Today is National Write Down Your Story Day! This is me – I’ve always loved to write, draw, and create/craft things (like Mom), since I was a young girl. Skills in the arts seem to run in my family’s bloodline. If there is such a thing as an artistic gene, my family seems to be blessed with it.
Art, writing, and creativity were always encouraged and nurtured by our parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles – whenever we created anything. Mom inspired me in so many ways…as a writer, artist, crafter, homemaker, cook, mother, teacher… The list goes on.
Except for a few of my teen years, when I thought I knew more than she did, I was always amazed at how Mom managed to start her own business and juggle all of those other responsibilities and hobbies; along with a husband, 5 kids, and a dog for which to care.
During the last few years of Mom’s life, I got to know her in a whole new way – one that I missed out on in my self-centered teen years. That was when I helped her re-write her favorite, self-published cookbook, Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (1982), so it could be re-published for a new digital generation, by someone else this time.
For decades, Mom didn’t want any of her cookbooks to be published by a company that wanted to change her creations. But times changed, lives changed, situations changed, and attitudes changed. After much research, the publisher we chose for the project (Balboa Press) didn’t want to change much of anything.
I had to edit a few illustrations (because of their likeness to KFC’s “Colonel”). That wasn’t an issue to Mom. However, they also wanted to change the book’s title (as it too closely resembled Betty Crocker’s title). At first, we thought this was going to be a deal-breaker.
I couldn’t get Balboa to understand that imitation was the premise of the whole book, including the title. They wouldn’t budge – so Mom and I collaborated on another title by simply re-arranging the words on the cover of the original book. That was close enough to a new imitation of the original imitation, so Mom was happy.
Additionally, I had to change the recipes’ layout a little bit because of the digital revolution and printed format we chose for the final product. Mom and I also decided to omit some parts of the original book due to outdated information or something else. Years ago, Mom would’ve said, “Never! I’m not changing a thing!”
Over the years she found that it’s better to go with the flow than swim against the tide. Re-reading Mom’s creative “Food for Thought” articles and discussing them with her during the re-write process, brought us closer together, in a whole new way. Mom’s favorite thing in life was to write. She also loved to mentor those who shared her love!
FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
My Cup Runneth Over – And I Can’t Find My Mop (Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 75)
ASPIRE TO INSPIRE
We embrace the challenge to inspire…The care and concern that an author has for their readers is part of the pleasure of presenting interesting ideas in either an entertaining way or in an informative way. I try to balance my own presentations between the two.
When I am broadcasting over the numerous radio stations around the country, sometimes around the world, I try to lift the listener to a new height of interest and enthusiasm, and I leave the serious side of nutrition to the experts, who have the medical background to support their claims.
My hope is to present my recipes in such a way that cooking is a joy and never a job! I try to present these recipes with the same concern as I do giving a gift to a special friend. Each of our 5 children, who have grown up helping Paul and me with these recipes, have gone out into the world with this legacy of love and enthusiasm. We can only hope that they use what we have given them.
‘When you’re wishing for a happier, fuller life, a life with real meaning, there’s a need to remain steadfastly receptive to intuitions & inspirations that whisper to the listening thought of hope & courage.’ – Gloria Pitzer [as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (St. Clair, MI; Issue 183, Nov-Dec 1997; p. 10)
I can only hope I’ve made Mom proud of what I’m doing with her legacy of love… especially regarding these blog posts, her website content, and her last cookbook. I’m trying to develop and promote them, in her memory and honor, with the love and passion that she inspired in me. I’ll be honest, though – while I love to write, promoting and selling are not my forte, as they were Mom’s.
One of my favorite and youngest memories of me & Mom is when she taught me how to write the alphabet and my name, from how to hold the pencil to how to draw the letters to how to form the words by putting those wonderful letters together.
Much like Mom, when I was growing up, I was always drawing, reading, and writing little stories, as well as a lot of poetry. English was also my favorite subject throughout school. I always loved the essay assignments the most!
My road block, however, is promoting and selling; which is much more of a learning process for me, while it just seemed to come naturally for Mom. Luckily, I love to learn! Another one of the things Mom inspired in me is my passion to learn – she’d always say, “learn something new every day!”
Nowadays, knowledge is literally and instantaneously at our finger tips! For most of my life, I was a bookworm. I continue to love the hard copy in my hands; but now, I’m also a world-wide-web-worm! There’s so much out there from which to learn!
But you have to be self-motivated and self-inspired to grab the book or the computer and open the “pages” and just read, soaking it up like a sponge! Of course, you also have to be able to differentiate between what’s fact and what’s fiction; but that’s a discussion for another time.
‘In doing our best, we run into road blocks we hadn’t counted on; and it is not the falls we take that make the difference, but how well we recover and continue on that matters.’ – Gloria Pitzer, My Cup Runneth Over – And I Can’t Find My Mop (Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. xi)
In honor of TODAY, being National Potato Chip Day, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for Rough All’s Without Ridges, plus 2 chip coating flavors; as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Second Helping Of Secret Recipes (National Homemakers Newsletter, Pearl Beach, MI; July 1977, p. 5).
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
March observes, among other things… Irish-American Heritage Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Celery Month, National Craft Month, National Flour Month, National Women’s History Month, and National Sauce Month! Unofficially, it’s also Maple Sugaring Month!
Additionally, National Procrastination Week is the first two weeks in March, which is either the 1st-14th or the 6th-19th (if it’s the first two FULL weeks)! Basically, you can put this observance off until whenever it’s convenient for you!
March 19th is… National Certified Nurses Day, National Chocolate Caramel Day, National Let’s Laugh Day, and National Poultry Day! Additionally, as the third Saturday in March (for 2022), it’s also… National Quilting Day! Plus, as the first Saturday of March Madness, which changes annually [March 13th-April 4th (2022)], it’s also… National Corn Dog Day!
[NOTE: March 19th is also the 31st anniversary of Mom’s SECOND appearance on ABC’s “Home” show (in 1991), with Carol Duvall!]
…11 down and 41 to go!