that recipe…

LAST THOUGHTS…

Humor quotes from some of Mom’s favorite personalities, as seen at BrainyQuote.com:

18th century, English poet, Charles Churchill said, “A joke is a very serious thing.”

Author, Erma Bombeck said, “When humor goes, there goes civilization.”

Celebrity, Bob Hope said, “I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.”

Author, Allen Klein said, “You may not be able to change a situation, but with humor you can change your attitude about it.”

Comedian, Milton Berle said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.”

IN CLOSING…

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

#NationalBrowniesAtBrunchMonth

In honor of this still being National Brownies at Brunch Month, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for Hopeless Brownie Mix; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 211). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some of August’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, National Panini Month, National Sandwich MonthNational Water Quality Month, National Wellness Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Additionally, this is… Elvis Week, which is always the week of August 16th!

Other celebrations this week include:

Today is also… National Roller Coaster Day and National Rum Day!

Tomorrow, August 17th is… National Nonprofit Day, National Massachusetts Day, and National Thrift Shop Day!

Wednesday, August 18th is… National Fajita Day, National Mail Order Catalog Day, National Ice Cream Pie Day, and National Pinot Noir Day!

Thursday, August 19th is… International Bow Day, National Soft Ice Cream Day, and National Potato Day!

Friday, August 20th is… National Radio Day and National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day!

August 21st is… National Spumoni Day, National Senior Citizens Day, and World Honey Bee Day – which is always the third Saturday in August!

Sunday, August 22nd is… National Be An Angel Day, National Bao Day, Never Bean Better Day, and National Pecan Torte Day! Additionally, as the last FULL week of August, it’s… National Composites Week! The last week of the month is also… Be Kind to Humankind Week!

#TGIM

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

…33 down and 19 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Bargain Hunting

Happy Monday and happy National Bargain Hunting Week – I think! Regardless, it’s Monday, so celebrate! 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

#BargainHuntingWeek

As I wrote about, near the end of last week’s blog post, NationalDayCalendar.com claims that this week, being the SECOND week in August, celebrates National Bargain Hunting Week. However, BargainHunting.webs.com, says that the week is observed on the first Monday through Sunday of August.

Nevertheless, both websites agree that it began in 1996, founded by Debbie Keri-Brown, author of “Bargain Hunting” books. I say, “Why not celebrate it both weeks?” Now there’s a bargain – TWO FOR ONE! Whichever week it is, happiness happens for me every time I find a good bargain!

#NationalGarageSaleDay

This coming Saturday is also the observance of National Garage Sale Day! That’s why I like NationalDayCalendar.com’s promotion for National Bargain Hunting Week being this week – as it’s in conjunction with National Garage Sale Day.

Although BargainHunting.webs.com says it’s supposed to run concurrent with National Smile Week (founded by Heloise of Hints by Heloise). However, I couldn’t find “National Smile WEEK” through Google. I did, however, find that National Smile DAY is observed on May 31st and there’s a National Smile MONTH celebrated in the UK mid-May to mid-June.

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in her syndicated column, No Laughing Matter

HAVE A GARAGE SALE IN ONE EASY BREAKDOWN!

By Gloria Pitzer – Recipe DetectiveTM

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 seven 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?

The “Thumb Area” of Michigan has held a massive, annual event on the second weekend in August since 2012 (except for 2020, of course). It’s called the Antiques Yard Sale Trail. “The trail” is over 150 miles long, involving more than 11 communities, from Sebewaing on M-25, near the southeast end of Saginaw Bay, wrapping all the way around Michigan’s “Thumb Coast”, to New Baltimore on M-29, by the north shore of Lake St. Clair.

Some years, I shop different parts of “the trail” and other years, I host my own yard sale. I’m only less than a mile from where “the trail” passes through my hometown. I’ve found, over the years, that advertising wisely will draw many “bargain hunters” at least a little way off “the trail”.

Earlier this year, in Spring Has Sprung! (Mar. 22, 2021), I wrote about my spring cleaning, purging, and getting ready for a new yard sale. I’m still waiting for a work-free, rain-free weekend (to have one) that isn’t already reserved for other plans, like a few weekend vacations, a class reunion, a birthday party, a shower, and a wedding.

FROM MY MEMOIRES…

A re-write from…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom

How to have a Yard Sale in One Easy Breakdown (Aug. 12, 2019)

…HOSTING A YARD SALE IS A LOT OF WORK! I WISH I HAD A GARAGE!

A garage would be a lot easier in which to set up. First of all, it’s a permanent, solid, enclosed, and protected area. If I had a garage, I could set up my tables and clothes racks at any time, putting our stuff out a little bit each night as I clean out different rooms of the house and barn.

As it is, I have to set it all up in one or two days, right before my sale starts, because it’s under two large tents, which is somewhat open to the elements. Additionally, my city’s ordinances limit how long temporary structures, like my tents, can be up (and other things related to yard sales).

I usually don’t plan a specific yard sale date until a few conditions are met. First, I need enough of “other peoples’ treasures” to sell, because a lot of people won’t even stop at a sale that only has a small table with a few things on it. Then I need to have a Wednesday through Sunday free of time, to set it up, work it and tear it down. Plus, the weather forecast needs to be somewhat favorable since I don’t have a garage to protect everything from the elements.

Michigan weather changes often. Thus, since I don’t have a garage, I use two large, screened tents for at least some protection. Set up side-by-side, they offer me 440 square-feet of covered space – close to the size of a two-car garage.

Since I’m OCD, I need a full day just to set these up, along with all of my tables and clothes racks. After that I can bring out all the boxes of stuff that I’ve cleaned out of closets, cupboards, the basement, and barn. Then I set up my “store”. I like to make my yard sales “worth stopping and shopping” – maybe because of all my years of working in retail.

I set up my yard sale by “departments”. Each table/area represents a different department. Clothes, shoes and other related accessories (which are all grouped by sizes and type) are in one area. Rugs, furniture, and décor are in another area. Small kitchen appliances and gadgets are in another area. Other “departments” include pet stuff, bed and bath things, hardware and tools, sporting goods, yard and garden items, books and school/office supplies, electronics, auto accessories and so on.

To save time, instead of pricing everything individually, I use descriptive, pricing posters – for example “All Clothes $1 Per Piece”, “All Paperback Books 25₵ Each”. I avoid using “Everything on this table is $’X’…” signs because things get moved around by shoppers all the time.

I receive many compliments on how my yard sales are set-up and organized. I also tend to sell a lot of stuff because, while I price it to sell, I’m willing to barter. I don’t put it all out there just to haul it all back inside or take it to a resale shop just to squeeze out every penny I can from “junk” that may/ may not be someone else’s “treasure”. I look at everything as if I was purchasing it at someone else’s yard sale, asking, “What would I pay for that?” But I’m frugal and I love bargains!

LAST THOUGHTS…

With the Antiques Yard Sale Trail happening this coming weekend and, so far, criteria has not been favorable for me to have my own yard sale; I guess I’ll be bargain hunting, instead of bargain selling this week. Enjoy your week – find a bargain – celebrate Garage Sale Day, especially on Saturday – AND post your treasures on social media with #BargainHuntingWeek and/or #NationalGarageSaleDay!

IN CLOSING…

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

In honor of August, also being National Brownies at Brunch Month AND National Back to School Month, here is Mom’s secret recipe for Lunchbox Brownies With Fudge Cake Icing; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 207)

[A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition)].

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some of this month’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, International Peace Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, National Panini Month, National Sandwich Month, National Water Quality Month, National Wellness Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Yesterday started the second week of August, so this is also… National Health Center Week, Kool-Aid Days, and National Hobo Week! Plus, the second full week celebrates… National Resurrect Romance Week, too!

Other celebrations happening this week include:

Today is… National Rice Pudding Day and NATIONAL BOOK LOVERS DAY! #GloriaPitzersCookbook

Tomorrow, August 10th is… National Connecticut Day, National Lazy Day, and National S’mores Day!

Wednesday, August 11th is… National Son’s and Daughter’s Day, National Presidential Joke Day, and National Raspberry Bombe Day!

Thursday, August 12th is… National Julienne Fries Day and National Middle Child Day! In honor of the former, here’s a re-share of Mom’s imitation of McDonald’s-Style French Fries.

August 13th is… National Prosecco Day, National Filet Mignon Day, and International Left Handers Day! Plus, as the first “Friday-the-13th” of the year, it’s also… National Blame Someone Else Day!

August 14th is… National Creamsicle Day and, as the second Saturday in August, it’s also… National Bowling Day!

Sunday, August 15th is… National Relaxation Day and National Lemon Meringue Pie Day! Additionally, as the third week of August, it’s also… Elvis Week, which is always the week of August 16th!

#TGIM

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

…32 down and 20 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Life Is Good

Happy Monday and happy August! Personally, Happiness Happens for me each and every Monday, as they are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#HappinessHappensMonth

#HappinessHappensWeek

#HappinessHappensDay

August is, among other things, National Happiness Happens Month. This week, August 1st through the 7th, is National Happiness Happens Week. Plus, National Happiness Happens Day is coming up on Sunday, the 8th. All established by the Society of Happy People!

There are so many mental and physical perks that come from being happy, including a rise in energy, as well as self-esteem; which, in turn, is also good for the heart and, thereby, likely to help you live longer. Unquestionably, WHEN HAPPINESS HAPPENS, LIFE IS GOOD!

‘Happiness is a state of thought. It begins with gratitude for all we’ve already received and achieved – not with what we own or the things…’ – Gloria Pitzer, as seen in Gloria Pitzer’s Secret RecipesTM  Newsletter, Issue #218 (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; Nov. 2000, p. 5)

It’s difficult to define real happiness because it’s different for each individual, as it is a state of mind that is made by our own choices, and we are each unique. From one of Mom’s writings I shared last week, according to John Luther, “happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possessions. It’s a mental attitude. It comes from appreciating what we have, instead of being miserable about what we don’t have.”

Healthline.com offers 25 daily habits that can make you feel happy, in a wonderfully informative article written by Ann Pietrangelo (Jan. 15, 2019). Some of the habits mentioned in Ann’s article I’ve found on many other “lists”, covering the subject of achieving happiness.

The general consensus seems to include deep-breathing, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and eating right. As Ann pointed out in her article, different types of food can affect our moods in different ways – sounds like a good subject for another Monday! Anyway, other common actions that can make you feel happy are giving compliments and smiling; even acknowledging unhappy moments, as well as being grateful for something every day.

Contrary to popular belief, money does not buy happiness. However, according to Social Networks and Happiness, written by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler (Dec. 4, 2008), for every happy person in our lives, our own chances of being happy increases by 9 percent!

‘THE GREATEST WASTE in the world is the difference between what we are, and what we could be!’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 10)

Take a closer look at what‘s defined as happiness and what it takes to reach that level of personal pleasure in your life. Technically, the term “happy place” is an oxymoron, as happiness is not a place. Happiness is the whole journey of life, rather than the destination. It can be found anywhere, at any time, in anything along the way.

You could say that “happiness is in the mind of the beholder”! Thus, take pleasure in every little moment of joy you can find. If you can’t find any in your day, search YouTube for “baby giggles” – that always helps me. It’s up to each of us to find what makes us happy and put it into each and every day that we can. It can’t get more simple than that.

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Christmas Card Cook Book (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1983, p. 19)

HAPPINESS

THE CRITICS ALWAYS have a field day with the subject of being happy, as if it were an unrealistic condition to which no one was truly entitled. Those who claim to be specialists in the field are skeptical about the achievement of what is commonly considered happiness and take care to caution us against hoping to attain such a state, as if it were something only fools would desire.

I weigh the happiness I have had and what I feel is mine today with a sense of relief that is more than I ever expected and probably more than I deserve. In keeping, though, with the commentary of the cynics, one might think that it is unlikely and unrealistic to be truly happy today.

To be truly and totally happy, the cynical critics give us an unrealistic ream of necessities that we are first expected to possess. We shouldn’t have to be totally happy every minute of every day, otherwise the state of absolute contentment just might become so boring to us that we would lose our appreciation for it.

Every challenge we can meet, every crisis we can overcome, weighs more on the scale of success than all of the gold in Fort Knox! There are moments when we are the happiest, in spite of fret and discouragement, when we rouse ourselves from weariness and self-pity and realize that we are more important to the happiness of others than we give ourselves credit for.

In knowing how important we are to others, we can find a degree of contentment that is often sufficient to clean the slate of any self-imposed put-downs. All it takes, sometimes, to put us into one of these moods is the undeserved criticism of someone who’s opinion of us is quite important.  

Of course, the self-centered cynic, whose job in life, it would seem, is to constantly find fault with those whose ideas they do not agree, would try to make our little contentment seem like a fraudulent attempt to deceive ourselves and others.

Happiness is the one state of being that comes in so many different forms that the righteous critic, the cynic, the skeptic, can only feel it when they are being proven correct; while the rest of us find it in doing what the cynics criticize us for doing.

Happiness, if only at wonderful intervals, is  no miracle – no coincidence. It’s a happening! Or better said – it’s a ‘happy-ning’! The scales on which we each weigh what is of value to us that gives us happiness, balance out what we expect with what we get.

One can find happiness in getting what they want – or in wanting what they get! One book that I recently heard about seems to cover the whole subject nicely. The book is called ‘How to be Happy Without Money’ – but it costs $300!

Most of us think of happiness as an end or a means to an end – when, in reality, happiness is the beginning – not the end… And seldom the means to anything that does not reach out and touch somebody else with unselfishness and charity!

Happiness is achieved by making the most of the good times – but also effectively coping with the unavoidable bad times, in order to experience the best possible life overall.  Research has shown that happiness is the key to success, rather than success being vital to happiness.

In an awesome article by Mark Williamson (Nov. 3, 2014), called Why Does Happiness Matter?, he wrote: “Trying to live a happy life is not about denying negative emotions or pretending to feel joyful all the time. We all encounter adversity and it’s completely natural for us to feel anger, sadness, frustration and other negative emotions as a result. To suggest otherwise would be to deny part of the human condition.”

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. 19)

EXCELLENCE vs. AVERAGE

THE PRESSURE WE put on ourselves to be exceptional is totally unreasonable! The trendy position to cultivate, these days, is one of excellence. In the marketplace and business world, the urgency and motivation is to become excellent – as individuals, as executives, as parents, as citizens, as politicians or as husbands and wives. At every turn, every level of society, we are pushed into becoming humanly excellent!

If everyone, however, were to become truly excellent in their endeavors; ‘excellent’ would, then, become ‘average’! It’s perfectly okay, just to be average – which is simply the same distance from the top as from the bottom. When the average person is content with their position, their lifestyle, their social level and, even, their earning capacity; then, they are truly happy.

Average people sleep better at night than the over-achievers, seeking maximum excellence. Average people have average homes, wear average clothes, eat average foods and maintain average lifestyles. They are proud [and] their pride is genuine. They like who they are [and] what they are, [making] it easy for them to like their neighbor too!

#NationalBargainHuntingWeek

According to BargainHunting.webs.com, National Bargain Hunting Week starts on the FIRST MONDAY through Sunday of August (which is today). However, NationalDayCalendar.com claims National Bargain Hunting Week is celebrated during the SECOND week in August, which is next week. Both websites agree that it was founded by Debbie Keri-Brown in 1996. I say, “Why not celebrate it both weeks?” Whichever week it is, HAPPINESS HAPPENS for me EVERY TIME I find a good bargain!

LAST THOUGHTS…

HAVE YOU EVER had your day suddenly turn sunshiny because of a cheerful word? Have you ever wondered if this could be the same world because someone had been unexpectedly kind to you. You can make today [that way] for somebody! It’s only a question of a little imagination, a little time and trouble. Think now, ‘What can I do today, to make someone happy?’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 30)

IN CLOSING…

#NationalIceCreamSandwichDay

In honor of TODAY, being National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, here is Mom’s secret recipe for homemade ice cream sandwiches; as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Secrets Of Homemade Groceries (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Sep. 1979, p. 37) [aka: “Book 5”].

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some of August’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month (see National Coloring Book Day below), National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, National Panini Month, National Sandwich MonthNational Water Quality Month, National Wellness Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

As the first week of August, it’s also… International Clown Week and Simplify Your Life Week! Additionally, the first FULL week of August celebrates… National Farmers Market Week and National Exercise with Your Child Week!

Other celebrations happening this week include:

Today is also… National Coloring Book Day!

Tomorrow, August 3rd, is… National Georgia Day, National Watermelon Day, and National Grab Some Nuts Day!

Wednesday, August 4th, is… National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and National Coast Guard Day! In honor of the former, here is a re-share of Mom’s imitation of Famous Amos’ Chocolate Chip Cookies!

August 5th is… National Work Like A Dog Day and National Oyster Day! Plus, as the first Thursday in August, it’s also… National IPA Day!

August 6th is… National Root Beer Float Day, National Fresh Breath Day, and National Wiggle Your Toes Day! Plus, as the first Friday in August, it’s also… International Beer Day and National Water Balloon Day!

August 7th is… National Lighthouse Day and National Raspberries N’ Cream Day! Plus, as the first Saturday of the month, it’s also… National Play Outside Day (which is the first Saturday of every month), National Jamaican Patty Day, National Mustard Day, and National Mead Day! Additionally, it’s also the start of.. Twins Days [which is always the first full weekend (Saturday-Sunday) in August].

Sunday, August 8th is… Global Sleep Under The Stars Night, National Frozen Custard Day, and National Dollar Day! As the start of the second week of August, it’s also… National Bargain Hunting Week, National Health Center Week, National Kool-Aid Days, and National Hobo Week! Plus, the second full week celebrates… National Resurrect Romance Week, too!

#TGIM

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

…31 down and 21 to go!

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happy Monday

Happy Monday to everyone! You know I always look forward to each and every Monday, as they’re my 52 Chances per year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#TGIM

EVERY DAY IS A NEW BEGINNING! I think Mondays especially represent the 52 weekly, fresh opportunities we have each year… to learn something new; to stop and smell the roses; to see the sun rise and set; to meet a stranger; to share our talents with others; to lend a helping-hand to someone in need; or to simply appreciate all that life has to offer! How do you spend your Mondays?

For me, Mondays are when I blog about my mom’s legacy, as the ORIGINAL copycat cooker, the Secret Recipes Detective. I enjoy sharing some of her stories and a recipe or two from her massive collection every week. I try to use Mondays for carrying Mom’s torch forward and bringing attention to all of her pioneering efforts in the industry.

Through Mom’s stories and my own remembrances of her, I want to re-inspire love in the kitchen, in the home, in the family, throughout the neighborhood and community, as well as around the world – just as Mom did – because, as she often loved to recite, from her lifelong faith, “let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.”

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

Excerpts by Gloria Pitzer, as seen in…

This is not a Cook Book – It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, pp. 7-8)

ESCAPE

THE HAPPIEST LITTLE ESCAPES in our lives can be, to us, what the spout is to a tea kettle that is up to its neck in hot water! It can give us an outlet for letting off steam – in a nice way! Everyone, who has their own little escape from the harsh realities of everyday life, seems to fare better than those who have absolutely nothing to which to escape.

I escape to a good book that will make me smile – or better yet, laugh right out loud, like George Burns has written. I escape to crocheting and good music, to long walks and long drives in our motor home, with my husband. There are so many lovely little escapes that each of us can choose that it’s a wonder more of us who seem to suffer from unreasonable burdens and false responsibilities, don’t seek out their retreats more often. It helps! (p. 7)

‘GOOD CHEER IS something much more than faith in the future, it is gratitude for the past and joy in the present! – Gloria Pitzer

HAPPINESS IS…

I WASN’T KIDDING WHEN I said I envied happy people more than I did wealthy or famous people. From what I’ve read and what the rich and famous have said in filmed interviews, not too many of them are really happy with their wealth and their fame.

John Luther said that ‘happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possessions. It’s a mental attitude. It comes from appreciating what we have, instead of being miserable about what we don’t have. It’s so simple – yet so hard for the human mind to comprehend.’ I agree! (p. 8)

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

I often learn something new from NationalDayCalendar.com, which also claims that “Mondays are often full of new beginnings.” The website even suggests that “not only does the observance [Thank God It’s Monday Day] focus on the first Monday in January, but on every Monday throughout the year.”

I LOVE THAT! Especially since I post these blogs every Monday, in memory of my mom. They always energize and inspire me for the rest of my week’s workload (both, paid and unpaid.) I can only hope that they energize and inspire others as well.

Since I started this blog series a few years ago, writing has become one of my “escapes”. It’s very therapeutic for me, just as it always was for my mom. I’ve written more than a few blog posts about Mom’s love for writing ever since she was a young girl and how it bloomed into a legacy, as the Recipe Detective; investigator of the secrets of the food industry.

Mom loved to tell everyone that, for her, writing made a worthwhile living, but it also made living worthwhile. During her last few years, while suffering from dementia, Mom’s love for writing and journaling came as second-nature to her. Even though she couldn’t write as much as she used to, every little bit helped her to deal with the forgetfulness, immensely!

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

This is not a Cook Book – It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 37)

SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY [JOURNALING]

‘AS WE GO THROUGH life, each of us is making a notebook of memories, whether we put our notes on paper, or only on the pages of the mind,’ wrote Dorian Smith. As we write, it’s important that we note the little thing each day, for that time to come, when those notes may be our greatest joy, just remembering them.

So note the day the lilacs bloomed; the day your kindness to a friend was appreciated and acknowledged; the moments of looking up at the black, summer [night] sky, studded with thousands of tiny stars, shinning like diamonds; and the night the moon was shining across the snow-covered yard, making it look like a blanket of sequins.

Make note of those lovely things that… made you smile, made you glow inside. Put them all down on the pages of your mind, to turn to sometimes when nothing seems to be going well for you, and you need reassurance that things will be good again…

TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY

[As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote,] ‘Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. Begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays.’

Once more, I want to emphasize that every day is a new beginning! Try something different – as Darius Rucker sings, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” If any one day is not the day for which you hoped, make the most of it, as best as you can, or find an “escape” to get you through. Just remember that another new day will rise tomorrow!

AGAIN, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

This is not a Cook Book – It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 53)

[LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY TO] GET WHAT YOU REALLY WANT OUT OF LIFE…

IT’S HARD TO SAY which is worse, the person who doesn’t know what he wants and won’t be happy until he gets it, or the one who knows what he wants and can’t get it.

Very little can stop the person who is on their way to where they want to go in life. They’re motivated by enthusiasm for what they want to accomplish. I’m thinking now of the blind woman who was determined to learn how to cook. Each day she worked with her ingredients, tasting each and marking the containers so that she would know how to find them.

She worked and worked with the stove and how to regulate the heat so that she would not undercook, nor overcook anything. With each new day, she set for herself one thing she would learn to do. Her exhilaration at the small successes only made her more anxious to tackle a bigger accomplishment.

Within six months, she proudly entered her from-scratch chocolate cake in the county fair, and took home the blue ribbon, awarded to her by six judges who tasted 25 other entries and did not know that she was blind.

TO SUCCEED!

Enthusiasm is the tool of accomplishment. A genius is not someone who was exceptionally intelligent – as if made in some other image than from which the rest came, but merely someone driven to constructive action by a great enthusiasm. The essence of enthusiasm is that we feed on challenge!

‘Guard well your speech, as though it were a treasure chest; for, in truth, it is. Your words spoken or written are the jewels of expression by which you communicate with your fellow beings.’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book – It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 53)

LAST THOUGHTS… FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

This is not a Cook Book – It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 20)

DON’T WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW

LIVING ONE DAY at a time is one of the best recipes for happiness and for achievements of great value. Don’t worry needlessly about the future! It only uses up your energies that you surely need for the day at hand. Just remember that every day will hold good and bad, pleasure and a little suffering, too; a lot of joy and sometimes some pain, but don’t ever forget that these are the ingredients for making life either delicious or disastrous!

Grasp the good. Deal with the bad! Remember the pleasure. Forget the suffering as soon as you can. Hold onto the joy. Don’t let the pain get the best of you! When the pain leaves, don’t look back on it again. Taste the delicious flavors of the world around you!

#NationalBagelfestDay

In honor of TODAY, being National Bagelfest Day, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for Bagels like The Bagel Factory’s; as seen in her cookbook, The Secret Restaurant Recipes Book (National Homemakers Newsletter, Pearl Beach, MI; Jan. 1977, p. 31). It was also among her “Original 200” collection. As always, asking only for proper credit if you care to share this.

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some of July’s observances include: World Watercolor Month, National Baked Bean Month, National Culinary Arts Month, National Grilling Month, National Horseradish Month, National Hot Dog Month, National Ice Cream Month, Independent Retailer Month, National Blueberry Month, National Picnic Month, and National Peach Month!

Other celebrations happening this week include:

Monday, July 26th is… National Aunt and Uncle’s Day, National Coffee Milkshake Day, and National All Or Nothing Day!

Tuesday, July 27th is… National Love Is Kind Day, National Scotch Day, National Crème Brûlée Day, and National New Jersey Day!

Wednesday, July 28th is… National Milk Chocolate Day, Buffalo Soldiers Day, and National Waterpark Day!

Thursday, July 29th is… National Lasagna Day, National Lipstick Day, and National Chicken Wing Day! Plus, as the last Thursday in July, it’s also… National Chili Dog Day!

[NOTE: See last week’s blog post for Mom’s imitation of “O’Nasty Coney Sauce”; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 66).]

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

Friday, July 30th is… National Cheesecake Day and National Father-in-Law Day! Here’s a re-share of Mom’s imitation for Cheesecake like Sarah Lee’s – another one of her “Original 200” collection.

Saturday, July 31st is… National Avocado Day, National Raspberry Cake Day , and National Mutt Day!

Sunday is the 1st day of August! Some of August’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, Happiness Happens Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, National Panini MonthNational Sandwich Month, National Water Quality Month, National Wellness Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

As the first week of August, it’s also… International Clown Week and Simplify Your Life Week! Additionally, the first FULL week of August celebrates… National Farmers Market Week, National Exercise with Your Child Week, and Stop on Red Week!

August 1st, itself, is also… National Raspberry Cream Pie Day, National Girlfriends Day, and Respect for Parents Day! And, as the first Sunday in August, it’s also… American Family Day, National Friendship Day, and National Sisters Day!

#TGIM

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

…30 down and 22 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Junk Food

Happy Monday once again! If you’ve read any of my blog posts, you probably already know that 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

#WhiteCastle

First of all, I want to wish a very happy 100th birthday to White Castle! They’re one of a handful of companies that were actually happy with and flattered by Mom’s imitations of some of their menu items. A few years ago, I found an old letter among some of Mom’s things that I got after her passing; from Gail Turley, who was at that time, the Director of Advertising and Public Relations with White Castle (Columbus, Ohio).

Gail was very flattered with Mom’s imitation of their slider and dually impressed with her clever use of baby food to enhance the flavor of the beef. She even bought 15 copies of Mom’s cookbook (which contained the White Castle Hamburger knockoff) to share with some of her colleagues!

Mom’s original editorial on the company, along with other information and her make-alike recipe, can be found on pages 12-13 of Mom’s last book, Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; January 2018, 1st Printing) – which is a re-write of her famous book, Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Printing).

#NationalJunkFoodDay

This coming Wednesday is, among other things, National Junk Food Day! Beginning in the mid-1970s, my mom quickly became well-known locally, nationally and internationally (as Canada is just across the river from us), for busting the mysteries behind making restaurant dishes, fast food items, and junk food fare at home!

Mom reasoned that she could take the junk out of junk food if she controlled the ingredients that went into the products and cuisine, in the first place. Throughout the first two decades of her family-operated business, she demonstrated her talents for imitating our favorite foods from our favorite places on TV shows like the Phil Donahue Show and ABC’s Home show. She also visited hundreds of radio shows, nationally and internationally, for over four decades!

Mom developed THOUSANDS of “secret recipes” over the years, imitating trendy menu choices from many popular chain and fine-dining restaurants; in addition to well-liked, shelf-stable grocery products! Most of Mom’s cookbooks focused on imitating grocery products, junk food, fast food and other restaurant dishes at home.

She was known as the Secret Recipes Detective – the pioneer who first forged the copycat cookery concept, writing and self-publishing more than 30 cookbooks in a 30-year span, from 1973 through 2002; as well as hundreds of newsletters from January 1974 through December 2000! You can find more information on most of her publishings by clicking on the “Cookbooks” and “Other Publications” tabs on this website.

Mom’s definition for ‘junk food’ was always “poorly prepared food”, but she found a way to “have the cake and eat it too!” Junk is in the eye of the beholder. Mom claimed to be able to take the junk out of junk food, by imitating the taboo products at home, where she could control the ingredients. It was a food industry break through that had many companies up in arms, like Sarah Lee and Hostess, to name a couple!

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Eating Out at Home (National Home News, St. Clair, MI; September 1978, pp. 2-3)

SECRET RECIPES

YOU DON’T HAVE TO KNOW exactly how the original dish was prepared by the commercial food chains. All you need is a basic recipe to which you will add that ‘special seasoning’ or that ‘secret method of preparation’ that sets one famous secret recipe apart from those similar to it…

When I work to duplicate a recipe so that the finished product is as good as (if not better than) a famous restaurant dish, I begin by asking myself a series of questions: I want to know what color the finished dish has…[and] was it achieved by baking, frying or refrigeration?…What specific flavors can I identify?… and about how much of each may have been used…

Similar tests are used in chemistry…[to]…break down the components of an unknown substance and try to rebuild it. So the cook must work like a chemist (and not like a gourmet; who, most of the time, never uses a recipe – but, rather, creates one.)

The most remarkable part of the duplication of famous recipes is that you can accept the challenge to ‘try’ to match their [dish or product]. Sometimes, you will be successful. Sometimes you will fail in the attempt. But, at least, it can be done [‘practice makes perfect’], and it certainly takes the monotony out of mealtime when, for reasons of financial inadequacy, we cannot always eat out…

Stop cheating yourself of the pleasure of good food. Eat what you enjoy, but DON’T OVER eat…This is what really causes the problems of obesity and bad health – rather than believing the propaganda of the experts that ‘fast food’ is ‘junk food’…It is not! Poorly prepared food, whether it is from a fast-service restaurant or a [$20-plate in a] gourmet dining room, is ‘junk’, no matter how you look at it…if it is not properly prepared…

To debunk the junk…don’t think of Hostess Twinkies as junk dessert but, rather, the very same cake ingredients prepared in the Waldorf Astoria kitchens as the basis for their “Flaming Cherries Supreme”. All we did [to imitate the product] was shape the cake differently, adding a little body to the filling and putting it INSIDE the cake, rather than on top as the Waldorf did!

Mom’s original concepts of “eating out at home” and “taking the junk out of junk food” has brought so much joy to so many people who couldn’t afford such “luxuries” as eating out, even fast food, or buying junk food; either for monetary or health reasons. Mom gained a lot of followers in the copycat movement (also some plagiarists) since she started the concept in the early 1970s.

If it saved her household money, my mom wanted to share it with the world to help others save money also. Mom was a trail-blazer when it comes to copycat cuisine, as nobody else was imitating the fast food dishes and junk food products that people craved, and which the critics constantly warned the public were unhealthy!

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press, Jan. 2018; p. 6)

[A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition)]

FAST FOODS & JUNK FOODS

THE CRITICS WHO CONTEND that ‘fast foods’ are ‘junk foods’ and not good for us, have probably never prepared these foods themselves. Certainly, they have no access to the closely guarded recipes from the food companies that created these dishes, as there are only a few people in each operation that are permitted the privilege of such information! So, 99% of the critics’ speculations are based on their own opinions…

‘Fast foods’ are not ‘junk foods’ unless they’re not properly prepared. Any food that is poorly prepared (and just as badly presented) is junk!

Unfortunately, ‘fast food’ has carried a reputation, by default, of containing ingredients that are ‘harmful’ to us. Yet, they contain the same ingredients as those foods served in the ‘fine’ restaurants with wine stewards, linen table cloths, candlelight, coat-check attendants and parking valets; which separate the plastic palaces of ‘fast food’ from the expensive dining establishments.

One ‘eats’ at McDonald’s, but ‘dines’ at ‘The Four Seasons’. Steak and potato or hamburger and French fries – the ingredients are practically the same. How they are prepared makes the difference!…

James Dewar started out driving a horse-drawn wagon in Chicago and, by 1930, was manager of the Continental Baking Company’s Chicago establishment. He invented “The Twinkie”, a sponge-type cake with creamy vanilla-flavored filling [in the early 30s.] It has been called the “Grand-daddy” of modern snack foods.

Today, the finger-sized cream-filled cake is as big a confectionery sensation as they were when Dewar first introduced his creation to American cuisine. The company that put out the Twinkie was originally called the Continental Baking Company and later became the Hostess company.

At the time, he wanted to give the public something reasonably priced, for the Great Depression of the 30s brought grave times to this country. Treats like the cream-filled Twinkies, would be a luxury to people who couldn’t afford otherwise.

For decades, the appealing factor about the Twinkies national popularity has been that it is affordable! Dewar put 2 cakes in each package, selling them for $.05 a pair. For the price of a nickel, it was quite a bargain. Dewar remembered how the Continental Baking Company was selling small finger-sized shortcakes for strawberry season in the 1930s.

The pans they used to bake them in were not being used except for the spring promotion to produce the shortcakes. He, therefore, came up with the idea of preparing the same shortcake in those pans, but filling each cake with an injection of vanilla cream.

The Twinkies became an immediate success! The idea for the name, on the other hand, came while he was on a business trip to St. Louis and saw a billboard advertising “Twinkle Toes Shoes”, which was, then, a terrific sales pitch. The name “Twinkies” was a spinoff of that shoe advertisement.

From then on, the cakes took off. When Dewar retired from Continental in 1968, he boasted often to the press that he ate scores of Twinkies every day. That’s not a bad endorsement for the critics who claim junk food will shorten your life span.

LAST THOUGHTS…

For some of us, every day is “Junk Food Day” but for the rest of us National Junk Food Day is a special opportunity to eat our favorite junk foods – supposedly without the guilt. Speaking for myself, as a “junk food junkie”, they’re ALL my favorites and it’s very hard to choose!

DISCLAIMER NOTE: Junk food may be hazardous to your health! Thus, indulge at your own risk! To me, that’s like telling a former smoker or compulsive gambler or an alcoholic to “indulge responsibly” in whatever their “crutch” may be – after all, it’s just for a day… But for some there’s the afterparty… And the after-the-afterparty-party…

According to TimeAndDate.com, “Studies have shown that consuming junk food ONCE-IN-A-WHILE does not have a negative effect on health – it is only when one eats junk food for a majority of their meals that their diet can be considered unhealthy. Consuming large amounts of foods considered to be “junk”, can lead to several health problems, including a high risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart issues.”

On a side note, regarding junk food, I’d like to add that You Tube has a really good video called “Junk Food Junkie”, by Larry Groce (1976) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLiVeRJTtqo. I also found a lot of information and ideas for celebrating this awesome event at Chiff.com.

IN CLOSING…

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

In honor of Wednesday, being National Hot Dog Day (which is always the third Wednesday of July) – and July is also National Hot Dog Month – here is Mom’s copycat recipe for “O’Nasty Coney Sauce”; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 66)

[A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition)].

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some of July’s observances include: World Watercolor Month, National Baked Bean Month, National Culinary Arts Month, National Grilling Month, National Horseradish Month, National Ice Cream Month, Independent Retailer Month, National Blueberry Month, National Picnic Month, and National Peach Month!

Other celebrations happening this week include:

Yesterday (Sunday, the 18th) began the third week of July; which is, among other things, Everybody Deserves a Massage Week, National Zoo Keeper Week, and National Parenting Gifted Children Week! Additionally…

Today is… National Daiquiri Day and National Get Out of the Dog House Day (which is always the third Monday in July)!

Tomorrow, July 20th is… National Fortune Cookie Day, National Moon Day, National Lollipop Day, and National Pennsylvania Day!

Wednesday, July 21st is also… National Be Someone Day!

July 22nd is… National Penuche Fudge Day, National Hammock Day, and National Refreshment Day (which is always the fourth Thursday in July)!

Friday, July 23rd is… Gorgeous Grandma Day and National Vanilla Ice Cream Day!

Saturday, July 24th is… National Tequila Day, National Drive-Thru Day, National Cousins Day, and National Amelia Earhart Day!

Sunday is… National Hot Fudge Sundae Day! In honor, here’s a re-share of Mom’s imitation for a BIG Michigander favorite – Sanders Hot Fudge Sauce!

#HotFudgeSundaeDay

July 25th is also… National Merry-Go-Round Day, National Threading the Needle Day, National Wine and Cheese Day, and National Parent’s Day (which is always the fourth Sunday in July)!

#TGIM

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

…29 down and 23 to go!