Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Family Bonding

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



Today, being the fourth Monday in September (for 2022), is National Family Day; which promotes making and sharing meals together, as well as family bonding around the kitchen table, according to

Furthermore, they claim that when parents engage with their children over a meal, their relationships greatly improve. It’s an opportunity for children to learn about responsibilities in preparing meals, setting the table, and cleaning up. It helps in making them feel like they’re part of a team. By the way, September is also Self-Improvement Month!

It’s widely believed that when family meals are prepared and eaten together, it provides a vast amount of opportunities for strengthening bonds, building better relationships, and creating a sense of belonging, all of which leads to better self-esteem.


As I’ve described in many other blog posts, when my siblings and I were growing up, Mom always made our meals family-style. Everyone sat together, at the same time, talking about our days while passing the serving dishes around the table, and occasionally elbowing or kicking each other when Mom and Dad weren’t looking.

We’re far from being like the Brady Bunch or Walton’s family. Nonetheless, we always ate together. Basically because that’s when the meal was served. Mom always reminded us that the kitchen wasn’t a restaurant, where you could drop in any time and place an order for whatever you’d like.

In our household, we ate what was made and when it was served, or we might have to go hungry until the next meal. However, I can’t remember any of us willing to miss one of Mom’s meals, anyway; so that was never really an issue in our household.

Mom would always joke, in her many editorials, about being a bad cook. However, long before she became famous for being the Secret RecipesTM Detective, she was already a great cook in our house! I’m grateful for all she’s taught me.

There was a time, pre-Covid-19, when most average families led busy lifestyles, with both parents working outside the home and the kid’s having after school activities and weekend sports; making it very difficult to eat just one meal together, let alone three.

Then the pandemic struck and, unexpectedly, families were, more or less, confined together, 24/7 for many months – all the meals and everything else in between, as well! Our homes suddenly became central hubs, encompassing the office, school, library, gym, salon, cinema, diner, bar and so much more!

‘The divine principle of good cooking is not a secret! It is taking pleasure in the activity; in the information previously retained and called upon through the facilities of memory. The spirit of good cooking is individualistic. It is not shrouded in mystery – but in love, for what you are doing and for whom you are doing it!’ – Gloria Pitzer [As seen on the front page of the 128th issue of Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (Sep-Oct 1987).]


As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Reliable Recipes For Reluctant Cooks (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1983, p.6)


AS OFTEN AS WE PUT things off, in life, it’s a shame that we don’t care more about the ‘now’, the ‘todays’, the here-I-am and here-you-are, and what can we do for each other to make things as good as possible for [both of] us! I know! There are people who can’t be bothered with such nonsense. They have jobs to work and bills to pay, things to worry about and goals to achieve.

‘If you’re going to talk about cooking and foods… what are you going off on tangents for, talking about people and their feelings?’

This is a question I’ve been asked over and over by inquiring reporters, wanting to know why we’re successful at what we do, why people go to such trouble to locate us and order our books! I think they answer their own question. Don’t you?

After all, cooking is not for robots! The way we present our food to those who share our table with us takes into account more than plopping the pot roast onto a platter and announcing, ‘supper’s ready!’ Is that where it ends? When a meal is presented, there are many considerations for the cook.

Besides the balance, nutritionally, there’s the effort to please those who will hopefully enjoy the food. And trying to please those you’re feeding is a direct appeal, a definite effort, to consider someone’s feelings, the feelings of enjoyment and consequently of approval – approval of the food and… the one who prepared it.

Every day, the homemaker, with a family to feed, meets the challenge of proving they can be proficient, both, in the selections of foods, [as well as] the preparation and presentation of it and the management of the cost.

Cooking is more than turning on the stove and opening the refrigerator. It’s pleasing people! It’s caring about what they might like to eat. It’s doing your best to prepare and present the dishes so that mealtime is not just a daily routine – but an occasion.

The cookbook industry has offended us… as if the recipes were designed for mindless bodies – not for folks with feelings! Food fanatics continue to advise us on how to feed the body while we let the famished affections go hungry.

The critics’ smoking guns right now are aimed at curing physical maladies with food administered medicinally. Food, as medication, is used as both a preservative and a cure. But what heals the broken spirit – the sensitive, the distressed, the lonely, the shy and withdrawn?

It takes more than adequate fiber intake; minimum daily nutritional needs being filled to cure the body of ills created by stress and anguish. It takes loving, caring and being loved and cared about in return!

LAST THOUGHTS…’s blog, Five Steps To Strengthen Family Relationships, (author/date unknown) nails a lot of great points about the importance of family bonding. I also like what Lindsey Veeh suggests in her timeless article, 6 Ways To Bring Your Family Closer Together (June 3, 2013). She suggests, “Make Sunday night family night. Invite extended family over to promote bonding with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives.”

There are other great family bonding activities besides cooking and eating together. Have a family game night or movie night. Go for a walk together. Do volunteer work as a family unit. Write your family story, with everyone contributing their favorite memories! Any time spent together, bonding and enjoying each other’s company, is priceless.

‘THE TOTAL OF LIFE is measured by the good we do. It is our cherished hope that every branch of our family tree will bear luscious fruit that will enrich mankind and make the world a better place.’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 23)


In honor of TODAY, being National Dumpling Day and National Pancake Day, here is Mom’s secret recipes for “Beer Batter – Pancakes & Dumplings”; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 114). [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…


September’s observances include: Better Breakfast Month, Little League Month, National Americana Month, National Blueberry Popsicle Month, National Chicken Month, National Courtesy Month, National Honey Month, National Italian Cheese Month, National Library Card Sign Up Month, National Mushroom Month, National Potato Month, National Rice Month, National Sewing Month, Self-Improvement Month, and Whole Grains Month!

Today is also… National Johnny Appleseed Day!

Tomorrow is… National Chocolate Milk Day and National Corned Beef Hash Day!

September 28th is… National Drink Beer Day, National Good Neighbor Day (which used to be on the 4th Sunday), National Strawberry Cream Pie Day, and National North Carolina Day! Plus, as the last Wednesday in September (for 2022), it’s also… National Women’s Health & Fitness Day!

Thursday, September 29th is… National Coffee Day!


Friday, September 30th is… National Love People Day, National Chewing Gum Day, National Mud Pack Day, and National Hot Mulled Cider Day!

Saturday is the start of October, which observes, among other things (as pictured below):

[October is also the anniversary of Mom’s FIRST appearance on the Kelly & Company show, in Detroit (1990).]

October 1st is… National Homemade Cookies Day! Plus, as the first Saturday of October (for 2022), it’s also… National Play Outside Day, which is the first Saturday of every month. The week of October 1st is also… Active Aging Week. Additionally, it’s… the start of the National Christmas Seal Campaign (which always runs Oct. 1st to Dec. 31st).

October 2nd is… National Fried Scallops Day! Plus, the first week of October [2nd-8th for 2022] is also… National Chili Week and National Newspaper Week!


…39 down and 13 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Autumn Comforts

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



Labor Day is widely considered to be the end of summer and, thus, the start of fall. Yet, the actual onset of the northern hemisphere’s fall doesn’t start until the evening of this coming Thursday. Meanwhile, summer’s warmth has been trying to remain ever-present around here.

However, September’s days have been getting noticeably shorter and the nights longer. Likewise, the temperatures are getting cooler, too, particularly in the evenings. By the way, Sunday is also the start of National Fall Foliage Week!

The official observance of the northern hemisphere’s Autumnal Equinox changes slightly but is usually around September 22nd. Twice a year, there’s an equinox – marking the beginnings of spring and fall – when the day has equal hours of dark and light.


The first half of fall has always been my favorite time of year, especially because, as the trees’ start transitioning for their winter hibernation, the leaves become more colorful each day! I’ve even seen a few trees changing colors in July and August, too. Unfortunately, once the color show really takes off in Michigan, it doesn’t last long.

Fall was also Mom’s favorite time of year. Not only because us kids went back to school but also because the cool, autumn days made it more inviting to turn on the stove and make some soup or do some baking. The fall season usually highlights flavors and scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin and cloves in almost everything.

Moreover, autumn entices us to break out our cozy, warm Cardigans and make some belly-pleasing comfort foods. By the way, December 5th is the “official” observance of National Comfort Food Day! However, there’s something about the onset of autumn that makes many, like me, yearn for our favorite comfort foods.

Do you have a favorite comfort food? I love potatoes – any style. I surveyed a few dozen friends a couple of years ago, asking what their favorites were. Here are the top six most popular answers I received:

    1. pizza
    2. potatoes (any style)
    3. chili
    4. macaroni and cheese
    5. fried chicken
    6. chocolate brownies

Junk foods and fast foods are also considered “comfort foods”. Science has frequently shown that emotions and food are significantly linked together. It’s widely believed that, in times of stress, “comfort foods” often make you feel better, providing nostalgic or sentimental value, with very little nutrition, if any at all.


Excerpts by Gloria Pitzer, as seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Mixed Blessings – Recipes & Remedies (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; March 1984)


COOKING IS ONE OF THOSE personal accomplishments that afford us all the opportunity to express ‘talent’. We love being approved of. In fact, we eat it up! It’s the little pat on the back that gives us the incentive to continue trying. And where else, but in the kitchen, can you try to win approval with such satisfying results!

I’m very partial to my kitchen because it is the one place in our home where I feel the most comfortable! Whether I’m there alone, working on a recipe, or sitting at my desk, looking for inspiration on a new article I’m writing, or sharing a cup of coffee with a neighbor or a friend, who’s dropped by – it’s my favorite room!

I have a desk in the kitchen right next to the [glass] door-wall that overlooks the yard. Our daughter, Debbie, and our son-in-law, Jim, gave me a flowering Crab [Apple] tree last Mother’s Day, which they planted right in the middle of the yard. I can enjoy it’s flowers each spring; also the very long bare, red branches during the autumn and it’s snow-covered limbs all winter.

It’s my sundial, by which I observe the seasons and the changes involved with this natural wonder. While the Scotch pines around this little tree never change, never go through the transition of bud to blossom to barren branches and then buds again, I can see the contrasts that are parallel to our own personal predicaments.

Some things, places – and yes, even people – never seem to change, while others go through budding and blossoming and withering away, only to come right back to life again in the sunshine of human kindness as does my tree in the sunshine of the seasons.

I’ve spent my entire life being a writer. It’s not what I do, but what I am. I love every minute of it, and by writing about what I have come to know best – cooking – it occurs to me that having a desk in my kitchen was awfully appropriate. Mind you, not all that crazy about cooking, by default rather than decision, I have learned more about it than any other skill I’ve attempted. (p. 15)


IF I WERE AN ARTIST… I would cover my walls with pictures that would recapture the beauty of all the lovely places I’ve been to and would miss once I had left them. I would recapture a restful sunset over the wooded hills of northern Michigan sloping toward the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, or I would relive the blazing colors of autumn that shroud the clusters of trees along the uninhabited backgrounds of the countryside surrounding Grand Traverse Bay.

But, alas, I cannot put such places into paintings, so I’ll have to paint them with words in order to revisit them in my memory whenever the thoughts of which John Ruskin must have written – those secret places of the happy mind, ‘nests of pleasant thoughts’…‘houses built without hands for our souls to live in’.

Perhaps the food for thought, of finding these restful places in our memories, is just the elixir we often need; one more sufficiently nourished with sustenance to keep us physically fit, while we let our famished affections go hungry! (p. 22)


WHEN CARING COOKS ARE in thoughtful moods, they look for recipes that promise to produce absolutely dependable results, something different, something really good! Mood-cooking is great therapy! It’s the positive approach to getting your thoughts off of whatever ails you and involve yourself was something interesting and challenging.

I’m a mood-cook by nature, having found that house-bound homemakers with small wall-to-wall children left me with little else to use as a diversion from diapers, dishes, daily monotony’s of my chosen station in life. I could really enjoy cooking in those early days of raising our five children. So no doubt there are others, now, who find themselves in the same predicament.

Some of the mood-memories that now comfort me as my nest is empty of the youngsters, were simply observations and sensations that most of us take for granted. Simply enjoying various sounds would create a comfortable mood for me, and these sounds usually originated in the kitchen. (p. 158)


Bacon crackling and a hot skillet… The crisp, first bite of a firm, juicy, red apple… The tinkling of a wind chime hanging in front of an open window on a breezy warm day… The steady, muffled static of a summer rain on the roof, like 1000 tiny mice scampering across a sea of tissue paper…

The snapping of a log burning in the fireplace on a cool evening… The soft delight in a child’s amused giggle… An old man humming a tune as he weeds his garden… The baritone foghorn of a freighter slipping through the mist-covered river… The low wooing whistle of a train interrupting the night…

The lake lapping against the beach as it pulls back into itself and returns again to caress the sand… The gargling whistle of wrens in the slanted morning sunshine of a new spring day… These are the sounds of simplicity that set a satisfying mood and give me a sense of contentment.

I cannot believe that every single bite of food we eat has to be good for us, that every book we read must enlighten and inform us, [that] every movie we see must make a social statement or that every relationship we experience must be ‘ideal’. (p. 158)


Halloween is just around the corner. Don’t blink because, after that, it’s only 24 more days until Thanksgiving (my birthday falls in there, as well)! Less than four weeks later, is the start of Hanukkah (Dec. 18-26, 2022), soon followed by the Winter Solstice and Yule celebrations. Those are quickly followed by the Christmas and Kwanzaa celebrations, too.

Not only that but also within the week, following those events, the new year’s celebration begins. Blink your eyes again and suddenly the Super Bowl festivities will be upon us, followed by Valentine’s Day, less than two weeks later. Afterward is St. Patrick’s Day, which is closely followed by the spring equinox and so on!

For many, like me, the countdown to “the holidays” begins with the onset of the Autumnal Equinox. That’s when I like to start working on my long, fall cleaning list – before the holidays start rolling in, one after another.


My fall cleaning is usually finished before the colorful autumn leaves disappear, like the summer’s warm temperatures; and before our windows get closed up and covered in plastic, for the cold, wintery months, which seem to last almost half the year (November to April) around here.

Do you have a “Fall Cleaning List”? If not, offers a great, free printable that covers all the basics – you can find it at!

Nonetheless, all of those many fall/winter holidays that are still to come, will seemingly be here and gone before you know it. So start preparing now. Make a checklist, so you won’t forget or miss anything later. What can I say? I love lists! Even Santa makes lists (and checks them twice) to stay organized during the hustle-and-bustle of the holidays.

Furthermore, you’ll also be better able to enjoy all the holidays and gatherings, yourself. In the end, who wants to feel stressed out and/or left out, during the holidays, while trying to “get it all done” at the last minute?


In honor of September, being National Better Breakfast Month, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for “English Muffins, Like Farmcrest’s”; as seen in one of her self-published cookbooks, The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; June 1997). I’ve also included her secret recipe for an “English Breakfast”, as seen in another of her self-published cookbooks, Gloria Pitzer’s Mostly 4-Ingredient Recipes (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; April 1986).


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


September’s observances include: National Little League Month, National Americana Month, National Blueberry Popsicle Month, National Chicken Month, National Courtesy Month, National Honey Month, National Italian Cheese Month, National Library Card Sign Up Month, National Mushroom Month, National Potato Month, National Rice Month, National Sewing Month, National Self-Improvement Month, and National Whole Grains Month!

This week is the 4-year anniversary of Memories of My Mom. Also happening, as it’s the third week in September, is… National Farm Animals Awareness Week and National Indoor Plant Week!

Today is also… National Butterscotch Pudding Day!

Tomorrow is… National Fried Rice Day, National Pepperoni Pizza Day, National Punch Day, and National String Cheese Day!

Wednesday, September 21st is… National Chai Day, National Pecan Cookie Day, and National New York Day!

Thursday, September 22nd is… National White Chocolate Day, National Dear Diary Day, National Ice Cream Cone Day, and National American Business Women’s Day!


Friday, September 23rd is… National Great American Pot Pie Day and National Snack Stick Day!

September 24th is… National Cherries Jubilee Day and National Punctuation Day! Plus, as the last Saturday in September (for 2022), it’s also… National Family Health and Fitness Day USA!

September 25th is… National Quesadilla Day, National Daughter’s Day, National Lobster Day, National Research Administrator Day, and National Cooking Day! Plus, as the last Sunday in September (for 2022), it’s also… National Gold Star Mother’s Day.



…38 down and 14 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Working Parents

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!



Friday will be, among other things, National Working Parents Day! According to Wikipedia, these days, even stay-at-home parents and homemakers count as “working” parents. Whether we work for pay or for perks, working parents have to juggle a lot of responsibilities.

According to Porcshe Moran, in her enlightening article, “How Much Is A Stay-At-Home Parent Worth?”, a homemaker [aka: stay-at-home-parent] would earn an annual salary of about $178,201, based on the 2019 data she obtained from, if she or he were paid money for every job/task performed.

The picture below shows the data I obtained a couple of years ago, through and; regarding the average salaries paid, in Michigan, for various homemaker skills. Additionally, of course, homemakers contribute a lot more to their homes and families, of which no amount of money can compensate.

The work an average homemaker performs, and the value of their time is often taken for granted by their families. However, the services they provide could earn a substantial salary in the open market – chef, maid/housekeeper, laundress, nanny, teacher, chauffeur, personal shopper, secretary, counselor, nurse, groundskeeper and gardener.

I think that Porcshe Moran’s estimated salary would be considerably higher for 2022. Furthermore, I don’t know if that amount was based on a 40-hour workweek or the actual 112 hours (including overtime pay) that a stay-at-home parent puts in each week (at 16 hours/day, seven days a week).

As prices continue to rise much faster than incomes, there’s another renewed movement to make a lot of things at home, from scratch. We can usually save money, making things ourselves – as long as we don’t add the value of our time into the equation!


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 36)


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. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to at least try to have my own publication, however.

My confrontation with the editor at the Times Herald over the cheesecake recipe [like Sarah Lee’s], was probably the best thing that ever happened to me – us, as a family, in fact. I was forced to finally do something that, until then, I had only talked about doing because the advice I had listened to was bent on having somebody else handle my work.

Of course, I could not tell Paul what I was going to do – that I was going to publish a newsletter and I was going to try and sell subscriptions to it all without the help of the [publishing and syndicating] agencies to which I had previously been turning.

I was determined to make this idea work because I knew it was a good idea! It was a service that was needed and one that I could provide without ever having to leave the children again. With the help of the Almighty, I had every confidence that turning out a recipe newsletter was going to be something that would bless everyone concerned: me, the readers, the products mentioned, the reviews of restaurants – every idea was a blessing!

For most American families, in the 1970s, it took both parents working to make ends meet. Mom and Dad often struggled with that, themselves, to provide for our family of seven (plus, a dog and cat, as well). As Mom used to describe it, when I was young – they’d just start earning enough between the two of them, to make ends meet and then the ends would move further apart.

Somehow, they always found a way to get through those trying times. It helped that Mom was very crafty at making whatever she couldn’t afford to buy – from clothes and accessories to toys to personal care products like soap to grocery food items and pet foods/treats.

When we couldn’t afford luxuries like eating out, Mom figured out how to imitate fast food and restaurant dishes at home. As the old proverb says: “Necessity is the mother of invention!” Mom’s “invention” of copycat cookery came at a perfect time for many Americans, who were likewise struggling.

With the onset of the Women’s Lib Movement, the value of one’s time changed dramatically. Both parents in a household were working, not just because two incomes were needed but also because of the self-gratification one received when working outside the home.

Self-sufficiency and homesteading became a dying skill among many of the newer generations, after the Baby Boomers; as they opted to spend their time differently in exchange for more self-gratifying conveniences. However, especially since 2020, the art of homesteading has been seeing another revival.


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 38)


I ENLISTED THE HELP of the children. I was taking in ironing at the time, at about $5 a basket, and sometimes I would earn as much is $50 a week. The money was supposed to supplement Paul’s paycheck, which – as soon as we found could make ends meet, discovered somebody had moved the ends.

So I took what money I could from the ironing earnings and kept the paper, ink and other supplies in stock in order to produce what was necessary to complete the newsletter. I cut the stencils on my typewriter, added the drawings and fashioned a literary ‘silk purse out of a sow’s ear’, as my dad would’ve said.

The utility room, which was in the back of the house and looked out over the yard and the long driveway to the road was a perfect position to be in when it was time for Paul to arrive home from work at the end of the day. I would post the kids at the window to watch for Daddy so that I would be able to get everything put away and out of sight.

I could not tell him what I was doing until I could assure him that it was paying for itself and that I was not going to lose money. For nine months, I mimeographed, assembled and mailed out about 100 copies a month of my newsletter, the names of the subscribers having come from letters I kept from readers of my columns and from names and addresses given in other magazines where folks were looking for recipes.

I mimeographed my own business cards and, as I have already told you, had no qualms at all about cutting them out and inserting them into [other] cookbooks in bookstores or department stores; leaving them in phone booths, in ladies’ restrooms in restaurants or wherever I might find a likely audience. You must take every opportunity when you start out. Some ideas work. Some don’t.

We tread a rather steep path when we attempt to wish on everyone what seems a solution to our own problems. It actually takes courage to think for oneself in a world which appears to have more than its share of profits of despair. I wasn’t listening to any of them. I had my listening thoughts tuned into Angel messages that were leading me in a happier direction. I was never willing to give up. I’m still not!


More and more families are going back to being as self-sufficient as possible – including home schooling, which has seen a corresponding rise in the last two years. For decades, people chose to spend their time on other things than cooking from scratch, growing their own vegetables, raising chickens, and the like.

At some point, our time became a more valuable commodity than money, itself. We opened the door to conveniences, to save us time, even though it cost more. Now that we’re teetering on another “Great Recession”, things have flipped back to the value of the dollar, being greater.


In honor of September, being National Better Breakfast Month, here’s Mom’s copycat recipe for “Baked Egg Casserole, Like Mrs. Milliken’s”; as seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; June 1997, p. 7).



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


September’s observances include: National Little League Month, National Americana Month, National Blueberry Popsicle Month, National Chicken Month, National Courtesy Month, National Honey Month, National Italian Cheese Month, National Library Card Sign Up Month, National Mushroom Month, National Potato Month, National Rice Month, National Sewing Month, National Self-Improvement Month, and National Whole Grains Month!

Additionally, as the start of the second week in September it’s… National Biscuit and Gravy Week and National Arts In Education Week!

Today is also… National Chocolate Milkshake Day and National Day of Encouragement!

Tomorrow is… National Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day and National Peanut Day! Plus, as the second Tuesday in September (for 2022), it’s also… National Ants on a Log Day!

Wednesday, September 14th is… National Cream Filled Donut Day, National Eat a Hoagie Day, National Live Creative Day , and National Virginia Day!

September 15th is… National Cheese Toast Day, National Linguine Day, National Double Cheeseburger Day, National Creme de Menthe Day, National Online Learning Day, and National Greenpeace Day! Plus, as the third Thursday in September (for 2022), it’s also… National Pawpaw Day! Additionally, this is the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month (which is always September 15th to October 15th)!

Friday, September 16th is… National Play-Doh Day, National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day, National Guacamole Day, and National Step-Family Day!

September 17th is… National Professional House Cleaners Day, National Apple Dumpling Day, Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, and National Monte Cristo Day! Saturday, the 17th, is also the 4th anniversary of Mondays & Memories Of My Mom, which began with A Legacy Of Love (in 2018). Plus, as the third Saturday in September (for 2022), it’s… National Dance Day, National Boys’ and Girls’ Club Day for Kids, National Responsible Dog Ownership Day, and National Clean Up Day!

September 18th is… National Air Force Birthday and National Cheeseburger Day! Plus, as the third Sunday in September (for 2022), it’s also… National Wife Appreciation Day! Additionally, as the start of the third week in September it’s also… National Farm Animals Awareness Week and National Indoor Plant Week!


…37 down and 15 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Labor Day, Americana-Style

Thank God It’s Monday and, as such, #HappyMonday and happy Labor Day 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!



Today is, among other things, National Labor Day – an Americana celebration of the contributions and achievements of American workers to our country’s economic strength, prosperity, and well-being. Labor Day also celebrates the improvements of working conditions and fair compensation that were gained through the efforts of the American labor movement.

The labor force is comprised of people who are either working or actively looking for work, including self-employed entrepreneurs; those who’ve been leaving their jobs, with which they weren’t happy, due to low pay/benefits, physical strains, mental health concerns, and much more – going out to start their own businesses, living the Americana dream.

According to The Great Resignation: Everything You Need To Know (Jun 29, 2022) at, the “Great Resignation” started when “employees across multiple sectors came to the realization that they weren’t happy with their jobs during the pandemic. People weren’t satisfied with their work environment, the industry they were in or their work-life balance and left their jobs.” Leaving a job to open one’s own business isn’t really a new crusade.

A significant growth in entrepreneurships also began early in the new millennium, after banks began losing money, the housing market collapsed, and major auto makers declared bankruptcy. The domino effect was felt throughout districts, nation-wide, as businesses were forced to close their doors due to the “Great Recession”, beginning in 2007.

Another similar event occurred more than 30 years prior, when Mom (and Dad) faced the same uncertainty in the 1970s recession, when Mom left her job at the newspaper, in 1973, to start her own business; which evolved over the years, eventually becoming known as Secret RecipesTM, with her Recipe DetectiveTM brand recognized world-wide.

By 1976, Dad needed to take an early retirement from his job at the sign company to help Mom full-time, with the family business. Today, more than 160 countries observe their own Labor Days, celebrating the accomplishments of their own labor movements and the continued evolution of improving working conditions for everyone, everywhere.


Many people like to celebrate this Americana holiday with parades honoring the labor force, community picnics, backyard barbeques, sports events, and the like. The annual Mackinac Bridge Walk on Labor Day is going on, as well!

Moreover, a lot of families also like to take advantage of summer’s last, long weekend, by going on one more family vacation before the kids go back to school.

As I’ve mentioned many times, Mom liked to celebrate AFTER Labor Day, when my siblings and I went back to school, and she found reprieve in her own workload (and well-being). She always said, jokingly of course, THAT was when her vacation began.


As seen in…

School Begins and so Does Mother’s Vacation

By Gloria Pitzer (Algonac, MI; Aug. 1971)

NEVER MIND WHAT THE calendar says about the longest day of summer. It doesn’t really fall in June. It falls somewhere during the last week of August, as mothers everywhere breathlessly await the beginning of another school year!

When listening to a child lick a postage stamp in the next room begins to give me a headache and the cat seems to be stomping his paws and even my Mixmaster and my vacuum cleaner sound like mini bikes, I know it’s time for school to start.

This is what happens when you live with children who believe that the same door they left open all winter should be slammed all summer. And all I have to show for 10 weeks of summer, is a tape recording of 400 hours of the kids next door, gunning their motorcycles under my kitchen windows; which I felt would make a lovely remembrance for their mother who has been out, working in a pleasant, air-conditioned office.

Someday, she may want to know what she missed while her boys were growing up. I can tell her what she missed – migraines, excessive nervous acidity and hives, that’s what!

The first 8 weeks of summer rushed past us so quickly – it was like catching quicksilver in greased gloves. Suddenly, there was our 15-year old [son], telling us he needed back-to-school clothes; but he’d like some new blue jeans that didn’t look like new blue jeans.

Honestly, I don’t know where you can buy new blue jeans with broken zippers, frayed hems, worn seats and patched knees. He [also] said he had wished he had bought his school shoes last month, so he could have had plenty of time to scuff up the toes and run the heels over before school started; then, nobody would accuse him of wearing Sunday school clothes.

It is during the [unofficial] last week of summer that my Avon lady sends me a CARE package and my mother apologizes for not having had the children visit her more often before they had to go back to school.

I receive fliers from the drug store advertising Christmas wrappings and ribbons, and you can’t find a 99-cent Styrofoam cooler anywhere in town for the Labor Day picnic you wish you didn’t have to attend, because any picnic with 5 children is no PICNIC!

It is during the [unofficial] last week of summer that I’m ready to vote ‘yes’ in a school bond issue and school supplies that were on sale in July are being replaced on dime store counters by Halloween candy and costumes.

It is during the [unofficial] last week of summer that a neighbor stops by to see if he ever returned the lawn mower he borrowed from us and is disappointed when he learns he didn’t because he wanted to borrow it again!

Actually, the longest day of summer can make one weak – especially if she’s a mother!



In case you haven’t heard, September is also, among other things, National Americana Month. Americana is considered the patriotic nostalgia, usually associated with the U.S.’s culture and history – especially from the Native Americans, the colonial era, and the mid-20th century. Given our melting-pot foundation, Americana could include just about anything.

Traditional Americana is mainly represented by food, art, music, literature, and the like – anything that is stereotypical American, such as red, white, and blue. Examples are likened to Norman Rockwell’s art work, which appeared on over 300 covers of the weekly edition of The Saturday Evening Post, for many years.

Rockwell depicted the simple, small-town, middle-class lifestyle of Americans as humble, God-fearing people enjoying a strong and prosperous family life – with Americana-styled elements like Coca-Cola memorabilia, blue-collar workers, white-picket fences, denim jeans, baseball, and apple pie.


In honor of next Sunday, being National Hot Cross Bun Day, here’s Mom’s copycat recipe for “Awrey’s Hot Cross Buns”; as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; June 1997, p. 8).


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


September’s observances include: National Better Breakfast Month, National Little League Month, National Blueberry Popsicle Month, National Chicken Month, National Courtesy Month, National Honey Month, National Italian Cheese Month, National Library Card Sign Up Month, National Mushroom Month, National Potato Month, National Rice Month, National Sewing Month, National Self-Improvement Month, and National Whole Grains Month!

As the first FULL week in September, it’s also… National Waffle Week! Therefore, here’s a re-share of Mom’s copycat recipe for “Waffle Hows Waffles”, as seen in one of her early, self-published cookbook, The Second Helping of Secret Recipes – Fast Foods and Other Favorites (National Homemaker’s Newsletter, Pearl Beach, MI; July 1977, p. 37).


Today is also… National Cheese Pizza Day and National Be Late For Something Day!

Tomorrow is… National Coffee Ice Cream Day and NATIONAL READ A BOOK DAY!


Wednesday, September 7th is… National Beer Lover’s Day, National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day, National Grandma Moses Day, National Acorn Squash Day, National Salami Day, and National New Hampshire Day!

September 8th is… National Ampersand Day! Plus, as the second Thursday in September (for 2022), it’s also… National School Picture Day! Unofficially, Thursday is also the start of the NFL’s regular football season. Happy football season, Dad!

Friday, September 9th is… National Wiener Schnitzel Day! 

Saturday, September 10th is… National Swap Ideas Day and National TV Dinner Day!

September 11th is… National Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance! Plus, as the Sunday after Labor Day, it’s also… National Grandparent’s Day! Additionally, as the start of the second week in September it’s… National Biscuit and Gravy Week and National Arts In Education Week!


…36 down and 16 to go!