For decades, my mom looked forward to every Monday, too; because that was the day of her weekly visits with Bob Allison on his radio program, “Ask Your Neighbor”, which, in its early years, was heard on Detroit’s WWJ Newsradio station.
In fact, the title of “Secret Recipe Detective”, which Mom later trademarked, was first bestowed on her in the mid-1970s by Bob Allison’s “Ask Your Neighbor” listeners because she could decipher what combinations of ingredients and techniques could be used at home to imitate many favorite restaurant dishes and fast food items; as well as packaged “junk foods” and other supermarket products, for which people were searching to duplicate.
Mind you, Mom never knew the real “secret recipes” of the “specialty” restaurants and food companies (except for a select few that actually shared their recipes with her). However, Mom had a knack for coming up with her own ingredient combinations and techniques, in developing her own recipes, which imitated the famous dishes and products that people craved! In those days, nobody else was doing anything like that – but many copycats soon followed the ORIGINAL “copycat cooker”.
Mom had appeared on some famous TV shows during the first decade of her recipes business. There was even a Jeopardy question made about her. However, radio was the solid cornerstone in the foundation of building what Mom often and lovingly referred to as her family’s cottage enterprise, a dining room table operation. And when it came to promoting her work through radio shows, Bob Allison was the first radio host to offer Mom that opportunity!
Why do people find Mondays to be the most difficult day of the week? It seems to be the most detested of all the days. People should have a more positive attitude about Mondays. Personally, I greet every Monday of each new week with energy, motivation, and freshness! Of course, it helps a lot if you love what you do on Mondays!
The most common reason people give for hating Mondays is simply because it follows their two days off of work, for enjoying freedom and fun; thus, they dread going back to their unhappy work lives. On the other hand, many other people know that weekends are not necessarily fun and freedom for everyone.
For people like me, the weekend, or any days off of work, are usually spent catching up on “chore time” responsibilities that get neglected because of my employment outside the home; such as yard work, housekeeping, laundry, cleaning the car, grocery shopping, fixing things around the house, and so on. Personally, I call those responsibilities my “domestic” or “non-paying” job.
However, according to an article by Influence Digest, Sunday is supposedly the most important day of the week. Why Sunday Is The Most Important Day Of The Week (Aug 29, 2017) claims, “It is the day that 99% of North American society wastes away but it is also the day that the 1% of society uses to prepare for the week.”
Truth be told, Mondays are marvelous! They’re more often thought of as “new beginnings” than Sundays! It’s a common day for setting goals, starting a new activity like exercising or dieting, or ending a bad habit like smoking. Many new businesses have their grand openings on Mondays. Here are some positive thoughts to keep in mind about Mondays.
Do things on Mondays that make you feel happy – listen to music, dance like no one’s watching, see a funny movie, watch the sun rise (and set), read a new book, or watch cute puppy videos on YouTube; which, by the way, was born on a Monday – February 14th, 2005!
Start your week off on the right foot and be positive! However, if you’re a “lefty”, start your week off on the left foot and be upbeat! At work, instead of bringing donuts in on Fridays to celebrate the coming weekend and TGIF, make Mondays “donut day” or some other kind of special treat day to celebrate being back together – TGIM!
Another reason Mom loved Mondays (at least, September through mid-June, when my siblings and I were young) was because we went back to school and got out of her hair so she could concentrate more on her writing.
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. 55)
RADIO AND BOB ALLISON’s ‘ASK YOUR NEIGHBORS!’
RADIO TURNED OUT TO BE the most appropriate way by which we made people aware of what we were doing. Again, my involvement with the wonderful world of radio actually came about without any specific intention of becoming a regular part of the broadcasting field.
For one thing, I didn’t know I had what is considered a ‘radio voice’. I had never heard my own voice, at least, recorded. Heaven knows, our five kids will, to this day, even in their adulthood, testify to the fact that, on occasion, during their upbringing, I have been known to discover conditions that would prompt me to accelerate vocally in a pitch that only dogs in the next county could hear!
My introduction to radio began with Bob Allison and [his] nearly 30-year-running [at that time] ‘Ask Your Neighbor’ show. I was folding diapers at the kitchen table, waiting for my favorite, daily segment of ‘My True Story’ to come on the air, when, instead, WWJ announced that it had been replaced with a NEW show.
This new show turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. To this day [December 1989], almost every Monday morning I visit with Bob Allison and his neighbors, now [in 1989] heard weekdays at 10 AM (EST) over WEXL-radio (Royal Oak/Detroit, Michigan), 1340 on your AM dial.
When ‘My True Story’ was replaced by Bob Allison and his ‘Ask Your Neighbor’ show, weekday mornings, I was, at first, very disappointed. [Recipes,] household hints and problems around the house that you cannot solve yourself, seem like just too much homemaking information to please me.
I soon, however, became ‘hooked’ on the show; as almost everybody does, to the point that, on Fridays, when Bob would sign off and say he would talk to us again on Monday, I was spending the weekends, just looking forward to the show on Monday.
I called the show about two or three times a month for the first year or two to ask questions of Bob’s ‘neighbors’ that my newspaper column readers were asking me. When I could not find the answers from consulting other sources, I knew I could rely on Bob Allison’s ‘neighbors’ to come up with the right answers for me. In return, I would often than phone and an answer that I occasionally had in reply to one of their questions or recipe requests.
Bob did not recognize my voice as a regular collar until I had initiated the newsletter, however. He asked me where the recipe came from that I was giving in reply to one of his listeners requests, which is how his program has always worked. Nobody simply calls in a recipe because they like it. They must, first, be replying to a request made by another caller and, secondly, must have personally tried the recipe.
On rare occasions, Bob will accept a recipe that is NOT tried by the caller, providing it comes from a truly reliable source or has been asked for and not answered for a long time. They also cover services that people are looking for or products that they cannot locate. This is what has always made Bob Allison’s format so unique, when compared to others like it on the air.
In mentioning that the hamburger sauce recipe would appear in the next issue of my monthly newsletter, which I had given in response to one of his listeners previous requests, Bob reacted with great interest and curiosity. ‘You have a newsletter, do you?’ He asked. ‘Well, tell us about it and how much it is and where our neighbors can get it.’
That was all it took to get us well-acquainted with Bob’s ‘neighbors’ and, in no time at all, our subscription orders went from a few too many. Sight-unseen was hardly appropriate to ask people to buy a publication that they could not first examine.
So I spent all of one day and most of the next, thinking about and trying out a single page description with a few sample recipes from the publication that I could send out to interested in perspective subscribers. To this day, we still use the same procedure, and it has worked very well. We offer, for a self-addressed stamped envelope, 15 sample recipes and, on the other side of the page, all the [ordering] information on our books and newsletter.
According to NationalDaysToday.com, “When people have a more positive attitude towards Monday, they will be able to transform the rest of their lives by embracing change.” So don’t procrastinate or drag your feet. Jump up! Be thankful! It’s a new week! It’s a new chance to make a difference! Give Mondays your all!
But, if you’re still not pumped up yet about Mondays, then just remember this – it’s only four more days until Friday!
In honor of TODAY, being National Cocoa Day, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for homemade Hot Cocoa Mix; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 266). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition)].
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
Some of December’s month-long observances include… National Write A Business Plan Month, National Pear Month, Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruits Month, Safe Toys and Gifts Month, Worldwide Food Service Safety Month, National Human Rights Month, and Universal Human Rights Month!
Tomorrow is… National Bouillabaisse Day and National Alabama Day! Plus, this day is also the start of… Christmas Bird Count Week[s] (which is a 3-week celebration that always starts on the 14th and runs through January 5th) and Halcyon Days (which is a 2-week celebration that always starts 7 days before the Winter Solstice and runs until 7 days after; being the 14th-28th, for 2021)!
Thursday, December 16th is… National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day (see my re-share of Mom’s Reese’s imitation below)! Plus, this day is also the start of… Las Posadas, which is a 9-day celebration that always runs December 16th through the 24th!
December 17th is… National Maple Syrup Day. Plus, as the third Friday in December, it’s also… National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day and National Underdog Day! Plus, this day is also the start of… National Saturnalia Week (which is always the 17th-23rd)!
Saturday, December 18th is… National Twin Day, National Roast Suckling Pig Day, and National Wreaths Across America Day – which changes annually – December 18th for 2021)! This day is also the start of… Gluten-free Baking Week (which is always the 18th-24th)!
…50 down and only 2 more to go!