By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 20)

A favorite New York restaurant…


1 cup sugar

3 TB cornstarch

10-oz 7-Up or lemon-lime soda

2 TB strawberry Jell-O powder

1-qt whole strawberries, hulled

One 9-inch, baked pie shell

1 cup thick, strawberry preserves

½-pint heavy whipping cream, whipped stiff & sweetened a bit


Combine sugar, cornstarch, and soda in saucepan, cooking and stirring constantly until thickened and smooth, on medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in Jell-O powder until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Drain any juice from the berries and very carefully fold them into the cooling Jell-O mixture. Coat berries well and then spoon them carefully into pie shell hull-side-down. Spoon remaining Jell-O over the berries, trying to keep them arranged in single layer, filling in the spaces between with remaining berries.

Melt preserves over hot water and spoon it over the filled pie shell. Refrigerate pie several hours or until set and then pile the whipped cream over top. Keep refrigerated to cut and serve inside of a week’s time, for 6-8 reasonable servings.


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Radio Is Like Family


Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Be Kind

Thank God Its Monday and, as such, #HappyMonday to everyone! I personally look forward to all Mondays because they’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you!



This is the last full week of August, which observes (among other things)… National Be Kind to Humankind Week! During these troubling times in which we live, this well-needed celebration is more important than ever. Kindness is truly an essential part of society, bridging the divides of race, religion, gender, and other such things – even politics.

Think of it as the week of “The Golden Rule”, which is a basic, moral principle for society to treat each other as they’d want to be treated, themselves. It’s simply a commonsense ethic, by which we should all live on a daily basis – EVERY day, not just this week.

Its core is based on the biblical suggestion from the Book of Matthew, which says: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12) According to, the name, “Golden Rule”, came about “because there is VALUE in having this kind of respect and caring attitude for one another.”

‘Greatness is measured by kindness… real worth is measured by consideration and tolerance of others.’ – B.C. Forbes

Being kind changes lives – for the better – not only the lives of the receivers, but also those of the givers. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind and it also has a positive ripple effect that encourages receivers to become givers, themselves; paying it forward, to others.

Kindness is commonly known to have physical (and mental) health benefits for, both, givers and receivers. lists some benefits from performing random acts of kindness, as psychiatrists claim, it… “Fuels personal energy and self-esteem… Makes you happier… [Is] good for your heart… [And] helps you live longer…”

Science has proven the health benefits that being kind promotes. You can read about it at – The Science Of Kindness.

‘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)

Mom was always a big supporter of being kind to humankind. She often questioned why we all couldn’t just get along, “after all, we’re all God’s children”, she would say. To myself (NEVER-EVER out loud), I would often sarcastically respond, “Wouldn’t that be sibling rivalry?”

Regardless, even siblings should get along, too – yet, speaking from my own first- and second-hand experiences, so many don’t. Two of Mom’s sisters quit speaking to her after their Mom died. My own sisters haven’t spoke to me in years. My husband’s sister quit speaking to him years ago, too. I wish our parents were still with us.

Mom continually tried to be a positive example, lifting up others through her writings; even writing a few books dedicated strictly to her positive food-for-thought and inspirational ideas. Throughout, Mom emphasized 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 conquer.

You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.’ – Jane Marczewski [aka: Nightbirde]; AGT Auditions, 2021


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)


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.’?

It’s a common awareness that being kind to others should happen every day – not just this week because it’s a national observance – yet some people still need reminders. It still astounds me. After all, weren’t we all taught to be good and kind in Kindergarten, if not 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.”

‘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 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)


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!

‘No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.’ – Aesop


I want to pass this 7-day kindness challenge on to everyone, to do for this week’s celebration of Be Kind to Humankind Week. It’s from an article on, called Why Being Kind Makes You Healthier, by Chrystle Fiedler (July 24, 2019):

“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.”


In honor of TODAY, being National Be An Angel Day, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for “Angel Ambrosia”; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 280). [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…


August’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Happiness Happens Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Panini Month, National Sandwich Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Today is also… National Bao Day, Never Bean Better Day, and National Pecan Torte Day!

Tomorrow is… National Ride The Wind Day, National Sponge Cake Day, and National Cuban Sandwich Day!

Wednesday, August 24th is… National Maryland Day, National Peach Pie Day, and National Waffle Day!

Thursday, August 25th is… National Park Service Founders Day, National Whiskey Sour Day, National Kiss and Make Up Day, National Secondhand Wardrobe Day, and National Banana Split Day! In honor of the latter, here’s a re-share of Mom’s introduction of The American Banana Split by Fred Sanders.


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

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

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


…34 down and 18 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – A Radio Legacy

Thank God Its Monday again. As such, #HappyMonday to one and all! I personally look forward to every Monday because they’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you!



Saturday will be National Radio Day! Thus, let me tell you again about how radio helped Mom grow her business. Even though she was on several major talk shows throughout her first 20 years in business, Mom enjoyed her radio interviews the most.

As I wrote about in my very first blog post, A Legacy Of Love (; Sept. 17, 2018), and many thereafter, Mom was a pioneer in the 1970’s, discovering how to imitate our favorite restaurant dishes at home, writing her own recipes and marketing her “copycat cookery” talents in newspapers and magazines; as well as on local, national, and international television and radio talk shows.

For nearly 40 years, Mom was a regular guest on radio talk shows, world-wide. Mom’s local favorites were “Ask Your Neighbor”, hosted by the late Bob Allison, on WWJ-Radio in the Metro-Detroit area; and “Listen to the Mrs.”, hosted by Art Lewis, on WSGW-Radio in Saginaw. Mom and Dad, both, had notable friendships with both of these Michigan radio legends, for decades.

Mom was a regular weekly guest on a lot of radio shows – mostly by phone, from the comfort of home. In fact, it was by the “listeners” of her regular radio visits with Bob Allison that Mom was initially titled ‘The Recipe Detective’. She further developed that into her own ‘Secret Recipe Detective’ trademarked identity, which would probably be similar to a modern day, digital avatar.


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, pp. 54-55)


RADIO turned out to be the most appropriate way by which we made people aware of what we were doing…my involvement with the wonderful world of radio actually came about without any specific intention of becoming a regular part of the broadcasting field…

I didn’t know I had what is considered ‘a radio voice’. Heaven knows our five kids will, to this day, even in their adulthood, testify to the fact that, on occasion, during their up-bringing, I had been known to discover conditions that would prompt me to accelerate, vocally, in a pitch that only dogs in the next county could here!

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

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


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

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

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

In return, I would often… phone in an answer that I occasionally had in reply to one of their questions or recipe requests. Bob did not recognize my voice as a regular caller until I had initiated the newsletter, however.

He asked me where the [hamburger sauce] recipe came from that I was giving, in reply to one of his listener’s requests, which is how his program has always worked… In mentioning that the hamburger sauce recipe would appear in the next issue of my monthly newsletter… Bob reacted with great interest and curiosity.

‘You have a newsletter, do you?’ He asked. ‘Well, tell us about it and how much it is and where our neighbors can get it.’ That was all it took to get us well-acquainted with Bob’s ‘neighbors’ and, in no time at all, our subscription orders went from a few to many.

Mom was always grateful for her “readers”, “listeners”, and “fans” – all those who kept her endlessly inspired by their requests to find the “secrets” for making their favorite dishes or grocery products at home (and at less cost).

She was also very grateful to all the media sources (newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and TV talk shows) that interviewed, wrote and talked about her unique imprint on the food industry, especially in the “fast food” and “junk food” divisions.


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 75)


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.


Mom often wrote about her radio visits in her numerous books and newsletters. On one of the very first pages of her last book, Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press, Jan. 2018), is a “thank you list” she originally printed in 1982, dedicated to radio stations, talk show hosts, and others with whom Mom worked.

They all significantly contributed to the success of her first decade, as Secret Recipes DetectiveTM. Incidentally, Mom’s relationships with radio talk shows and their hosts went on for over 32 more years, until she had to fully give up working for health reasons in 2014. Nonetheless, like family, she kept in touch with many of them; even after her “retirement”.

Hi, Neighbor! (June 3, 2019) is the name of my blog post that’s another BIG “thank you” note to Mom’s radio, newspaper and TV contacts who helped her to grow her Secret RecipesTM business. I also created a “Media Friends” tab on the website, based on that blog post.


In honor of TODAY, being National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for “Lemon Meringue Pie”; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 246). [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…


August’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, Happiness Happens Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Panini Month, National Sandwich Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Other celebrations happening this week include… Elvis Week, which is always the week of August 16th!

Today is also… National Relaxation Day!

Tomorrow is… National Tell a Joke Day, National Roller Coaster Day, and National Rum Day!

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

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

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

August 20th is… National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day!  Plus, as the third Saturday in August (for 2022), it’s also… World Honey Bee Day!

Sunday, August 21st is… National Spumoni Day and National Senior Citizens Day!


…33 down and 19 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Other People’s Treasures

#HappyMonday to one and all! I personally look forward to every Monday because they’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you!


Summer is officially past the half-way mark, now. It’s on its way out so that fall can come in for a quick blaze of glory before we hunker down for the long winter months. Since last week was Simplify Your Life Week, I started my fall-cleaning early, to get rid of a lot of things I’ve collected and don’t really use.

I’ve been “getting ready” to have a yard sale ever since spring had sprung, waiting for the weather to be favorable for a full weekend, in which we don’t have other engagements. Summertime sure is a busy time but, also, a fun time. That must be why it seems to pass so quickly – because time flies when you’re having fun!




It’s the perfect time for a yard sale, now, because this is National Bargain Hunting Week; during which it’s also National Dollar Day, today, and National Garage Sale Day, on Saturday! There’s an old adage that claims, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” I have a lot of both!

I’ve been going room-by-room, dividing everything into five categories: “keep”, “sell”, “donate”, “toss” , and “recycle”. My current sorting process was first revamped in 2003, inspired by a short-lived, unique, renovation series on TLC that I really enjoyed.

The show was called “Clean Sweep” (2003-2005). It was hosted by Tava Smiley, evolving around a room re-organization and makeover – with carpenter, Eric Stromer, and organizer, Peter Walsh – but first the homeowners had to purge their “disastrous room”.

The process included a bit of “hoarder therapy” for the homeowners from Peter, regarding why some people hang on to certain things and how to best let go of them. Everything was divided into four categories – keep, sell, donate, and throw away/toss – as a crafter, I added “recycle”, for myself.

After sorting through all of their stuff, while the “Clean Sweep” crew makes-over the homeowners’ room, they hold a one-day-only, “prize-winning-competition”, yard sale with all the stuff that went into their “sell” pile. It was a lot of fun to watch the whole process.

As a lover of psychology, I also found the “therapy” sessions very enlightening! There are many terms for a garage/yard sale, including rummage sale, jumble sale, tag sale, white elephant sale, fire sale, (living) estate sale, moving sale, treasures sale, and more.

Flea markets are large places where people can collectively rent space/table(s) to sell their “other-people’s-treasures”, in a large group setting that’s convenient for shoppers and sellers, alike. According to, you can advertise your “whatever-you-want-to-name-it” sale on Facebook, by logging in and going to your newsfeed.

Once there, click on “Events” and “Create Event”, filling in the details about your sale then clicking on “Create Event” to save your event. Next, click the “Share” button to advertise it locally. Select “Promote Event” at the top if you want to pay for more advertising time.

Here’s a picture of Mom’s story about a yard sale she had, back in the 1970s…

Almost every summer, I’ve been offering some of my experiences and suggestions for having a successful yard sale… How To Have A Yard Sale In One Easy Breakdown (2019), Spring Has Sprung (2021), and Bargain Hunting (2021). So here are some more tips and information for you.

According to an article, Items That Bring In The Most Money At Garage Sales, by Lauren Hamer (Oct. 16, 2017), with which I totally agree, big-selling items include small kitchen appliances & dishware, tools, exercise equipment, jewelry, coats & clothes, camping gear, hunting/fishing gear, artwork/frames/décor, furniture, and games/toys.

‘Knowing your audience is the key to raking in cold hard cash.’ – Lauren Hamer, Items That Bring In The Most Money At Garage Sales (Oct. 16, 2017)

The golden rule in the hypothetical world of “yard-sale-pricing” is about 10% of its retail value. An item that has never been used and is still in its original packaging can sell for significantly more, such as 40-50% of retail value. As in anything else, when pricing, there are variables to consider from the age of the item to its condition and a half-dozen other things in between.

I recently discovered that’s Ultimate Garage Sale Pricing Guide is very similar to how I price the “treasures” that I’m selling. I always try to price them reasonably, so I’m not stuck with them, nor giving them away for free after all the work I put into having a yard sale.

If I don’t have enough “money-making-treasures” to make it worth my time and effort, I either donate what I have to a local charity, or combine it with someone else’s yard sale, or hold on to it until the following year; anticipating adding to it, as I tire of more things. I find a lot of people (myself included) don’t like to stop at sparce, one-table, yard sales.

I get a lot of compliments on the set-up of my yard sales, being like a department store, with “Clothing & Accessories”, “Outdoors & Sporting Goods”, “Automotive/Tools/Hardware”, “Home Goods”, “Media & Electronics”, etc. Creative, eye-catching, tabletop signs can easily be made from colorful poster boards and wire hangers.

I combine all my clothes, shoes, and other such wearable accessories together, under one large “bargain” sign that says, “$1 each”. The coats are usually priced separately, in the $2 to $5 range, depending on their condition and the season at hand – because, as I’ve discovered, a lot of people don’t want to buy fall/winter coats in the middle of a hot Michigan summer; even if it’s “like new”, unless it’s “dirt-cheap”.

My “Outdoor/Sporting Goods/Garden Center” area usually displays picnic/BBQ stuff, planters, plants, gardening tools, outdoor furniture, camping and hunting gear, and such. Any household furniture, décor, rugs, bedding, towels, curtains, and the like are grouped together, in my “Home Goods” area.

I usually price these things individually – based on their condition and popularity in my community, which are just a couple of variables to consider when pricing. I’m always checking other such sales in my local area for what they’re selling, how well they’re selling, and at what prices.

Similar to’s “Guide”, I price my stuff for as little as 25-cents to as much as $40. If it’s not worth a quarter, I’ll put it on a “free” table. People love free stuff and I’d rather have someone else make use of it than throw it into any of our already over-flowing landfills.

On either side of my “Home Goods” area, I’ll put my “Media & Entertainment” department/area; where I combine my books, music, movies, video games, electronics, and such. Again, they’re priced individually for as little as 25-cents (for a paperback or cassette) to as much as $40 (for a TV or stereo system).

And then there’s my “Kitchen” department/area on the other side, where I display my small appliances, dishes, cookware, and other such items – also priced anywhere between 25-cents (for a single cup or dish) and $40 (for a large, complete cookware set).

There’s also, usually, a “Toys” department/area. That was always another good-selling section, especially when my kids were growing out of their “Little Tikes” toys. Plus, when I can get my husband to weed-out some of his “toys”, there’s always a fast-selling “Automotive & Tools/Hardware” department/area. I’ve had many men stop-to-shop, looking for old tools and fishing gear.

Michigan’s “Thumb Coast” area has held a massive, annual event on the second weekend in August, since 2012 (except for 2020, of course). It’s called the M-25/M-29 Antiques Yard Sale Trail. “The Trail” is over 150 miles long, with well-over 11 communities involved.

It wraps all the way around the “Thumb Coast”, from Sebewaing (on M-25), near the southeast end of Saginaw Bay, in Lake Huron, to New Baltimore (on M-29), along the north shore of Anchor Bay, in Lake St. Clair. For decades, I’ve experienced both sides of the sale-trail.

I’ve shopped different parts of “the trail” and I’ve hosted my own sale. I prefer shopping over selling (mostly because I don’t have a garage). I’m conveniently located less than a mile from where “the trail” passes through my hometown.

Over the years, I’ve found that original, eye-catching signs can entice many “bargain hunters” to wander a little way off of “the trail’s” beaten path. There’s something about creative signage that grabs people’s attention and influences them to stop-and-shop.


A wide-variety of interesting information about garage/yard sales can, likewise, be found at; while The Evolution Of The Yard Sale infographic at also offers an interesting picture, depicting the origin and evolution of our classic American yard sale.

How To Set Up A Garage Sale, by Dave Kushner (June 8, 2021), offers some more great advice; going into details about starting with a clean sweep, making a game plan, setting up shop, pricing to sell, and reaping the rewards. Enjoy your week – whether it’s finding a bargain or selling one – celebrate by posting pictures of your treasures on social media with #BargainHuntingWeek and/or #NationalGarageSaleDay!


In honor of TODAY, being National Frozen Custard Day, here is Mom’s secret recipe for “Sugar-Free Frozen Custard”; as seen in her self-published cookbook… Sugar-Free Recipes (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1987, p. 11).


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


August’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, Happiness Happens Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Panini Month, National Sandwich Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Additionally, the second week of August observes… National Kool-Aid Days! The second full week is also… National Resurrect Romance Week!

Today is also… Global Sleep Under The Stars Night and National Happiness Happens Day!

Tomorrow is… National Rice Pudding Day and NATIONAL BOOK LOVERS DAY!



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

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


Friday, August 12th is… National Julienne Fries Day and National Middle Child Day!

August 13th is… National Prosecco Day, National Filet Mignon Day, and International Left Handers Day! Plus, as the second Saturday in August (for 2022), it’s also… National Bowling Day!

Sunday, August 14th is… National Creamsicle Day! As the start of the third week of August, it’s also… Elvis Week, which is always the week of August 16th!


…32 down and 20 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happiness Begets Happiness


Happy Monday and happy August! As always, I say, Thank God Its Monday because Mondays are my 52 Chances a year, for sharing Memories of My Mom with all of you!



August is, among other things, Happiness Happens Month and, to kick it off, as the first week of August, it’s “National Happiness Happens Week”, according to its founder, the Society of Happy People. Culminating next Monday with National Happiness Happens Day. Happiness begets happiness!

Mom used to tell me, whenever I was feeling unhappy in my life, that happiness isn’t found in the things I want or have; but, rather, in who I am – as well as in those with whom I choose to surround myself – insisting that true happiness came from within each of us, first. Again, happiness begets happiness!

Yet, there are those who truly believe that their level of happiness (even if it’s only perceived as such) is in direct proportion to their level of success; which, in turn, is in direct proportion to their financial worth and the things they own. Mom believed that real happiness/success came from how we lived our lives – for the good of ourselves, “our maker”, and others – after all, happiness begets happiness!


As seen in…

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


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.

Some of our best ideas that come from our friends, and we happily share the good they have offered. But even before the recipes were a part of our livelihood, I was learning from friends, holding dear the wonderful ideas they offered.

From Dolores Garavaglia, one of my first friends when Paul and I were married, I learned how to make a terrific Italian spaghetti sauce. We were visiting Ray and Dolores at their cottage, recently, near Houghton Lake [MI], and laughing over the dramatic shortcuts we’ve learned to take since those days, over 30 years ago, when we cooked ‘from scratch’ and thought nothing of an 18-ingredient recipe.

Julia Bulgarelli, another long-time dear friend, has always given me good ideas and she came from the cottage next door to Ray and Dolores to share an ‘oven stew’ recipe with me that we used in our January-February 1990 issue of our newsletter.

Our files are full of such wonderful dishes. But, in addition to that, we learn about living and about loving from our friends. There is a reciprocation that blooms with affectionate exchanges, whether by mail or with personal visits.

Sherry Ellis came to my aid more than once when I was bogged down and needed another pair of hands. I appreciate her sparkle and enthusiasm for just about everything.

Sophie Wesley and I have been super friends since we bowled together years ago and, when I least expect it, and needed it the most, a card would come in the mail from Sophie, reflecting the beautiful thoughts that comfort when comfort is needed.

Betty Pumford and I became friends through Flossie Taylor, who passed away a few years ago. Flossie [also] introduced me to Elsie Masterton’s cookbooks, which I truly treasure. Some of Flossie’s recipes dated back to her childhood when she remembered visiting her Aunt Clara and Uncle Henry at Fairlane, their home in Dearborn, Michigan.

Betty and I had wonderful lunches with Flossie and after Flossie was gone, [we] carried on the happy tradition, also exchanging some great recipes along the way, as well as understanding and happy conversations.

From Harold and Anna Muzzi, we have derived a sense of appreciation for a friendship that goes back to Paul’s childhood when Harold [Muzzi] and Ray Garavaglia were his best friends and neighbors.

Since our camping experiences with the national RV organization, ‘Good Sam’, we have truly adopted their slogan… ‘In Good Sam there are no strangers – only friends you haven’t met yet!’ How very true. What would we have done had we not been blessed with meeting Irv and Helen Henze [or] Helen and Chuck Mogg? How much we miss Chuck since he passed away.

‘Friends are those people who know everything there is to know about you, but like you anyhow!’ – Gloria Pitzer

According to a study seen at, which was conducted over a decade ago and still rings true, happiness is contagious! The study indicated that when one person is happy, the effect can spread up to three degrees in a social network; thereby, reaching family and friends, as well as the family and friends of their family and friends. Like I’ve said all along, happiness begets happiness!




Today is also observing, among other things, National Girlfriends Day. Similarly, Sunday will be National Friendship Day and National Sisters Day. Mom was especially grateful for her girlfriends, of whom she often thought as her “chosen sisters”; as well as her older sister, Hazel, of whom she always thought as her friend. Happiness is… friendship! Once more, happiness begets happiness!

Mom always taught me to find happiness within myself, first; then surround myself with others of the like. I always find happiness in the people with whom I choose to surround myself (my “special family”), as well as in other “things” that can’t be owned because happiness comes in moments.

Examples include long hugs from loved ones, the colors of a rainbow sparkling in the sun after a storm, the cheerful chirping of birds during the day and tree frogs in the evening, the sun shining on the magnificent blue waters of our beautiful Great Lakes, and the mouth-watering aroma of a Sunday crock-pot-supper, slow-cooking throughout the day.

‘The trouble with trying to be happy all the time is that most people look for one particular condition or experience or possession, from which they hope to derive complete contentment, forgetting that happiness is a moment – not a forever!’ – Gloria Pitzer, from Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Jan-Feb. 1988, p. 1)


Personally, I also find happiness floating down a gentle river with my husband (and our friends), under an azure blue, sunny sky, speckled with a few passing puffs of white clouds and surrounded by peaceful wilderness. A yearly trip to which I always await with anticipation. Where do you find happiness?


Do you find happiness in chocolate brownies? In honor of August, being National Brownies at Brunch Month, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for “Share-A-Lease Brownies”; as seen in her last book, Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 21). [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…


Other August observances include: National Dog Month, International Peace Month, National Catfish Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Panini Month, National Sandwich Month, National Romance Awareness Month, and National Back to School Month!

Additionally, Farmer’s Almanac claims July 3rd to Aug. 11th is considered to be The Dog Days of Summer! The first full week is of August is also… National Farmers Market Week and Simplify Your Life Week!

Today is also… National Raspberry Cream Pie Day and Respect for Parents Day! Today is also the TRADITIONAL (or unofficial) midpoint of summer, according to Farmer’s Almanac.

August 2nd, is… National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

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

August 4th, is… National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and National Coast Guard Day! Plus, as the first Thursday in August, it’s also… National IPA Day!

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

August 6th is… National Root Beer Float Day! Plus, as the first Saturday of August (for 2022), it’s also… National Play Outside Day (which is the first Saturday of EVERY month), National Jamaican Patty Day, National Mustard Day, and Mead Day!

August 7th is… National Lighthouse Day and National Raspberries N’ Cream Day! This is also… the OFFICIAL midpoint of summer, according to Farmer’s Almanac. Plus, as the first Sunday in August (for 2022), it’s… American Family Day AND this is Family Fun Month, too.


…31 down and 21 to go!