Greenfield’s Pumpkin Pie


By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997)

Make (or buy) two raw, 9-inch, butter pie crusts*


2-lbs. canned pumpkin

2 eggs

13-oz. canned Pet Milk

2tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 C. packed brown sugar

1 TB vinegar

3 TB flour


Combine ingredients, as listed, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 more minutes after last addition.

Transfer filling mixture to top of large double-boiler, over simmering warm water and stir; cooking to a custardy consistency. Meanwhile, have those pie shells partially baking (at  375°F for 6 minutes).

Remove crusts and divide warm filling between the two pie shells and return to bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until they test done.

*See Gloria’s favorite and most reliable “Butter Pie Crust” recipe on this “Recipes” tab!


1-2-3 PUMPKIN PIE [Like Greenfield’s of Detroit]

1-2-3 PUMPKIN PIE [Like Greenfield’s of Detroit]

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 243)


1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

1-pound can pumpkin

14-ounce can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 eggs, well-beaten

2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, or to taste


Preheat oven to 375°F and partially bake the empty crust for 10 minutes at 375°F. Combine all filling ingredients, beating thoroughly. Pour mixture into pie shell and return to oven to bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes one 9-inch pie. Serves 6 to 8.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Giving Thanks and Appreciation

Spaghetti Sauce, Inspired by Olive Garden

Spaghetti Sauce, Inspired by Olive Garden

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in her self-published cookbook, The Great Imitator’s Cookbook (Secret Recipes, Marysville, MI; Oct. 1999, p. 22)


2-lbs. ground round

2 TB oil

14-oz. can stewed tomatoes, cut up

6-oz. can V-8 juice

1-lb. jar Prego [Traditional] Spaghetti Sauce

1 envelope onion soup mix

1/2 cup grape jelly


In a heavy, medium-size sauce pan, on medium heat, brown the ground round in the oil. until all the pink color disappears, crumbling it to rice-size bits with the tines of a fork. Stir in remaining ingredients as listed. Continue cooking, stirring often, 15-20 minutes – or until jelly has melted and sauce is piping hot. Sufficient for 1-lb. pasta, cooked. Serves 4 to 6.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – In the Beginning…

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie


By Gloria Pitzer – As seen in her 2002-2004 fall media “free samples” sheet.

Soften 2 envelopes plain gelatin powder in ½ cup cold water & place in microwave on low/defrost until it’s clear. Let that cool while you beat together, in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer, an 8-oz. tub of soft cream cheese (at room-temp.) and 2 cups milk; adding milk a little at a time , until smooth. Dump in 2 small boxes sugar-free, instant, butterscotch pudding powder, the gelatin water, 1 TB pumpkin pie spice, ½ tsp. ground ginger, 2 cans (1-lb each) pumpkin. Beat until smooth.

Line a greased Pyrex pie dish with 10 finely crushed “Club Crackers”. Gently pour in filling so not to disturb crumbs. Top with Lite Cool Whip and dust in a little cinnamon. Refrigerate 24 hours before cutting. Very low in carbohydrates!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Mom’s Cup Runneth Over

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie

By Gloria Pitzer – As seen in  her self-published cookbook, Sugar-Free Recipes (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1987, p. 6)


1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin

1/3 cup cold water

2 cups milk

1-oz. box sugar-free, instant, butterscotch pudding powder

2 packets Sweet & Low sugar substitute

1 TB pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1-lb. can pumpkin

9-inch baked & cooled deep dish, Pet-Ritz pie crust


Soften the gelatin powder in the cold water until “mushy”. Set in pan of hot water (or microwave on “Defrost” setting) until transparent in appearance. Then put the milk in a blender with the pudding powder, blending on high-speed until smooth; then switch to low-speed, adding the gelatin mixture, sweetener, and spices.

Pour this pudding mixture into a medium mixing bowl and use electric mixer, on medium-speed, to beat in canned pumpkin for about 2 minutes; scraping down sides and bottom of bowl often. When thoroughly mixed, turn into prepared pie crust. Refrigerate at least 8 hours (or better, yet, overnight), before cutting to serve 6.

Top each piece, when serving, in the following sugar-free topping and some chopped pecans.

Pumpkin Pie Topping

By Gloria Pitzer – As seen in  her self-published cookbook, Sugar-Free Recipes (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1987, p. 6)

Into blender, put 1 2/3 cups milk with a 1-oz. box sugar-free, instant, vanilla  pudding powder & 1 tsp. nutmeg, blending on high-speed for 30 seconds or until smooth. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate to use within 2 to 3 days with the (above) pie servings.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Eat Better and Together

Johnnie Lega’s Chili


By Gloria Pitzer – As seen in…Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 56)

‘The Working Man’s Palace’ was the name Pearl Beach had given to Johnnie Lega’s Bar when we lived near there for nearly 12 years. It was known around the world. Once, when Julia Lega was traveling in Europe, she was sitting in a train station in Spain where she struck up a conversation with another American who asked her what part of ‘The States’ was she from. Julia assured him that he had probably never heard of it – the town was so small; but, when she said, ‘Pearl Beach, Michigan,’ the American replied, ‘Johnnie Lega’s Bar!’

He was from the East Coast but had never forgotten his one visit through Pearl Beach area and a memorable bowl of chili at Lega’s! We were all so saddened when Johnnie passed away from cancer. But everyone can still enjoy his unique chili recipe. You have no idea how long it took me to duplicate this recipe. Johnnie never used a measuring utensil, and it came out perfect every day! I observed him making his famous dish, jotting down everything he put in the kettle – it was months later and many failures before even HE had to admit, I had it right on target!


2 pounds ground beef (chuck preferred)

1 small onion, the size of an egg

1 green bell pepper, seeds removed

5 ribs celery, sliced paper thin

1-quart water

6-ounces tomato paste

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon oregano powder

2 tablespoons vinegar

2-pound can red kidney beans, un-drained

12-ounce can of light beer


Brown the beef in a large hot skillet without adding any oil or shortening. Chuck ground beef has enough fat in it. Chop the onion and pepper and add to the beef, stirring and cooking until the onions get transparent. Add celery, water, tomato paste, garlic, chili and oregano powders. Stir well, cover and turn heat to low. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Then, add Johnnie’s ‘secret’ ingredient – the vinegar – followed by the un-drained can of beans and the beer. Cover and simmer gently for about 1 hour. Leftovers taste even better the second day! Unfortunately, it doesn’t freeze well. Makes 8 servings.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Fall into Cleaning

Mrs. Meadow’s Crisp Buttery Cookies

Mrs. Meadow’s Crisp Buttery Cookies

By Gloria Pitzer – As seen in her “free recipes” offerings


1 ¼ cups mayonnaise

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup self-rising flour

18-ounce box yellow cake mix (dry)

12-ounce bag mini chocolate chips


As listed, beat into a smooth dough. Pack dough into a measuring tablespoon and level off.  Place on a greased baking sheet, keeping cookies 2 inches apart. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, before removing. Makes about 3 dozen.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happy Love People Day

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!


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, 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.’”


‘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.


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over And I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 25)


… 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)


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over And I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 42)


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, “20 Productive Hobbies That Will Make You Smarter And Happier” by Chris Haigh at, and “21 Best Profitable Hobbies…” by at

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


As seen in…

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


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

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

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

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!



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.



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)

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


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!


…4 down and another 48 Mondays to go!