Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Culture Of Kindness

Happy Monday and a joyful National Random Acts of Kindness Week! Personally, I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#RandomActsOfKindness

Yesterday was the start of National Random Acts of Kindness WEEK. Additionally, Wednesday is recognized as National Random Acts of Kindness DAY (as well as Ash Wednesday)! If these “kindness holidays” sound a bit familiar, it’s probably because we just celebrated WORLD Kindness Week and World Kindness Day, a few months ago, in November.

There’s an amazing alliance, all around the world, whose intent it is to basically evolve society for the better through DAILY Random Acts Of Kindness. Their website, by the same name, promotes making random acts of kindness “the norm” and offers a lot of great stories and other inspirations about different ways to spread kindness throughout the week – but, please, don’t stop there!

There are many, eminent, positive, health benefits in relation to kindness for both, the givers and the receivers. For example, acts of kindness are recognized for making those involved happy and happiness is well-known to drive up energy, as well as self-esteem; which, in turn, is also good for the heart and, thereby, likely to help us live longer. You can read more about the health benefits of kindness at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/the-science-of-kindness.

‘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)

As I’ve recommended in previous posts, WisdomQuotes.com offers many inspirations from which to choose at least one idea a day to implement throughout the whole year! I think we should all make a new resolution to be more kind, on a DAILY basis.

It’s been said many times over that practice makes perfect. Practice also creates habits that will, in turn, hopefully, become our “new norm”. I’ve heard that habits take about a week to form, therefore, I want to recommend, once again, Chrystle Fiedler’s challenge in “Why Being Kind Makes You Healthier” (as seen at… StarTribune.com; July 24, 2019). Chrystle wrote:

‘Try the seven-day kindness challenge. That means, do at least one act of kindness every day for seven days. Ground rules: Do something different each day; push yourself out of your comfort zone at least once and be sure one of your acts of kindness is anonymous — no one should ever find out who did it.’

#FoodForThought

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. 30)

MAKING PEOPLE HAPPY

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?’

IS A SINGLE HEART REJOICING over what you did or said?

Does the one whose hopes were fading, now with courage, look ahead?

Do you waste the day or lose it? Was it well or sorely spent?

Did you leave a trail of kindness or a scar of discontent?

As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God will say,

‘You have earned one more tomorrow, by the work you did today’?

Between the thousands of recipes in her self-published cookbooks and newsletters, Mom always placed many of her own Food-for-Thought editorials, bits of wisdom, and food-for-the-soul inspirations; all written with a great love and passion for helping and informing her readers – whether requested by them or just something she came upon and thought it might be of interest to them. I try to do the same when I write.

‘Happy is the person who has a good supply of the milk of human kindness and knows how to keep it from souring.’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 17)

Gloria Pitzer, 1985

Mom was a really big advocate for being kind to and loving others. She would often question why we all couldn’t just get along, as “we’re all God’s children”, she would say. To myself (NEVER out loud), I would often sarcastically whisper, in reply: “Wouldn’t that be sibling rivalry then?”

Mom really tried to be a positive example, lifting up others through her writings – from her food-for-thought columns (throughout the 1960s and 1970s) that were syndicated to multiple magazines and newspapers across the country to her hundreds of self-published newsletters (January 1974 through December 2000) and MANY DOZENS of cookbooks (1973- 2018).

Mom even wrote a few books dedicated strictly to her food-for-thought and inspirational ideas. Throughout, Mom would always emphasize the importance of really caring about each other, being kind and loving. She held a strong faith in Love and all the things it could overcome and yield. Mom would often inter-changed the word “Love” with “God”.

‘…Probably nothing that you couldn’t [or wouldn’t] attempt, now, without a reasonable chance of success. But, by removing the risk you might attempt things that were a bit more daring or slightly more challenging.’ – Gloria Pitzer

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. 14)

SUCCESS

As a man grows older he reads more of the ‘Book of Experience’ and less of the pages of ‘Prophecy’. He thinks more of the real worth of folk, and less of their shortcomings. He boasts less and boosts more. He concludes that snobbery is a confession of inferiority, and kindly consideration of others is the hallmark of the only aristocracy worth mentioning.

He hurries less and usually accomplishes more. He comes to realize that age is but a state of mind and that the greatest reward that one can win is the respect, understanding and love of his fellow man. [As Aldous Huxley said:] ‘The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.’

‘Success is not in never failing but in never fearing to begin again!’ – Gloria Pitzer

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. 24)

DOING SOMETHING NICE

Don’t expect the world to think you’re wonderful just because you do something ‘good’ – for someone else! Good people do good things all of the time – everyday, and no one pats them on the back for it. You have to do good – not for what others are going to think of you, but what you’re going to think of yourself!

If you get a kick out of doing something good for somebody… do it! But don’t expect any rewards or special recognition for having gone out of your way. Every once in a while you may be complimented for something good that you’ve done, and that’s very nice.

But most of the time, whatever you do is to make yourself feel better about what has to be done, or what should be done! It’s not a matter of conscience, but of compassion. Either you have it, or you don’t!

‘My favorite daily newspaper in Boston has the slogan, ‘to bless all mankind and injure no man’. That is how I would want to write my own publications.’ – Gloria Pitzer,  My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 86)

Besides happy and healthy, kindness is also known to help others feel valued. Thus, showing even the smallest amount of kindness can go a really long way. Like the Greek storyteller, Aesop, once said: “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” In other words, a culture of kindness can have a positive ripple effect; inspiring others to pay it forward, in the same fashion.

Being kind and compassionate should happen every day! After all, weren’t we taught to be good and kind since we were toddlers in Kindergarten, or even earlier? Why do we seem to forget that important lesson as we get older?

According to Wikipedia’s interpretation of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum (the author) “explains how the world would be improved if adults adhered to the same basic rules as children, i.e. sharing, being kind to one another, cleaning up after themselves, and living ‘a balanced life’ of work, play, and learning.”

As I previously wrote about, in November, kindness is truly an essential part of society, bridging the divides of race, religion, gender, and other such things – even politics. This is an excellent week to celebrate kindness, considering all of the political upheaval still going on in our country. It’s still needed more than ever, as divided we fall but united we stand!

#TheGolden Rule

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12) is considered the elementary “Golden Rule”, by which we all should live. According to Wikipedia, the name came about “because there is ‘value’ in having this kind of respect and caring attitude for one another.”

As I wrote in one of my blog posts, “The Golden Rule”, it’s a basic, moral principle for society to adopt and employ, encouraging everyone to treat each other with kindness and respect, for that’s how we should want to be treated, as well! It’s a simple and reasonable guiding principle, by which to live, everyday!

‘I’ve had so many good examples to follow – I’ll try to be one, myself, to somebody else.’ – 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, p. 8)

In so many ways, Mom and Dad, both, set good examples for me to follow. I’m proud to do the same, setting a good example for my children to follow; and I can only hope that that they will continue the tradition, as well, making kindness their daily norm.

The giving of the best of ourselves should be done without expectations of reciprocations of gratitude! It is through acts of kindness and giving from our hearts that we actually receive our own true gift – one that can’t be bought or even price-valued – the gift of LOVE!

Like a smile, a random act of kindness – just because – can be contagious. But, unlike the coronavirus, that’s a good thing. Plant the seed, every day, and watch kindness grow wild!

‘Greatness is measured by kindness – education and intellect, by modesty – ignorance is betrayed by suspicion and prejudices – real worth is measured by consideration and tolerance of others.’ – B.C. Forbes

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

EVEN MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 43)

YOU’VE MADE A FRIEND

A SMILE IS the universal, unspoken language between us. Some people smile more easily than others, but a smile is as good as a hug. I just LOVE people who smile a lot! Even when I’m shopping or [when Paul and I are] walking around the campgrounds on one of our abbreviated ‘get-aways’ with our motorhome, I find myself smiling at people I have never seen before, and they smile back. It’s contagious!

People don’t smile as much as they should! I’ve noticed lately how seldom strangers smile at each other in shopping centers and restaurants and other places where average folks mingle or pass. It occurred to me that there was nothing to lose by smiling and nodding at people as I shopped or glanced across a restaurant to other tables.

A surprising thing happened! Grim looking faces spontaneously responded with smiles and nods, as if they were trying to place me or recall where we might have met before. It was just wonderful!

‘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, My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 100)

IN CLOSING…

Today is also National Wisconsin Day!

Thus, in honor, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for Milwaukee Cheese Soup; as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Joy Of NOT Cooking – Any More Than You Have To (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1983, p. 71)

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Don’t forget, according to NationalDayCalendar.com, some of February’s month-long, national celebrations include: Black History Month, National Snack Food Month, National Hot Breakfast Month, National Library Lover’s Month, National Grapefruit Month, Great American Pies Month, National Bake for Family Fun Month, National Bird Feeding Month, National Cherry Month, & Canned Food Month.

Another week-long celebration that began yesterday (as it was the 2nd Sunday in February) is National Kraut and Frankfurter Week!

Additionally…

Today is also Presidents Day & National Gumdrop Day!

Tuesday is National Almond Day, Fat Tuesday, Paczki Day, & Fastnacht Day!

Wednesday is National Cabbage Day!

Thursday is National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day & National Drink Wine Day!

Friday is National Tartar Sauce Day & National Chocolate Mint Day!

Saturday is National Love Your Pet Day, National Muffin Day, & National Cherry Pie Day!

Sunday is National Sticky Bun Day!

HAVE A SUPER-TERRIFIC WEEK!

#GoodNeighbor

REMINDER: My monthly interview with Kathy Keene, on the “Good Neighbor show, is coming up, again, next Monday!

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

#TGIM

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

…7 down and another 45 to go!

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Writers Appreciation

Happy Monday and a jubilant Freelance Writers Appreciation Week to all! Personally, I always look forward to Mondays, because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share my Memories of My Mom, the ORIGINAL Secret Recipes DetectiveTM, with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#FreelanceWritersAppreciationWeek

Yesterday was, among other things, the start of Freelance Writers Appreciation Week. It’s one of those special, week long “chances” we get (each year) to be grateful for writers! I’m a big fan of reading so I’m very grateful for the creative talents of writers, producing works that are inspirational, educational, informational, entertaining, thought-provoking, and so much more.

I consider myself to be a writer but not a freelancer, as I don’t make any money from my writings or this blog. Freelance, per Dictionary.com, means “selling [one’s] work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.”

In fact, even the links that I incorporate into my blog posts are not ads and I don’t receive money (or anything else) for anyone clicking on them. I include them merely because I find their subject matter to be relative and current, as well as at least one or more of the adjectives I listed above. Simple as that!

Mom started her career in freelance writing when she was a young teen. What began as winning essay writings for various contests turned into food-for-thought columns that she syndicated to various newspapers and magazines as a young adult. Writing, you could say, was always in Mom’s blood.

As I wrote in my introduction picture, I started this blog (and continue it) to raise awareness of Mom’s trailblazing talents in the food industry, as the ORIGINAL creator of copycat cookery; but also for the wonderful legacy that she left all of us through her own freelanced, syndicated, and self-published writings.

Mom wasn’t just the Secret Recipes DetectiveTM, who investigated and developed (in her own kitchen) imitations of popular restaurant dishes, fast food items, pantry-shelf products, and more. Mom also filled all of her books and newsletters with just about as much food-for-thought editorials and food-for-the-soul inspirations as she did food-for-the-table recipes and kitchen tips.

Mom always wanted her creations to be just as much at home on the living room coffee table or even the bedside table as they were on the kitchen counter. Her books and newsletters were like no others, which put her writings in a unique position to be noticed – and that they were!

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

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. 22)

JOURNALISM

JOURNALISM IS a peculiar profession to follow. I’ve been a serious journalist [since 1954]. I’ve worked among writers who wrote to live, while the rest of us lived to write. We had to communicate to reach out to someone with ideas, with thoughts, with reasonings and [remembrances].

Somehow, we had to make a difference, touching others with some good – like the single stone tossed into the still waters of a shimmering pond, the ripples begin, as they always do, where the stone touched the water’s surface and responded around and around, until the widest circle touched the grassy edge [of the shore], again and again.

While I live to write, I must consider that others do not. Writers never retire – not if they are truly writers. Editors retire. [Even] reporters retire from their work at some given point. But old writers never die, they just run out of words.

[Unfortunately, Mom ran out of words on January 21, 2018. But her legacy will always live on!]

The pros and cons of freelancing can be limitless, depending on so many different factors for different people. Freedom, control, flexibility, and independence are just some of the possible perks that attract freelancers. However, there’s always an “on-the-other-hand” side to that coin too.

No paid benefits (like vacation, personal, or sick times; nor, employer “sponsored”, health insurance), a lack of job security, “client” development, and unstable/sporadic work opportunities are just some of the disadvantages that weigh heavy on a struggling freelancer.

Thus, it takes a lot of courage to devote one’s talents (in more ways than one), to succeed as a freelancer – whether it’s part-time or full-time. Either way, you have to be able to put yourself out there, selling you and your “brand” just as much as your creations.

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

AGAIN, 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. 86)

HOW I CAME TO KNOW WRITING LAYOUTS & PUBLISHING SKILLS

I WALKED INTO THE OFFICE [of the Roseville Community Enterprise], kids in tow, and John [McPartlin] asked, ‘what can I do for you?’ To that I replied, ‘it’s what I can do for YOU. I’m here to apply for the job of suburban correspondent.’

He said there had to be some mistake, for they were not looking for one. I told him I realize they were not looking for one, but nonetheless, they did NEED one, and I was prepared to provide them with good articles, reports on area municipal meetings and any other features they would require.

‘Inspiration doesn’t make appointments!’ – Gloria Pitzer

John was reluctant, I am sure, to give me the job, but the association did prove to be a very beneficial one for both of us. I learned to key line while working for him, which enables me to now lay out all of my own work, without the assistance of a ‘publisher’.

From my work with John, I also learned about advertising production and sales and proofreading, as well as typesetting with the IBM composer, the very machine that now sets the type of this page and all of our work, making it ‘camera-ready’.

The important lesson I learned, however, from working under John McPartlin was how to recognize a good story and how to write it properly. My favorite daily newspaper in Boston has the slogan, ‘to bless all mankind and injure no man’. That is how I would want to write my own publications.

I learned, among many things, that writers do labor for the love of their work, like a lot of people do, and they live with discipline and constant rejections, which ultimately will separate ‘the men from the boys’ in this profession. The gift is like a slave-master, and the writer must write no matter what else is neglected or sacrificed. So writers settle for rewards of recognition rather than financial security.

Security, to a serious writer, is an amplitude of ideas. Seniority means nothing. Effort and ability mean everything. Competition? There are approximately 400,000 professional writers today [1989] with their articles or books in print, all clamoring for attention from a few thousand were the publications and book publishers. In my specific field, there are over 45,000 cookbooks on the market today [1989]. These are, both, collaborators and competitors.

‘A writer’s tools are ideas and ideas are funny little things that don’t work unless you do!’ – Gloria Pitzer

A writer’s tools are ideas and ideas are funny little things that don’t work unless you do! Often, ideas come without an appointment – like at 2 o’clock in the morning, or in the middle of a pleasant lunch and a lovely restaurant. Then you pull out pen and paper and make notes because the ideas are fresh, and you cannot let yourself postpone the surge of inspiration you instinctively feel is touching you at that moment.

All problems become smaller if you don’t dodge them but confront them. Touching this ultimately, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly, and its spines crumble. It goes back to basically the expectancy of good, which takes some thoughtful consideration. Despite overwhelming challenges, expectancy of goods sustains us, dissolves doubts, even impels a beneficial change in our thinking. Infinitely more than wishful thinking, it’s Divine Law in operation, governing each of us.

STILL, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; June 1997, p. 1)

A STORY TO SHARE

From the mimeograph machine that I hand cranked and inked, with every 200 copies, came the first pages of our newsletter and the first 200 recipes of favorite dishes from famous places. Actually, I added only a few recipe cards at the time to each of the early issues of the newsletter and these grew from 25 to 50 to 100, finally being concluded with 200 selections as of our February 1977 issue.

Those we offered through the newsletter and on 4 x 6 cards have never been published in one complete edition, so we now offer this collection to celebrate over 20 years of our continuous publication of our Secret RecipesTM. In most of these 200 recipes I’ve not had to alter the ingredients nor the technique but in some that had no regard for what is considered wholesome, I’ve made a few changes and improvements.

It never occurred to me that the dishes we were trying to imitate would not be of interest to a deserving family of readers, who simply wanted to enjoy dining-in as if they were dining out. From that day, in August 1976, when this recipe enterprise became this family’s only source of income, it was a welcomed challenge to be able to work at it, not as a job, but always is a joy.

People often question my ability to continue at it with untarnished enthusiasm and never having had to deal with what is called ‘writers block’. I can’t imagine a day when I am not writing and enjoying every moment of it. The 200 original secret recipes were only the beginning of what I felt would eventually become a well-described collection of worthy recipes. And it happened exactly that way.

IN CLOSING…

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

Yesterday began the Great American Pizza Bake week (and Tuesday is National Pizza Day – see more below). In honor, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for Skillet Pizza; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 76).

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

According to NationalDayCalendar.com, some of February’s other continuing, month-long, national celebrations include: Black History Month, National Snack Food Month, National Hot Breakfast Month, National Library Lover’s Month, National Grapefruit Month, Great American Pies Month, National Bake for Family Fun Month, National Bird Feeding Month, National Cherry Month, & Canned Food Month.

Some other celebrations for the week include: Yesterday was also the start of National Jell-O Week, National Marriage Week!

Additionally …

Today is also National Football Hangover Day, National Iowa Day, & National Boy Scouts Day!

Tuesday is National Pizza Day & National Bagel and Lox Day! The following recipe is a re-share of Mom’s imitation for pizza like Little Caesar’s (as seen in a number of her cookbooks and “free recipe offers”.)

Wednesday is National Cream Cheese Brownie Day!

Thursday is National Peppermint Patty Day, National Make a Friend Day, National Inventors’ Day & National Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day!

Friday is National Plum Pudding Day!

Saturday is National Tortellini Day & National Cheddar Day!

Sunday is Valentines Day & National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day! It is also the start of National Kraut and Frankfurter Week [which starts the 2nd Sunday in February] & National Random Acts of Kindness Week.

#GoodNeighbor

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

My next interview with Kathy Keene, on WHBY, is coming up in two weeks!

#TGIM

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

…6 down and 46 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Super Sunday Feast Bowl

Happy 5th Monday (2021) and happy February to everyone! I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

http://therecipedetective.com

#SuperBowlSunday

There weren’t many things that stumped my mom more than understanding my dad’s love of football. Thus, in honor of both, Mom and Dad, I want to write a little about the colossal Super Bowl event that is only 6 days away, now. This year the big extravaganza is being held in Tampa Bay, FL.

And it just so happens that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the NFC champions, facing-off (at home) against the AFC’s champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s a rare event when a city hosting the Super Bowl actually has their own team in the event, as the hosting cities are set years in advance. Therefore, Tampa Bay Floridians have been celebrating on a huge scale, as the NFC champions AND Super Bowl LV hosts!

Despite the pandemic that has been plaguing our country and the rest of the world for nearly a year – and continues to do so – parties are still being planned for the big event (even if on a smaller scale than usual), squares are being bought, bets are being placed and all the usual hype about the half-time show and “special” TV ads have already begun!

It seems that there’s always something to celebrate, every day of every year – even if it’s not an “official” holiday – and next Sunday is no exception! Football is not something Mom celebrated but Dad certainly did! Regardless, Mom did always like to entertain – especially with food and drinks – and almost any excuse for a “party” would do!

#NationalSnackFoodMonth

Over the past five and a half decades, the Super Bowl has evolved from a simple championship football game into a cultural phenomenon and an un-official holiday. How perfect that February is also National Snack Food Month, since the most popular Super Bowl party eats are from the snack foods category! At home, snacks are usually prepared from common pantry ingredients and don’t require a lot of preparation. They’re typically “finger-foods” intended to be convenient, easy, quick, and satisfying.

Whether packaged/processed or homemade, snacks are usually small portions of food that are generally eaten between meals and/or before bedtime. However, the category of snack foods (like the Super Bowl event, itself) has evolved from simple cookies, popcorn, pretzels, chips, dips, and the like to also include appetizers like pizza bites, chicken wings, nachos, fondues and deep-fried morsels of just about anything; as well as sliders!

[Below is a re-share of Mom’s famous imitation of sliders, like White Castle’s, who were one of the few corporations that took her imitation for what it was – a compliment – and approved, buying a bunch of her cookbooks to give to all of their company’s executives!]

Last year, according to an article at TheDailyMeal.com, The Most Popular Super Bowl Party Foods, Ranked [written by Carolyn Menyes (Jan. 13, 2020)], the #1 favorite snack food choice was chicken wings! Others that made the top 15 list in this article include sandwiches like subs, pulled pork, and sliders; as well as nachos, chili, pigs-in-blankets, potato skins, guacamole and a half-dozen others.

Another article, Ranking the Best Super Bowl Party Foods, from the staff at SI.com, lists 12 favorite Super Bowl snacks of their own – some not listed in the other article. A couple that I really liked were jalapeño poppers and crab dip. However, they were both in agreement with the #1 choice being wings!

Wikipedia.com claims that about “28 million pounds… of chips, 1.25 billion chicken wings, and 8 million pounds… of guacamole are consumed during Super [Bowl] Sunday”. I searched for Brady’s and Maholmes’ favorite Super Bowl snacks. It seems that Brady is a vegetarian and health nut, while Maholmes seems to like KC Barbeque (go figure).

#CookingWithQue

If you’re a vegan, like Brady, check out Que’s Baked Cauliflower Wings! Que is from our Detroit area and often appears on our local Fox2 News show. This lady is awesome – and I’m not even vegan!

For your Super Bowl celebration (or any day for that matter), below is a repeat sharing of Mom’s imitation for Hot Wings like she had at one of our local Hooters’ restaurants many decades ago… followed by one of her satirical columns about football.

Hot Wings, like Hooters, by Gloria Pitzer

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, pp. 301-302)

Originally from… “MINDING THE HEARTH” – a syndicated column by Gloria Pitzer (circa 1970s)

[FOOTBALL SEASON]

I am resigned to my life with an armchair quarterback, for I know that the garlic in our matrimonial gladiola patch is PRO FOOTBALL! From September to March, every year, there is always going to be a gigantic communication gap in our house.

The art of conversation isn’t really lost. It’s merely hidden behind the pre-game warm-up, installing a power offense which will take advantage of decent, but not blinding, speed in the backfield in a right-handed attack with a lot of blocking in a size-out pass pattern.

I guess the reason I’ll never win an argument with my husband in the fall is that I can’t understand one single word he says. I even tried to leave him once during an NFL game, but it wasn’t until the Super Bowl was over (5 months later) that he even noticed I was gone.

I admit, I don’t know much about football, but I still insist it isn’t quite fair that the fellow who worked so hard last season, doing a terrific job as quarterback, wasn’t promoted to HALF-back this season! Anyway, the last time I tried to cultivate an interest in the game was the time my husband called me in to watch the last two minutes of an exciting game. (Mind you, I use the term ‘exciting’ very loosely!) I guess it was exciting.

Paul kept jumping up and down, hollering, ‘Look at them go!’ All I learned from that experience, was that two minutes of football is equal to 20 minutes of Daylight Savings Time. An ordinary Sunday afternoon at our house would begin as he slipped into his George Blanda sweatshirt and punted his bottle of Ironized Yeast Tablets across the room, then he would step up to the TV set and announce, ‘Gloria, is there anything you’d like to say to me before football season begins?’

Perhaps you understand why every fall I join ‘Parents Without Partners’. Because my husband would only notice me if I were to run through the living room with… a number on my back. I can forgive him a lot of faults, especially during football season, but… When he asked if I had anything to say to him before he turned on the set, it was no wonder I replied, ‘Do I have to say it all now?’

‘…You know better than to speak to me during an instant replay!’ he snapped.

‘All right,’ I screamed. ‘Why do you love football better than you love me?’

‘I don’t know,’ he said, scratching his head. ‘But I love you better than basketball! … Love you? Of course, I love you! That’s my job. I’m your husband! Besides, I love EVERYBODY!’

‘I suppose you’d like to have dinner in the living room, in front of the TV,’ I said tartly. ‘Or should I time it for the half-time extravaganza?’

‘Half-time will be fine. By the way,’ he asked, ‘what are we having for dinner?’

‘Film clips of last Sunday’s roast!’ [I answered.]

‘That’s not funny,’ he snapped. ‘I’m getting hungry!’

‘Good!’ I said bitterly. ‘Then the pre-dinner line-up includes whose off-sides that can set the table while I give you a slow-motion replay of how your son kicked the oven door while I was pampering a Boston butt-cuss (an illegal substitution for pork roast) and spelled out Billy Sims with 659 parsley flakes on a field of mashed potatoes.’

‘Okay,’ he chuckled. ‘I can take a joke as well as the next guy. But what are we really having for dinner?’ He asked.

[I answered.] ‘PICKLED PIGSKIN – that’s what!’

WITH ALL THIS INFORMATION IN MIND, you must now understand why it is that I have never written a book for women. I thought I did not have enough information to hold a woman’s interest for more than one or two chapters. But I do NOW, and I’m going to entitle it ‘EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT FOOTBALL – and were sorry you asked!’

Football season, the punt of no return, is that once-a-year experience that makes me wonder, as my husband sits, watching one game after the other on TV, why he hasn’t worn out HIS end zone! It’s my own fault. I tried to cultivate an interest in the game so that we could share something besides the absence of conversation between us on weekends from September through February.

But looking back, it seems that all we have been able to share, instead, is the compelling urge to see this season over with. I want to see it over with, so that we can be a family again, and my husband would like to see it over with, so that he can see how closely he came to determine the winning team at the Super Bowl!

My armchair quarterback keeps giving advice on every play. Every time this happens, I expect Tom Landry to stretch his arm right through our picture tube and point at my husband, insisting, ‘Hey, you – you with all the advice! Go in for Dupree!’

Mind you, this is the same man who has committed to perfect memory such statistics as how many touchdowns and yards run, his favorite player has mastered, but he can’t remember his own shirt size, where he left his car keys, our kids’ middle names, nor his mother’s telephone number!

But, at least, he is not as emotional over the game as some husbands I know. Just last weekend, I visited my friend while she was in traction in the hospital, bandaged from head-to-toes like an Egyptian mummy – while her apologetic husband leaned over her, explaining, ‘Honey, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you 100 times… NEVER walk in front of the TV during a 95-yard punt return!’

I SUPPOSE, ONE THING I CAN ALWAYS DO, while he watches television football games, is the grocery shopping. After all, somebody must! We can’t eat without groceries. While I have tried to train Paul for retirement, by trying to teach HIM how to shop for the food, I don’t believe he is ready, yet, for his ‘solo flight’ down the aisles of the A&P!

I’m the food-shopper with outstanding guilt-complex who is driven to [let]to  poor souls with 4 items in their arms to go ahead of me – unless they’ve brought their lunch with them and are prepared to spend a month in line behind me, explaining the 3 carts of groceries to the person behind me who has never had feed a family of teenagers.

One must chance that while you are permitting all those nice people to pass you up with their one or two items more than the express line will allow, and YOUR ice cream is in a puddle on the floor under your cart that is being mopped up by a disgruntled stock boy! Things like this occasionally afford me the reputation of being recognized by butchers everywhere as, ‘Here comes that nut who always has to see the other side of the roast!’

Parties for Super Bowl Sunday typically involve large gatherings of friends and families, including those who aren’t even fans of the game. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the “Super Sunday” event (even during a continuing pandemic) always gives people a good excuse for getting together (if only in small, safe groups) to socialize, watch the big game and half-time show – and let’s not forget about the buffets of snacks, appetizers and sweets to consume (as well as the beer)!

The consensus seems to be that Super Bowl Sunday is America’s second biggest day of food consumption, next to Thanksgiving. Maybe that’s why half of the Super Bowl ads are usually food focused. One could say that the Super Bowl parties, themselves, have evolved into a food-fest competition! The top three contenders, for the past few years have been between chicken wings, pizza, and nachos.

I agree with what Jenna Helwig noted in her article (Feb. 5, 2016), You’ll Never Believe How Much Food We Eat On Super Bowl Sunday, on Parents.com, regarding the “second biggest day of food consumption”. Jenna argued that the “Super Bowl actually better reflects what most of us really WANT to eat: classic junk food. From chips and wings to nachos and beer, the Super Bowl is our excuse to just chow down and enjoy all the foods that we rarely eat or feel like we should eat the rest of the year. It should go without saying: There is no place for food guilt during the Super Bowl.”

In honor of the approaching Super Bowl Sunday, below is a re-share of Mom’s “secret recipe” for Meatballs like Win Schuler’s; as seen in her self-published cookbook… Gloria Pitzer’s – The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 57)!

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

According to NationalDayCalendar.com, some of February’s other month-long, national celebrations include: Black History Month, National Hot Breakfast Month, National Library Lover’s Month, National Grapefruit Month, Great American Pies Month, National Bake for Family Fun Month, National Bird Feeding Month, National Cherry Month, & Canned Food Month.

Furthermore, some other celebrations for this week include:

Today is National Baked Alaska Day, National Get Up Day, & National Texas Day! Below is a re-share of Mom’s imitation for Texas Fruitcake, like that of the famous Puddin’ Hill legacy.

#NationalTexasDay

Tuesday is National Heavenly Hash Day, National Tater Tot Day, and National Groundhog Day!

Wednesday is National Carrot Cake Day!  For that celebration, here’s another re-share of Mom’s imitation for “Awrey’s Karat Cake”…

#NationalCarrotCakeDay

Thursday is National Thank a Mail Carrier Day & National Homemade Soup Day! It is also the start of Boy Scout Anniversary Week [February 4th-10th, annually]!

Friday is Bubble Gum Day & World Nutella Day!

Saturday is National Chopsticks Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, National Frozen Yogurt Day, & National Play Outside Day [which is on the first Saturday of EVERY month]! It is also the start of Pride in Food Service Week [starting on the 1st Saturday in February]!

Sunday is also National Send a Card to a Friend Day & National Fettuccine Alfredo Day!

Additionally, Sunday will also be the start of National Jell-O Week, National Marriage Week, Freelance Writers Appreciation Week [which is the 2nd full week in February], & the Great American Pizza Bake week!

#GoodNeighbor

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

In case you missed WHBY’sGood Neighbor” show last week, below is a link where you can listen to the recorded podcast of Kathy Keene and I, discussing Super Bowl snacks and some of Mom’s favorite Mexican-style appetizers from page 65 of her last book, Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018).

https://www.whby.com/2021/01/25/laura-pitzer-emerich-7/

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

#TGIM

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

…5 down and 47 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happy Hobbies

Happy last Monday of January! I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you! Plus, since the spring of 2020, the last Monday of each month has become even more special to me. [See my “LAST THOUGHTS” section, near the end of this post.]

Just a reminder, as January winds down, this whole month is still celebrating (among other things) National Sunday Supper Month, National Blood-Donor Month, National Hobby Month, National Hot Tea Month, National Oatmeal Month, National Slow Cooking Month, and National Soup Month – but January is not over yet!

#NationalHobbyMonth

This week, I’d like to write more about hobbies. A hobby is generally a pleasure-seeking activity that we do, on a fairly regular basis, usually in our spare time. Hobbies add excitement, diversity and enjoyment to our somewhat hum-drum lives. Hobbies also provide us with various health-benefits, as well as relief from depression, anxiety and stress!

Photography, exercising, gardening, cooking, shopping, organizing, reading, writing, crafting, collecting, traveling, and watching movies are just a dozen (of an endless amount) of popular hobby choices that people have taken-up over the years.

I’m sure a lot more people have especially started new hobbies over this past year (or rekindled old hobbies), while in “lock-down” for Covid-19, alone. Additionally, more people probably turned their hobbies into online businesses over this past year, than ever before; creating a new source of income, while having to work from home. We’re a resourceful lot when need be!

Gloria Pitzer, 1985

As January is the beginning of the new year, a lot of resolutions involve starting a new hobby – or turning a hobby into a vocation! Similarly to Mark Twain, NationalDayCalendar.com says about hobbies: “…if you’re really lucky, you can find what you love to do and turn it into your career. You know what they say: ‘If you make your hobby your job, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’”

#FunAtWorkDay

‘Find a job you enjoy doing and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ – Mark Twain

That’s what happened for Mom. Her girlhood “hobby” of journaling turned into her passion for writing, which turned into her “calling” and eventually her legacy. Mom always said that she made a living with her writing, but it was her writing that made living worthwhile; and that being a writer wasn’t what she did but, rather, who she was!

However, Mom never looked at writing as a “hobby” for herself. To Mom, it was simply part of her being – something she did routinely, every day (like brushing her hair), since she was about 10 years old, until just before she passed away (which was only three years ago, last week).

Mom had a special talent for combining food-for-thought editorials with food-for-the-soul passages, entertaining illustrations and food-for-the-table recipes – all sprinkled with a dash of satire and a pinch of wit – in most of her writings. You can see a list of her writings under the “Cookbooks” and “Other Publications” tabs on this website.

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. 25)

THE LITTLE STEPS

… Over the years, the reporters who came to interview us, somehow arrived at our doorstep anticipating a happy cross between the Walton’s and the Brady Bunch. I don’t know if they were disappointed or relieved to learn that we weren’t even close to either of the adorable, but fictional, families they expected.

There were times when the reporters asked to come out to our home, then, in Pearl Beach (near Algonac) and so small, I use to say, if we had a City Hall it would be located over a phone booth!

They would approach the story as if it were just another housewife with a happy little hobby who turned it into a profitable business. My writing was never a hobby… For lack of a better definition, the Internal Revenue Service calls our enterprise a ‘business’… [while] others call it our ‘work’. I, however, like the word ‘livelihood’ because it is a lively experience.

‘Journalism is a peculiar profession to follow. I’ve been a serious journalist [since graduating high school in 1954]. I’ve worked among writers who wrote to live, while the rest of us lived to write. We had to communicate, to reach out to someone with ideas…thoughts…reasonings and remembering. While I live to write, I must consider that others do not. Writers never retire, not if they’re truly writers. Editors may retire and reporters may retire…at some given point. But, old writers never die, they just run out of words.’ – Gloria Pitzer, My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 22)

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. 42)

HOW IT BEGAN – CRITICAL EARLY ADVANTAGE

THE MIMEOGRAPH did give me the advantage of being self-sufficient without having to go into debt. Paul failed to see the importance of my having to have this, until I showed him the receipt for it having been paid-in-full, and the bankbook that showed him exactly how much I had earned from having printed a newspaper column on the machine, then selling them to 11 newspapers around the state.

John McPartlin had loaned me his newspaper directory, from which I drew the names and addresses of those weekly papers that had a circulation sufficient to afford a dollar per column, per week. Considering the mimeograph only cost $79.95, I feel I did pretty well, skimping and scraping to get it paid for. Paul was skeptical, however, that it would ever be anything then an expensive hobby. I think I must have tried so very hard to be the best I could be, to prove to him that he was wrong about me.

THE NEWSLETTER BEGAN with the mimeograph in our utility room where I cut the stencils, Inc. the drum by hand, applied the stencils and ran the copies off, a few hundred at a time, allowing them to ear-dry on the dining room table in the next room. The dining room table was a door to which Paul had affixed for table legs. It was seldom clear of our work. I never gave any thought, then either, to the number of hours that we put into producing the newsletter. We simply worked until the work was finished, or we found a good ‘breaking-off’ point.

I found many articles of interest online regarding hobbies for making you happy, as well as making you money. Three great reads that I liked are “4 Ways To Find A Hobby You Love” by Deanna de Bara at TheMuse.com, “20 Productive Hobbies That Will Make You Smarter And Happier” by Chris Haigh at LifeHack.com, and “21 Best Profitable Hobbies…” by at GatheringDreams.com.

Personally, I have many hobbies that I love. I’ve even made a few bucks from some of them. However, I’m not a very good sales person and that is a very important element one needs if they are going to make money from their hobby. You really need to be able to sell yourself and/or your brand, as well as your product and/or service – OR be able to pay someone else (which is usually a lot of money) to do it for you.

‘Succeeding against the odds…When I look back now, I realize that I was so busy trying to prove that others were wrong about me, I couldn’t see how events were already taking place that would sooner or later put me where I had always wanted to be – writing for a worthwhile living, while it made living worthwhile.’ – Gloria Pitzer My Cup Runneth Over – And I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 81)

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

EVEN MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over And I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 53)

RISKS – THE HARD ROAD TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY

There are many risks involved with going into business for yourself, no matter what product or service you intend to offer. If I had thought more about the risks, than I did about the possibilities, I never would have moved an inch toward doing any of the things about which I now write.

My husband is not a risk-taker. I am. We complement each other well. He still becomes uneasy and anxious about every new idea I have for another book or another project, on the basis that ‘we can’t afford it.’

I have learned, over the years, to keep many of my projects to myself until they are completed, which in the long run, saves Paul from worrying unnecessarily about something that will very likely turn out well, and keeps me from worrying that Paul is worrying.

SOME PEOPLE EXPERIENCE a certain let-down, after reaching what they consider ‘the top’. When they finally reach the Everest of their ambitions [and] make it to the top, they start to wonder why they were in such a hurry to get there anyhow. Like Lee Iacocca, who was only in his mid-40s when he was president of the Ford Motor Company, writes in his autobiography, [that he had] no idea what he was going to do ‘for an encore’!

I have never had to worry about this, fortunately. When I have been asked about goals or destination, it is been my feeling that every corner I turn has a new goal, a new destination awaiting us. I have never thought of any one point as being the top. Life has so many wonderful opportunities for each of us to take advantage of, that it does not seem reasonable that I should give myself the limitations that would determine just how far I should be able to go.

Because this was never a hobby, never WORK, never a job, I have had no problem with the worry or concern that accompanies a position from which one expects to retire. I would not want to give up what I have been doing since I was a child [writing]. It would be unfair to have to give up doing something that has also brought so much pleasure and good information to so many people.

It was, however, only when I realized WHAT I should be writing about and what I should be sharing with the readers – what I knew best – that things really began to happen. Of course, my husband wisely reminds me, when someone asked about writing their own cookbook, that WRITING it is the easiest part. Knowing how to SELL it is the hard part!

LAST THOUGHTS…

#WHBY

Today is the last Monday of January – so don’t forget to tune-in to WHBY’s “Good Neighbor” show, with Kathy Keene; as I’ll be on with her at the start of the show, discussing our memories of my mom with her listeners. I’ll also be sharing a few of Mom’s favorite recipes, too.

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

IN CLOSING…

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

#NationalSoupMonth

In honor of January’s continued celebration of National Soup Month, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for #CreamOfBroccoliSoup like that from one of her favorite places, Big Boy Restaurant’s; as seen in her last book… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 118)

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

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some other celebrations for the week include:

Today is also National Florida Day, National Irish Coffee Day!

Tuesday is National Plan For Vacation Day, National Spouses Day, National Peanut Brittle Day, & National Green Juice Day (aka: #GotMyGreens)!

Wednesday is Library Shelfie Day & National Chocolate Cake Day!

Thursday is National Fun At Work Day, & National Blueberry Pancake Day!

Friday is National Puzzle Day & National Corn Chip Day!

Saturday is national Seed Swap Day & National Croissant Day!

Sunday is Inspire Your Heart With Art Day & National Hot Chocolate Day. It’s also the start of Meat Week!

#TGIM

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

…4 down and another 48 Mondays to go!

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

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happy Michigan Day!

Happy Monday to one and all and happy National Michigan Day to all of my fellow Michiganders! I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#NationalMichiganDay

As a proud, born-and-bred Michigander, having been raised by two other born-and-bred Michiganders, I think I should talk about today being, among other things, National Michigan Day! In my Michigander-biased opinion, it is one of the most beautiful states in our country!

Bordered by four of the five Great Lakes (and as a major part of the St. Lawrence Seaway), Michigan is home to an abundance of historic places, beautiful sights, famous people, iconic foods, renowned restaurants, and so much more.

Whenever possible, my husband and I LOVE to go on one-day jaunts or weekend road trips to different areas in our scenic state of Michigan, like my parents used to do. We really enjoy exploring the sparkling, blue water shorelines of the Great Lakes, surrounding most of our state; as much as the in-land lakes, rivers, parks, forests and farmlands throughout the state.

A friend of mine and I recently had a debate about the scenic virtues of our fine state. She’s a travel agent and has traveled all over the world, herself. She expressed concern about my Michigan-dominated, sight-seeing, bucket list, as being too narrow or “close to home”. She just felt that my husband and I should get out of the state and see more of our country.

While there are other states we want to see (if we won the lottery), I contended that Michigan is a big state and there are a lot of places within it, which neither of us have seen, yet, and would like to do so first. Mostly because we don’t get “vacation time” (or any kind of paid time-off) from our employers, so we kind of need to stay within our state, at least, for the sakes of loss-of-work-time and other related financial costs.

We really consider ourselves lucky to live in such a beautiful state! Given enough time and money, we’d love to travel to and explore all of the lighthouses that inhabit Michigan’s shorelines, as well as the old, historic windmill in Holland, Michigan. Personally, after we’re more safe from the Covid-19 pandemic, I’d love to experience Holland’s famous Tulip Festival, which is usually held annually in May.

And just as I wrote that last sentence, my husband walked in with our mail and the first thing he handed me was a gorgeously colorful post card from Holland! Pictured on the front is a beautiful painting of Downtown Holland by Lenore De Pree. I love it! That’s what Mom would call a “meant-to-be moment”.

#DiscoverHolland

‘Apparently, it’s true, that LIFE is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans.’ – Gloria Pitzer [As seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 292).]

My husband and I, both, wish we could afford the time to explore more of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula too. We explored a little of the east side of the U.P., during our honeymoon – such as Paradise, White Fish Point, Tahquamenon Falls, Newberry, St. Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie.

However, we’d really LOVE to afford the time to go back and see more of its beautiful sights – like Brimley, Escanaba, Grand Marais, Ontonagon, Marquette, Manistique, Munising, the Keweenaw Peninsula of Calumet, Canyon Falls, Ironwood and Copper Harbor – as depicted at TripAdvisor.com.

#seefrankenmuth

There are some places (within a couple of hours’ drive) that my husband and I enjoy so much we love to visit them frequently. One such place, which was also a favorite destination of Mom and Dad’s, is Frankenmuth, Michigan! This little town, just southeast of the Saginaw-Bay City area, has been world-famous throughout generations, for their German-heritage and family-style, fried chicken dinners (among other things).

Saginaw is from where one of Mom’s favorite radio talk shows used to air on WSGW. “Listen to the Mrs.” was hosted by Art Lewis (and Sue Smith, when Mom was a regular guest years ago), who became great friends with, both, Mom and Dad over the years.

Normally, thousands of tourists flock to Frankenmuth from all over the world, all year long, and many will wait in line for hours to get their taste of the town’s world-famous chicken dinners at one of its two largest establishments – the Bavarian Inn and Zehnder’s. However, not right now because of Covid-19 restrictions. But those days of indoor dining WILL be back!

The town’s German heritage exudes from its many restaurants, bakeries, cheese houses, fudge shops, hotels, breweries and other quaint little stores that line the mile-plus length of the main street through town – from Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland at the south end of town (which is all Christmas, all year) to the Frankenmuth Brewery near the north end of town!

Over the 40 years that Mom investigated different restaurant dishes as “The Recipe DetectiveTM”, she came up with about a dozen great imitations from the Frankenmuth establishments; including some of the famous restaurant dishes available at the two major restaurants mentioned above, as well as some baked goods and sugary confections from the local bakeries and fudge shops.

#MackinacIsland

Mackinac Island, Michigan is a very nostalgic place – the summer vacations that I spent there with my family, as I was growing up, are among my most memorable ones. Especially when we just happened to be staying at the Grand Hotel when the filming of “Somewhere In Time” was going on. We seen Christopher Reeves from a distance a couple of times, but we actually got to meet and talk to Christopher Plummer and Jane Seymour between scenes!

The island is actually full of many DIVINE scents! From the variety of flowers in the beautifully kept gardens everywhere you look to the yummy fudge and other sugary confections being made in the little candy shops to the mouth-watering aromas wafting from the open windows and vents of the island’s restaurants and bakeries that line the downtown streets where the mainland ferries bring millions of tourists every spring through fall (as the island is closed to tourism during the winter months).

The following recipe is Mom’s imitation of dark fudge like Mackinac Island serves – as seen in her self-published cookbook, The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 31).

Probably one of the most notable Michiganders in our state’s history is Henry Ford, who has contributed enormously to the evolution and growth of our state, as well as to that of our country. He was the founder of the Ford Motor Company and invented the first automobile that middle-class Americans could afford.

Among other great feats, Ford also designed the mass production, assembly line; which led to the industrial revolution. Additionally, in the late 1800’s, Ford worked with another notable Michigander, Thomas Edison, who was born in Ohio but grew up in Port Huron, MI. The contributions to our society from both of these Michigan men are unbeatable.

Relative to Henry Ford, in a roundabout way, in the summer of 1976, Mom had self-published a little cookbook she wrote, called The American Cookery Cookbook, of which the Henry Ford Museum (Dearborn, MI) bought copies to put in its bi-centennial collection. Mom felt very honored!

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 296)

My list of ‘Secret Recipes’ had grown to 200 and we offered them, on 4×6-inch cards [that I printed on my mimeograph], at $.25 each or 5 for a dollar. It was quite a packaging process to fill the combinations of orders, so I put all those recipes into a book.

It was going to be our only book on the subject, since most of the recipes were fast foods – but, as it turned out, it was only the first in a series of five books. After ‘Book One’ took off and became a very good seller, I did a Bicentennial American Cookery book as a limited edition and was pleased when the Henry Ford Library at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan ordered copies for their Bicentennial collection. That was July 1976…

Another famous Ford from Michigan was Gerald R. Ford, former (38th) President of the United States, and his wife, Betty Ford – First Lady (1974-1977). Betty was a big advocate for early detection of breast cancer and chemical dependency treatment (both were raised in Grand Rapids, MI). Mom had another roundabout happenstance with each of them also, as she wrote about in the passages pictured below.

Pictured below is Mom’s revision of the recipe she received from Betty Ford, as seen in her self-published cookbook, The Joy Of NOT Cooking Any More Than You Have To.

Yet another famous Michigander that Mom came to know, through her own growing fame (especially after being on the Phil Donahue Show) as the Secret Recipes DetectiveTM, is Ed McMahon and his wife, Pam (also a Michigander), which I also wrote about in another blog post a while back…

Mom’s copycat recipes revolution took the nation by storm and washed over the world – thanks to the Phil Donahue Show – like a tidal wave! Ever since her early cookbooks on the subject were first released in the mid-1970s, Mom referred to her copycat imitations as her solutions to “eating out – at home”, and that, she’d add, no longer meant hot dogs on the grill, outside, in the yard!

Word spread like wildfire that a small-town, Michigan housewife was duplicating famous foods from famous places and sharing her secrets in her self-published newsletter and cookbooks! Radio stations, newspapers, magazines and television – they all picked up on the story and it snowballed from there.

Mom was also invited to appear on the Tonight Show; but had been so over-whelmed by her other TV appearances and the audiences’ responses and orders with which our family just couldn’t keep up. Not wanting to get so big that she may lose her enjoyment in what she does, Mom, regretfully, had to decline… [But] Michiganders are kindred spirits!

#SandersCandy

One name in chocolate that Michiganders know well is Sanders Candy. The official Sanders story can be found at https://www.sanderscandy.com/about-us. In the early 1970s, when Mom developed her first imitation of their scrumptious Hot Fudge Sauce, it was among her first 200 “copycat” recipes that launched Secret RecipesTM.

Michiganders (especially southeastern ones) know all about Sanders’ satiny-smooth, luscious, milk chocolate delights! As their company slogan once said, ‘When it’s from Sanders, even a little is a big, big treat.’ I have a lot of great family-time memories of when Mom made their special treats for us – and it was especially fun to help her make them too!

A secret that Mom discovered, in developing her homemade version, was that Nestle brand milk chocolate was the key ingredient in replicating the creaminess and flavor, as no other brand she had tried brought about the same taste and texture that she was trying to achieve. I’ve shared a couple different versions of Mom’s homemade Sanders’ Hot Fudge Sauce imitations in the “Recipes” tab on this website. It was always one of our family’s top 10 favorites of Mom’s copycat creations!

#PureMichigan

Many decades ago, during the countless radio show interviews that Mom did, around the country and internationally, as the Secret Recipes DetectiveTM, she often received requests for Michigan-based recipes. Usually the appeals were from listeners who were re-located Michiganders that couldn’t find or enjoy their favorite, Michigan-made, iconic foods!

Michigan restaurants that Mom would frequent to taste-test their dishes and try to develop imitations of them at home included the Cheesecake Factory, Olga’s Kitchen, Bill Knapp’s, Win Schuler’s, Elias Brothers’ Big Boy (from whose menus she developed over 50 imitations), and J.L. Hudson’s (from whose menus she developed about three dozen imitations) – just to name a few of her favorite places.

Michigan is a treasure trove of great places, people, products, food and so much more! Happy National Michigan Day!

In honor of #NationalMichiganDay, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for imitating Hudson’s Cheese Bread at home; as seen in her self-published cookbook, The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 17)

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some other celebrations for the week [Jan. 17th-23rd (for 2021)] include: National Handwriting Analysis Week, Hunt For Happiness Week, National Healthy Weight Week, & National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week!

Today is also Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, National Thesaurus Day, and National Peking Duck Day!

Tuesday is National Popcorn Day!

Wednesday is national Cheese Lover’s Day and National Buttercrunch Day!

Thursday is National Hugging Day and National Granola Bar Day!

Friday is Celebration Of Life Day and National Blonde Brownie Day!

Saturday is National Pie Day, John Hancock’s birthday and National Handwriting Day!

Sunday is National Peanut Butter Day, National Compliment Day, and International Day Of Education!

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

#TGIM

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

…3 down and another 49 to go!

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Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Don’t Call Me Late For Dinner!

Hello everyone and happy Monday! I don’t know about you but, personally, I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#SundaySupper

Yesterday was the observance of national Sunday Supper day – which celebrates family-togetherness, around the dining table (no phones or other electronics allowed)! The point is to just eat one meal together, at least one day a week; as well as to connect and conversate with each other. That’s the way it used to be, in the olden days, when I was growing up… or the even older, olden days when my parents were growing up (and their parents before them, as well).

With the onset of the industrial age and the soaring costs-of-living, more and more Americans, of both sexes, began working outside the home. Similarly, less and less importance was given to dining together, while more was given to “on-the-go”, “on-your-own” eating elsewhere.

Along the way families became too easily entwined with their own individual lives with jobs, school, homework, friends, sports (plus other after-school activities), and so on. Most families have become too busy to even sit down together for at least one meal a day (except for Sundays, maybe).

I was inspired by something Ronnie Koenig wrote (May 5, 2019) in “Sunday Dinner – The Tradition We Need To Bring Back”, as seen at NBCNews.com: “We all have busy schedules – errands to run, work to do, kids to shuttle around – but for a few hours that Sunday evening, we decided to take a break from it all. The best part was that it was for no other reason than it being Sunday. It wasn’t anyone’s birthday or graduation, but we were all gathered around the table together.”

As I’ve written in previous blog posts, when I was growing up, our family-meals weren’t just a few times a year, such as on holidays and birthdays. When she could, Mom liked to make our meals seem like special occasions! Don’t get me wrong. We certainly weren’t the Brady Bunch or Walton’s family, by any means. We ate together because that’s when the meal was served!

Even though she made GREAT imitations of our favorite restaurant foods, Mom regularly reminded us that the kitchen wasn’t a restaurant, in which you could drop by at any time and place an order for whatever you want. You ate what was made and when it was served, or you went hungry until the next meal. But, honestly, I can’t remember any of us willing to miss one of Mom’s meals.

She would jokingly say otherwise, in many of her editorials; but even before Mom became famous as the Secret RecipesTM DetectiveTM, she was always a great cook! I miss those days, myself. Even as my own children were growing up (basically after elementary school age), we didn’t have a lot of family meals together because of the classic “busy lives” scenario. My husband and I are empty-nesters now, and even we don’t often sit down to eat a meal together.

SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to the “Sunday Supper Movement”!

I recently discovered, through NationalDayCalendar.com, that Isabel Laessig forged the “Sunday Supper Movement” and has a website by the same name at https://sundaysuppermovement.com/.  This is such a wonderful thing! I highly recommend you check it out for yourself. I can’t wait to try Isabel’s “Candied Bacon” recipe – YUM!

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 113)

GRATITUDE

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, was always my mother’s advice to me when I would try to bend a sympathetic ear, imploring her to comfort me and keep me company in my occasional misery. And, of course, misery does love company!

But counting my blessings was the last thing in the world I felt up to doing when the world seemed to be so hopelessly bleak, and whatever problem I had at the time, seemed so devastating to me. Now here I am telling my own children the same thing. Only I tell my own children to count their opportunities, for an opportunity is just a blessing in disguise!

I wish I had known this years ago. What frustrating disappointments I could have avoided, or at the upmost, handled better. I would’ve used the enthusiasm and the optimism that I acquired during the last two years or so to work off those petty resentments that separate us from folks whom we could really care about, if we’d only get to know them better, and perhaps understand why we’re in conflict.

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer (circa 1968)

Naturally, if we judge everything by what we see on television, we’d know that’s impossible – that people in conflict can’t resolve their differences, or so the reports indicate in those real-life fantasies that exaggerate greed, envy and contempt as if the motivation for these traits were purely justified. I don’t think they ever are!

Preparing your assortment of thoughts and feelings in a compatible mixture, in order to produce successful relationships, is really no different than preparing an assortment of compatible ingredients in a recipe for a dish that promises to be a stunning success on the dinner table.

Whether it’s a recipe for preparing a very good dish, or a very good relationship, the basics are still the same – compatible ingredients, attention to detail, thinking about what you are doing, and making logical adjustments as you go!

For all the bad things associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, over the past year, there has been at least one silver lining – that is the closeness that the family unit has gained from quarantining together. In a way, they’ve been sort of forced into putting their outside-the-home, demanding routines on hold; as the pandemic restrictions have given them the extra time together that they’ve always wished they had, if not for their busy lifestyles.

Bam! All of a sudden, the busy-lifestyles-rug was pulled out from underfoot and families have had an abundance of time together. Even their pets have been benefitting from the togetherness. Subsequently, more families have also discovered new-found joys in the simple things, such as going for walks together, as well as preparing and eating meals together! In fact, the whole month of January is now recognized as national Sunday Supper MONTH (among other things)!

Mom and daughter, Danielle and Misty, at BorrowedBites.com, also have a great article about the Sunday dinner tradition, which I highly recommend reading, as well! It’s called “Why Sunday Dinner Tradition Is So Powerful”. I especially love the following passages that they wrote:

‘Who doesn’t love the idealistic picture of everyone gathered around a table, plates piled with good food, and laughter interrupting bites? …Recipes can be seen as just food, or they can be seen as the bait to get people to sit and linger. To tell stories of their week, share what’s on their heart, and utter the latest joke. That’s why we are passionate about sharing recipes that bring family to the table.’

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

You can call me anything, just don’t call me late for dinner! – Author Unknown (circa 1800’s)

Dining habits have changed over the past century, as have the somewhat interchangeable terms of “dinner” and “supper”. Many people consider “dinner” to be the heavier/full meal of the day that was usually consumed in the early afternoon (aka: lunchtime) and “supper” was the lighter meal, served in the late afternoon/early evening.

Yet, we’re also told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, When do you eat your biggest meal – morning, afternoon, or evening? Do you say “dinner” or “supper”? The answers vary greatly among everyone, depending on one’s age and even where they grew up. I typically call our full, evening meal “dinner” (breakfast and lunch are usually light, if not skipped all together). Mom, also, called our evening meal “dinner” and it was, likewise, the biggest meal of the day.

Why did the full meal change from the afternoon time to the evenings? Many believe it’s because people’s schedules became so busy during the day with the rise of industrialization coupled with more Americans working outside the home (usually including both spouses working). It wasn’t feasible to go home in the middle of the day to eat the big, main meal; thus, they ate their lighter meal around noon-time and their heavier meal in the evening, after work and such.

#SlowCookingMonth

On a related side-note, I want to mention that January is also recognized as national Slow Cooking Month. That along with the national Sunday Supper month celebration makes a superb combination! Almost every American household has at least one slow cooker (aka: crock pot). Mom always had several, as do I, in a variety of sizes and shapes!

For some unknown reason, my husband seems to take more of an interest in what I make for dinner when its simmering all day in a slow cooker – more so than anything I make on the stove-top or in the oven. I’ve asked him about it and even he doesn’t know why.

I made chili in one of my slow cookers for last Sunday’s supper and my husband made a point of “checking on it” (to smell it, taste it, and stir it) about twice an hour for me, he claimed, even though I was sitting less than 10 feet away from it, all day, while I did some work on my laptop at the dining room table. I have to giggle at him sometimes!

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 67)

WASTING TIME – WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE SIMPLE JOYS?

Unfortunately, we’re waiting for that golden day, that one lovely moment in which we feel everything is finally grand – everything is finally just the way we have always wanted it to be! Everything we’ve been working for and moving toward has been attained.

We can relax! We’ve lost the weight we wanted to lose. The house is finally in ‘company-is-coming’ order. The bills are all paid. The bank account is adequate. Our children are living productive, useful lives.

Everything will be wonderful – and then, and probably only then, do we feel we have the right to be happy! Until we achieve that perfect moment, that ideal existence, however, we’re looking forever ahead to it, not even seeing the opportunities – small as they might be – to be happy, now, with what we already have, with who we are [and] with what we’re already doing.

Everyone, at one time or another, seems to go through such trying times; carrying burdens we can’t seem to shake, with no one to help us make the load seem lighter. And in doing so, we end up making our mishaps more important than our smallest achievements.

How easily we waste the time we have now, entertaining false pride as if it were the honored guest at our table of regrets. We try to avoid being natural, being ourselves, because it is usually less than we think we should be, or what others expect us to be.

So we look toward the moment when we’re sure everything will fall into its proper place. We finally have the time to call a relative we’ve been meaning to visit. We’ll write that newsy letter to the friend [with whom] we somehow lost touch… We’ll take that cake to the neighbor, [for whom] we haven’t had the chance to call on but meant to. But we can’t do those things now – not while were working out important problems and have so many things to worry about. Worrying takes time!

I’m nearly convinced that there is no such perfection toward which to work and for which to wait. Waiting seems an idol waste when there are so many things I want to do that have been pushed aside because obligations and commitments came first. Instead of looking ahead two years from now, days from now, hours from now, I look to the next moment. Human beings are not immortal, but some of us put off the wonders of living, as if we had forever to realize them.

For each moment that I didn’t enjoy as much as I could have, I’d like to be ready just in case I have a second chance at having them again. I would like to have all of our children with us around the dinner table once more, and really enjoy it, to make up for all of those times that I took their being there for granted. That would be a perfect moment, a perfect day!

IN CLOSING…

#NationalPizzaWeek

In honor of National Pizza Week,  here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for imitating Detroit’s famous #BuddysPizza; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 82)

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some other fun celebrations to recognize this week (for the 2nd full week of January) include: National Mocktail Week, National Folic Acid Awareness Week, and Universal Letter Writing Week. Additionally…

Today is also National Milk Day and National Arkansas Day!

Tuesday is National Marzipan Day and national Curried Chicken Day!

Wednesday is national Peach Melba Day and Korean-American Day!

Thursday is national Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day!

Friday is national Strawberry Ice Cream Day

…and National Bagel Day!

Saturday is National Fig Newton Day, national Religious Freedom Day and International Hot And Spicy Food Day!

Sunday is national Hot Buttered Rum Day!

It’s also the start of National Handwriting Analysis Week, Hunt For Happiness Week, National Healthy Weight Week, and National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week, which is Jan. 17th-23rd for 2021!

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

#TGIM

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

…2 down and another 50 to go!

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Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Mondays, Motivations, And Mentors

Happy Monday to one and all, plus a very joyful 2021! I always look forward to Mondays. It’s my favorite day of the week because it represents the #52Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#CelebrateEveryDay

#ThankGodItsMondayDay

Every single day is a new beginning – each one being a celebration, in and of itself. But today is particularly celebrated, as it’s the first Monday of the first month of a brand new year! Thus, today has been declared “Thank God Its Monday Day”!

As NationalDayCalendar.com claims: “Mondays are often full of new beginnings.” Adding… “Not only does the observance focus on the first Monday in January but on every Monday throughout the year.” Suggesting we should… “Stop shaming Monday and look at what Monday has to offer… 52 CHANCES to see a beautiful sunrise… share your talents with the world… teach someone a new skill that will better their lives…”

Personally, I love all of that – especially since I write these blog entries, in memory of my mom, and post them every Monday! In the process, I’m always learning new things, as well as teaching them to others. Since I started writing Mondays & Memories of My Mom in September 2018, it has always energized and motivated me for the rest of my week – much the same way writing always energized and inspired my mom. I can only hope that these blog posts about Mom’s legacy energize and inspire you as well.

#NationalMentoringMonth

January is also, among other things, National Mentoring Month and, again, while it is celebrated throughout the whole month, it should also be practiced continually throughout the year! In fact, I have made a #MondayMentor resolution – to try to be a positive mentor, teacher, or influencer for someone each Monday throughout the year!

Mom has been my mentor in so many ways since I was a small child. She was a “creative master” at whatever she attempted. I’ve always wished I had half of her creative talents. Mom wore SO many hats in our family, as well as in the “family enterprise” (as she called it). For our family, she was the cook, maid, chauffer, nurse, seamstress, secretary, teacher, counselor, mentor, and still more.

In her dining-room-table cottage operation, Mom was the recipe developer, author, illustrator, layout creator, publicist, promotion specialist, public speaker/lecturer and more. Mom was a “Wonder Woman” who tried to devote herself to balancing all of it! Mom especially loved to mentor those who shared her love for writing! She had many mentors and influencers, herself, throughout the years.

My mother is another good example I’ve followed. Her best gift and her greatest asset is that she’s always been a patient listener and a wise advisor. She was absolutely loyal to my father…The world could turn [its] back on her children, but she would always be there for them when we needed her. She’s given me an example that’s going to be tough to equal.’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 8)

I grew up, as my mom did, motivated by my parents to seize opportunities (although, there were many I missed) and to always put across my best efforts in everything I do. Everyone should have at least one good example, if not a few good examples, to follow. Additionally, we should all strive to be a good example, as well.

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

Mom, herself, was greatly influenced to write throughout her life by many talented women. From the Bronte sisters, whose family story she saw in the 1946 film, “Devotion”, to Maya Angelou, whose story in a 1993 issue of the “Christian Science Monitor” told of how her devotion to writing developed with “the yellow pad”

Mom journaled about her life and that of her family ever since she was about 10 years old. She felt that writing was her “calling” and continued to compose daily, until she physically couldn’t – which was over 70 years of journaling!

Shout-out to screenwriters, as tomorrow is #NationalScreenwritersDayTheir significant influence on us, as a society, is a story for another day.

Devotion” screenplay by: Keith Winter & Edward Chodorov

Comedians and writers like Carol Burnette, Mary Tyler Moore, and Lucille Ball top the list of Mom’s “Woman-Power” influencers. Other talented ladies to whom Mom looked up include Erma Bombeck, Betsy Masterton, Peg Bracken, and Irma Rombauer; just to name a handful.

In fact, a lot of the crafty format Mom used in her newsletters and cookbooks was largely influenced by her own favorite crafter, Carol Duvall; who, in the 1970s, had a “Craft Letter” (as she called it) and a 5 minute crafting segment on WDIV-TV (Channel 4 in Detroit), called “Here’s Carol Duvall”. The two became fast friends.

That was long before Carol had moved from the Detroit area to the Traverse City area, then on to ABC’s “Home” show in California (1988-1994), which was before she began hosting “The Carol Duvall Show” on HGTV (1994-2005), and prior to moving to the DIY network (2005-2009).

In later years, Mom was also largely influenced to continue in her passion for writing by Maya Angelou. In one of Mom’s writings (as seen below), she recounted an inspiring interview Maya had with David Holstrom, “Christian Science Monitor” (1993), as she told of her experience with “the yellow pad”.

Maya said she went to her voice teacher in mental turmoil over having to leave her child in Europe when she returned to the States. Frightened for her sanity, she told her teacher that she thought she was going mad. He gave her a yellow pad and told her to write down her blessings.

She said she didn’t even want to hear that, but he insisted that she start with the fact that she could hear him, that she could see the page, that she could hold the pen. ‘Before I reached the end of the page,’ she [Maya] said, ‘I was transformed. So, everything I have written, every book, every stage play, every screenplay, was written on a yellow pad. As soon as I pick it up, I am reminded of my blessings.’

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 113)

GRATITUDE

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, was always my mother’s advice to me when I would try to bend a sympathetic ear, imploring her to comfort me and keep me company in my occasional misery. And, of course, misery does love company!

But counting my blessings was the last thing in the world I felt up to doing when the world seemed to be so hopelessly bleak, and whatever problem I had at the time, seem so devastating to me. Now here I am telling my own children the same thing. Only I tell my own children to count their opportunities, for an opportunity is just a blessing in disguise!

I wish I had known this years ago. What frustrating disappointments I could have avoided, or at the upmost, handled better. I would’ve used the enthusiasm and the optimism that I acquired during the last two years or so to work off those petty resentments that separate us from folks whom we could really care about, if we only get to know them better, and perhaps understand why we’re in conflict.

Naturally, if we judge everything by what we see on television, we’d know that’s impossible – that people in conflict can’t resolve their differences, or so the reports indicate in those real-life fantasies that exaggerate greed, envy and contempt as if the motivation for these traits were purely justified. I don’t think they ever are!

Preparing your assortment of thoughts and feelings in a compatible mixture, in order to produce successful relationships, is really no different than preparing an assortment of compatible ingredients in a recipe for a dish that promises to be a stunning success on the dinner table.

Whether it’s a recipe for preparing a very good dish, or a very good relationship, the basics are still the same – compatible ingredients, attention to detail, thinking about what you are doing, and making logical adjustments as you go!

Devotion, as well as many other events and people, (family, friends, co-workers, & influential strangers) empowered Mom to be a pioneer and a trailblazer in her chosen field; as a writer, satirist/humorist, cartoonist, publisher, marketer, and more. Mom was proud to be a homemaker and yet also have a “paying” career (from home), where she could cleverly combine them, both!

Regardless of the Women’s Liberation Movement, Mom set to work, focusing her writing and food-for-thought subject matter toward the fence-sitting, semi-liberated homemakers and pantry-cupboard cooks like herself; as she wrote, published and marketed her own newsletter for more than a quarter of a century – January 1974 through December 2000 (as well as her 40+ cookbooks).

Two of Mom’s first and biggest influences in homemaking were, of course, her own mom; as well as my dad’s mom – since Mom and Dad lived with Dad’s parents for a short while when they were first married. Below is a picture of the “inspiration” story that Mom wrote many decades ago and re-printed in one of the last issues of her newsletter.

LAST THOUGHTS…

I really consider myself lucky to have “The Recipe Detective” as my mom and that I (as well as everyone else) can continue to enjoy and learn from her timeless writings – her legacy of love. That’s what I enjoy most, sharing those memories, discoveries, and lessons with all of you! Furthermore, I love to hear stories from others whose lives Mom has touched, as well.

Since starting the blog and some social media pages in Mom’s honor, I’ve received many emails, comments, and messages from people who remember the joy Mom brought them and their families through her cookbooks, newsletters, TV appearances, and radio interviews. That motivates me to continue carrying Mom’s torch and sharing and writing about the legacy of love she left for all of us!

What motivates or inspires you? I’d love to hear from you! Please write to me at: therecipedetective@outlook.com.

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Something else in which Mom inspired me is my passion to continually learn new things. Besides being grateful for something every day, Mom would also promote learning something new every day. From that, I’ve resolved that every day is a defining moment for me (as well as for each and every one of us) in which a combination of experience, faith and knowledge influence my/our personal evolution(s).

We should seize those moments and days that challenge us and do our best to make the most of them! I am going to strive to Learn Something New Every Day and to share/teach something new, here, every week! As an unpaid and unofficial “non-spokesperson”, I’d like to share some links from one of MY favorite go-to sources of inspiration, besides Mom’s writings, which is NationalDayCalendar.com. They offer such a wide array of information on such a wide array of subjects to learn about and celebrated throughout the year!

IN CLOSING…

#NationalSpaghettiDay

Today is also National Spaghetti Day! In honor, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” (and one of our family’s favorites) for imitating Big Boy’s popular spaghetti dinner at home, Mom called her version “Beg Bouy” Spaghetti. [As originally seen in her self-published book, The 2nd Helping of Secret Recipes Cookbook (National Homemakers Newsletter, Pearl Beach, MI; July 1977, p. 9).]

P. S. Food-For-Thought until we meet, again, next Monday…

Some other fun celebrations to learn more about this week include: Celebration Of Life Week (January 1st-7th), Diet Resolution Week (January 1st-7th) , & New Year’s Resolution Week (January 1st-7th). Additionally,…

Today is also National Missouri Day!

Tuesday is National Bird Day, national Whipped Cream Day & National Keto Day!

Wednesday is National Cuddle Up Day, National Shortbread Day, national Technology Day, & National Bean Day!

Thursday is National Tempura Day and Mom’s birthday (she would’ve been turning 85)!

Friday is national English Toffee Day & National Joy Germ Day!

Saturday is National Apricot Day!

Sunday is the start of National Mocktails Week, National Folic Acid Awareness Week, National Pizza Week, and Universal Letter Writing Week. Sunday is also national Bittersweet Chocolate Day, national Cut Your Energy Costs Day, National Oysters Rockefeller Day, & national Sunday Supper day!

In fact, all of January is celebrating national Sunday Supper month! Other January month-long celebrations include: National Blood-Donor Month [or #DonateBlood], National Hobby Month, National Hot Tea Month [also: #HotTeaMonth or #TeaTime], National Oatmeal Month, national Slow Cooking Month, & National Soup Month.

#WHBY

#TGIM

…1 down and 51 more, to which I happily look forward!

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Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Make A Plan

Happy Monday to all and #TGIM! I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances a year, in which I can share Memories of My Mom with all of you! Even though this is the last Monday of 2020, I am looking forward to 52 more chances in 2021!

It’s still December for a few more days. That means it’s still National Write A Business Plan Month! The pandemic effect on 2020 has left many people out of work and others having to close their businesses for good. And, as we start planning our resolutions for the new year, what a great time it is to think about starting a small internet business venture.

There wasn’t internet around when Mom suddenly switched gears and went from a syndicated columnist to a self-published journalist. Additionally, the 1970s were going through major challenges – food shortages, paper shortages, sky-rocketing unemployment, and so forth. But FATE was steering Mom into a particular “business plan”, even though it wasn’t exactly what she had planned for her future writing career when she was young.

#WriteABusinessPlanMonth

‘It was all leading to my eventual work in the food industry – but I couldn’t see that at the time – I could only see that I had to write and with any luck at all, luck would be when preparation and experience met opportunity. The opportunity was close at hand.’ – Gloria Pitzer [As seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 294)]

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, it was almost half of a century ago when Mom left her newspaper job and began her own family owned and operated, cottage-style, dining room table business. In the fall of 1973 Mom started putting together her first newsletter, titled Gloria Pitzer’s Homemaker’s Newsletter, following the earlier release of her first, self-published, cookbook, The Better Cooker’s Cookbook (1973), which was compiled from a collection of recipes she had developed while writing her syndicated, food-for-thought and recipe column called “Cookbook Corner”.

The following excerpts are Mom’s account of how her fate-driven business plan came about…

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 296)

[MY] FIRST TELEVISION APPEARANCE [1974]

IT WAS THE WORST POSSIBLE TIME to launch a new business. The unemployment rate was terribly high. There was a newsprint paper shortage. There was a gasoline shortage. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to at least try to have my own publication. It was something I had always wanted to do. I couldn’t tell Paul. I knew that! He would have been far too practical to have approved of my starting my own paper, so I enlisted the help of our children.

I was taking in ironing at the time, at $5 a basket, and sometimes earned as much as $50 a week. The money was supposed to supplement Paul’s paycheck, which – as soon as we found could make ends meet – we discovered somebody had moved the ends. So, I took what money I could from the ironing earnings and bought a mimeograph. I kept it in a big box in the utility room under my sewing table. Paul would hardly pay attention to what I wanted him to think was only sewing paraphernalia.

For 9 months, I mimeograph, assembled and mailed out about 100 copies a month of my newsletter. Bill and Mike helped assemble it and Debbie help me test the recipes and address the copies. I don’t know how we ever kept it from Paul for that long, but I couldn’t tell him what I was doing until I could assure him that I could make a profit. All I was doing was breaking even.

1974 heading of Mom’s first newsletter.

Then Dennis Wholley, at Channel 7 in Detroit, called and said somebody had sent him a copy of my newsletter. He was tickled with the crazy names I gave the recipes and the home-spun format. He wanted the entire family to be his guests on his “A.M. Detroit” show on November 14 – which was also our Laura’s birthday.

I couldn’t keep it from Paul any longer, because I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to promote the paper on a popular local television show. He took it quite well, considering the state of shock he must have been in at my announcement. But we took all 5 of the kids with us across town, in a blizzard yet, with Laura having a bout of car-sickness during the hour’s drive there.

And, during that experience, we met Coleman Young, the recently elected mayor of Detroit, who was also a guest on the show. All of Pearl Beach must have been tuned into a.m. Detroit that morning, with half of the population gathered at the Pearl Beach post office, watching the portable set there.

Gloria Pitzer, mimeographing in her early years as the Recipe Detective [TM]

It brought us many new orders for our newsletter, and it wasn’t long before CKLW’s Bob Heinz asked us to appear on his show on New Year’s Day. We, again, took the family over to Windsor, Ontario – across the Detroit River – for another exciting experience and hundreds of letters that followed, wanting to subscribe to the newsletter. By that time, Paul was giving me every evening of his time when he came home from his own job at the sign company, plus all the weekends just to fill the orders.

My list of ‘Secret Recipes’ had grown to 200 and we offered them, on 4×6-inch cards [that I printed on my mimeograph], at $.25 each or 5 for a dollar. It was quite a packaging process to fill the combinations of orders, so I put all those recipes into a book. It was going to be our only book on the subject, since most of the recipes were fast foods – but, as it turned out, it was only the first in a series of five books. After ‘Book One’ took off and became a very good seller, I did a Bicentennial American Cookery book as a limited edition and was pleased when the Henry Ford Library at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan ordered copies for their Bicentennial collection. That was July 1976…

‘Apparently, it’s true, that LIFE is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans.’– Gloria Pitzer [As seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 292).]

If someone were to copy our so-called ‘success’, I could give them no blue print for that condition. Each one of the little steps that we had to take to develop the kitchen table activity into a professional business operation, are like the grains of sand that the oyster requires in order to form a pearl. – Gloria Pitzer, My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 25)

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. 42)

HOW IT BEGAN (1973 – 1974)… CRITICAL EARLY ADVANTAGE

THE MIMEOGRAPH did give me the advantage of being self-sufficient without having to go into debt. Paul failed to see the importance of my having to have this, until I showed him the receipt for it having been paid-in-full, and the bankbook that showed him exactly how much I had earned from having printed a newspaper column on the machine, then selling them to 11 newspapers around the state.

John McPartlin had loaned me his newspaper directory, from which I drew the names and addresses of those weekly papers that had a circulation sufficient to afford a dollar per column, per week. Considering the mimeograph only cost $79.95, I feel I did pretty well, skimping and scraping to get it paid for. Paul was skeptical, however, that it would ever be anything then an expensive hobby. I think I must have tried so very hard to be the best I could be, to prove to him that he was wrong about me.

THE NEWSLETTER BEGAN with the mimeograph in our utility room where I cut the stencils, inked the drum by hand, applied the stencils and ran the copies off, a few hundred at a time, allowing them to air-dry on the dining room table in the next room. The dining room table was a door to which Paul had affixed four table legs. It was seldom clear of our work. I never gave any thought, then either, to the number of hours that we put into producing the newsletter. We simply worked until the work was finished, or we found a good ‘breaking-off’ point.

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

AGAIN, 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. 43)

MARKETING INSPIRATION

To make the mimeograph pay for itself, I even printed up my own business cards on it, using dime-store construction paper and then cutting the cards apart with scissors until I had neat little stacks of about 50 and a total of 200 or 300 cards. These I distributed at the mall whenever and wherever we might be in one. Paul did not know I was doing this, at first, either, or he would’ve disapproved.

It was unprofessional and risky, but I thought anything was worth a try and what I could do ‘quietly’ until I could prove it was either a mistake or a benefit, would have to be my little secret. Well, actually, the kids were a part of that secret too. I had heard an interview on TV or radio with ‘the world’s most successful salesman’, who was a Chevrolet salesman in Detroit and who believed heartily in business cards, placing them everywhere and anywhere that it was allowed.

From his story, I found it was easy to drop my card into the pocket of a bathrobe in the ladies’ wear [areas] in the department stores and in the purses and tote bags, on public phone booth stands, [in] restaurant restrooms, even in cookbooks in the bookstores.

From these, you’d be surprised, we DID hear from people who wanted to know about my recipes, which was the first experience I had with public response. What I had at that time was a little book entitled ‘The Better Cookers Cookbook’ [1973], as opposed to our current popular book, ‘Better Cookery’. [May 1983, 3rd Edition – the one I rewrote for Mom.]

The distribution of information on the book included my mailing a copy of it along with a letter explaining how and why it was written, to several of my favorite newspaper columnists and friends. One with whom I had contact on various subjects before, was Bob Talbert of the Detroit Free Press. He mentioned this little book in one of his columns as ‘for a buck-and-a-half-and-a-belly-laugh’. It worked!

IN CLOSING…

#ChocolateCandyDay

Since today is National Chocolate Candy Day, here is Mom’s imitation for making homemade ‘Mounds’ candy bars, which she called ‘Patter Paul Ounce Bars’; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 223). Enjoy!

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

Learn something new every day!

Some other celebrations for this week include:

Tuesday is National Pepper Pot Day!

Wednesday is Bacon Day! Here’s an encore posting of my Aunt Hazel’s Hot Dog & Bacon BBQ… Enjoy, again!

Thursday is New Year’s Eve & National Champagne Day!

Friday is New Year’s Day 2021 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Saturday is National Buffet Day (Remember those things?) & National Play Outside Day [which is on the first Saturday of every month!]

#WHBY

Today would be my regular monthly visit with Kathy Keene on WHBY’s “Good Neighbor” show – but it had to be postponed to Thursday, the 31st. I will still be on during the first half-hour of the show – starting around 12:08pm (Eastern Time). Check it out live, on New Year’s Eve, (or later) through the station’s website at https://www.whby.com/goodneighbor/!

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

#CelebrateEveryDay

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

…52 down, a whole new year to go!

Happy 2021 to everyone! May it be a more contented and healthier one for all of us!

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062252

 

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Yule-Solstice & Humbug-Festivus Days

Happy Monday and happy National Humbug Day! Additionally, happy Winter Solstice and Yule! And let’s not forget #TGIM – as I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances a year, in which I can share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#HumbugDay

We’re coming into the hustle-and-bustle of the last stretch of the holiday “to-do’s” before Christmas, which is just around the bend – and today happens to be the national celebration of Humbug Day!

To begin, this is usually a very stressful time of year for most people…having unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and excessive commitments, to name a few examples. Now add on the Covid-19 pandemic spikes everywhere and all the related restrictions on top of that and the Christmas/Yuletide season has become an even more stressful time of year. Some people wallow in the stress and anxiety with their bah-humbug attitudes, while others will put on their boots and forge their way out of the muck, making the best of what they have.

#Festivus

And for the rest of us, Wednesday is Festivus – an alternative outlet, in which “hum-buggers” can air their grievances for the feelings of pressure from the commercialism of the season! Originally, this celebration was formed as an outlet for one family’s pent-up frustrations over the annual chaos of the holiday season. After it was incorporated into an episode of Seinfeld, it became a national sensation!

But this time of year is really such a wonderful and magical season of LOVE! While there will always remain those who like the Scrooge-ish, “Bah-humbug” attitude; I think I come across a lot more people, who are actually spreading around the good cheer than those who are spreading the “hum-bug”.

Mom used to tell me, “the most valuable gift you can give is to be a good example!” This time of year seems to bring out the best “good examples” in most of us. It’s a good kind of contagious “bug” and seems to flow right into the new year. More people are volunteering their time for “good deeds” and helping out those in need by donating money, food, coats, toys and so much more.

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)

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Issue 147, Nov-Dec 1990; pp. 1 & 8)

THE CHRISTMAS FEELING

THE EASIEST COP-OUT for those who put a price tag on the pleasures of the holiday & insist that the success of the celebration depends on the amount of money spent on the preparations and gifts. If I give our children only one gift, it will be that I gave some practical sense of what is truly important at this time of year – not the gift, but the gathering of family and friends… Not the food, but the feeling of just being home… Never letting what we want be more important than what we need… Not complaining about ‘trivials’… And always appreciating what we’ve already received before we can expect to receive more… (p. 1)

[THE CHRISTMAS FEELING] is basically a simple hope for peace and good will, no matter what other trappings we’ve attached to the occasion through the years since that single star lit up the sky over Bethlehem. No matter what other customs and traditions mankind has attached to Christmas or the celebration of it, the humble wish for ‘peace on Earth, good will towards men’ remains strong among those who thrive on hope and cherish what is good, refusing to be deprived of such expectations! (p. 8)

#WinterSolstice

#Yule

Also happening today are the national celebrations for Winter Solstice and Yule. The Pagan Yule celebration existed thousands of years before the Christians began celebrating Christmas! In fact, most of the traditional ways for celebrating the Christians’ Christmas, were actually derived from the Pagan Yuletide traditions of the ancient Nordic and Celtic people.

Ye ol’ Yule’s 12 days of festivities included bonfires, music and dancing, ritual sacrifices (such as lambs), large communal feasts, and gift-giving; as well as decorating with holly, mistletoe and the fresh-cut branches of evergreens. Do you see any resemblances to the traditions of the Christians’ Christmas season celebrations?

The Pagan’s Yule festivities, which is still celebrated in some regions, last for 12 days; beginning with the winter solstice, which usually is somewhere from December 20th to the 23rd, as it changes from year to year. The Christians similarly celebrate the “the 12 days of Christmas”, which takes place annually December 25th through January 5th.

The Yule “log” for the bonfire was actually a whole tree that was meant to be burned for the duration of the 12-day celebration. The Celts believed the sun stood still during the winter solstice and that in keeping the Yule log burning for the whole 12 days encouraged the sun to move, making the days longer.

The largest end of the tree was fed into the hearth first and wine was poured over it, being lit with the remains of the previous year’s Yule log. Everyone would take turns feeding the length of timber into the fire as it burned down, because they believed that letting it burn out would bring bad luck.

The Celts believed that mistletoe possessed healing powers, as well as powers to ward off evil spirits. Today mistletoe is used to encourage the spirit of love.

Additionally, the Vikings traditionally decorated evergreen trees with gifts of wood-carvings and food for the tree spirits, encouraging them to return in the spring. Likewise, the Christians decorate their Christmas trees (also evergreens – fake and real ones) – with ornaments and lights.

And, according to Norse tradition, “Old Man Winter” would visit homes to join in the Yule festivities. The Viking god, Odin was a wanderer with a long white beard and an eight-legged horse. Odin is considered to be the first “Santa Claus”, “St. Nicolas”, or “Father Christmas” – over the centuries and around the world, he has gone by many names.

[NOTE: In the Norse culture, “Jul” (a possible origin of “Yule”) refers to the god, Odin.]

In Yule celebrations, the Norse children would go from house to house with gift baskets of apples and oranges spiked with cloves, resting in sprigs of evergreens. Additionally, the Viking children would leave their shoes by the hearth on the eve of the winter solstice, along with sugar and hay for Odin’s eight-legged horse.

Now Christians go caroling from house to house, including the children; who later “hang their stockings…with care” and set out milk and cookies for Santa, along with carrots for his eight reindeer.

Illustrations by Gloria Pitzer

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Issue 183, Nov-Dec 1997; p. 9)

CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

Whenever we feel we aren’t strong enough to handle some challenge, we can be sure that there’s, within each of us, a natural spirit, an inner strength upon which we can draw. Even when we feel nearly crushed by overwhelming challenges, we can prevail.

When loving others is involved and our being concerned for their welfare is uppermost, we can’t always stop doing whatever is necessary for us to do to overcome hard times. Our love for those in need won’t let us rest until their needs are met, their burdens eased.

It is tremendous to see what takes place when people act out of their concern for others, for the sake of goodness, an unselfish nature that promises no personal reward for efforts exercised. This, in deed, is the Spirit of Christmas.

‘THE CHRISTMAS FEELING is basically a simple hope for peace and good will, no matter what other trappings we’ve attached to the occasion through the years since that single star lit up the sky over Bethlehem. No matter what other customs and traditions mankind has attached to Christmas or the celebration of it, the humble wish for ‘peace on Earth, good will towards men’ remains strong among those who thrive on hope and cherish what is good…’ – Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Nov-Dec 1990, Issue #147, p. 8)

According to WorldHolidayTraditions.com, in Holiday Traditions of the United States…, our current holiday traditions come from our world-wide melting-pot ancestry. For example, the tradition of “feasting” during the holidays is characteristic of all nations’ celebrations.

Only the elements of the menus would be different from one nation to another. We get many of our current combination of traditions from our diverse ancestors, who immigrated here from so many different countries, bringing their various customs with them.

As the article explains, a great number of our Christmas carols came from England and Australia. Likewise, the decorated evergreens are from our German ancestry influences (which supposedly influenced our traditional Christmas village displays, as well).

The man in the red suit, whom we’ve come to know as Santa Claus [aka: Father Christmas or St. Nicholas], may have originated in Scandinavia. Likewise, his arrival down the chimney to fill stockings with fruit and nuts is reminiscent of the Netherlands.

Mom and ‘Santa’ 2016

Over the years, America’s influence has fattened up Scandinavia’s red-suited “jolly old St. Nicholas” and blended all the different traditions so that he magically came down everyone’s chimney on Christmas Eve, leaving gifts and stockings filled with treats.

Additionally, “St. Nick” traveled in a sleigh drawn by eight tiny reindeer – as in the classic holiday story, ‘Twas the Night before Christmas. At some point, a ninth reindeer, with a shiny red nose, was added to the sleigh-pulling team. The myth of the reindeer-drawn sleigh began in Switzerland. Additionally, our annual American holiday parades may have been inspired by the Latin nation’s holiday processions.

‘If I give our children only one gift, it will be that I gave some practical sense of what is truly important at this time of year – not the gift, but the gathering of family and friends… Not the food, but the feeling of just being home… Never letting what we want be more important than what we need… Not complaining about [the] trivial… And always appreciating what we’ve already received before we can expect to receive more.’ – Gloria Pitzer; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Nov-Dec 1990, Issue #147, p. 1)

IN CLOSING…

#FrenchFriedShrimpDay

In honor of National French Fried Shrimp Day, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for imitating the Berville Hotel Secret Shrimp and Shrimp Cocktail Sauce, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, pp. 109 & 110). Also pictured is a copy of Mom’s “secret recipe” for imitating Arthur Treacher’s fish batter, which I shared in a previous blog post as well.

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some other celebrations for the week include:

Tuesday is National Date Nut Bread Day

Wednesday is (also) National Pfeffernusse Day & National Roots Day  

Thursday is National Eggnog Day & Christmas Eve

Friday is National Pumpkin Pie Day, Christmas & the start of the Twelve Days of Christmas [December 25 – January 5]

Saturday is National Candy Cane Day, the start of Kwanzaa [December 26 – January 1] & Boxing Day (Canada)

Sunday is National Fruitcake Day

#WHBY

Next Monday would be my regular monthly visit with Kathy Keene on WHBY’s “Good Neighbor” show – but it had to be postponed to Wednesday, the 30th; still during the first half-hour of the show. Check it out live, or later, through the station’s website at https://www.whby.com/goodneighbor/!

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

#CelebrateEveryDay

 

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

…51 down and ONLY 1 MORE to go for 2020!

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062252