Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Pay A Compliment

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!



Tomorrow is, among other things, National Compliment Day! And guess what – paying a compliment doesn’t cost a thing! Other than a few seconds of your time, compliments are absolutely free – one of the few things, these days, untouched by inflation (unless you equate compliments with tips).

Compliments are simply special words of affirmation and positivity, showing acknowledgement and appreciation. In fact, compliments are so extraordinary, they also have a world-wide observance dedicated to them. World Compliment Day is coming up soon, as it’s observed yearly, on the first day of March.

Likewise, this is another one of those national observances that everyone should practice daily – with family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, strangers – even with yourself, as well.

Words of praise spread happiness and increase confidence levels. Everyone needs confidence boosters! Sincere compliments can go a long way in spreading good will and happiness in someone’s life. In the end, we all appreciate being appreciated.


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!

‘Life’s most precious gifts don’t come in packages. They come from the heart, wrapped in love.’ – Gloria Pitzer

Like happiness, compliments provide numerous health and emotional benefits to, both, the giver and the receiver. It’s a win-win! And did I mention it doesn’t cost anything? Happiness is well-known to be able to drive up energy, as well as self-esteem; which, in turn, is also good for the heart and, thereby, likely to help us live longer.

Paying a compliment activates certain networks in our brains, positively improving feelings, attitudes, and mindsets; while reducing stress, anxiety, and tension. Giving and receiving compliments prompt the brain to reduce cortisol and produce more endorphins and serotonin, which simply makes you feel good. says, “to imitate someone is to pay the person a genuine compliment…” similarly to Charles Colton’s theory that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Thus, Mom intended her copycat recipes to be compliments, paid to their originals.

Not all but many companies, whose products Mom had imitated, such as JL Hudson’s, Sanders’ Chocolatiers, and Wendy’s – just to name a few – were quite pleased by Mom’s imitations and took them as the compliments they were intended to be.

Others, like Wally Amos (the former “Famous” Amos), Harland Sanders (the original “Colonel” of KFC fame), Arthur Treacher (actor turned restaurateur), the people of White Castle, General Foods, Hershey’s, and McDonald’s own Paul Duncan, appreciated Mom’s flattery attempts to compliment them through her personal imitations of their products.

They’ve even complimented her on the delightful caricature names that she gave her own creations. Mom always said that those are the ones that made being the Secret Recipes Detective all worthwhile!


As seen in…

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


THE WORLD, IT IS SAID, is divided into two kinds of cooks – those who thrive on the personal inner rewards, from being good at it, and those who regard it as an occupational hazard. [My] book [‘Mixed Blessings’] is for the cook who finds the experience one that must be endured with a minimum of effort and still achieve a maximum result!

If cooking means to you, a series of achievements from which you derive great personal satisfaction and continuous compliments, you may be excused from this explanation and forge at once ahead into the recipe portion of the book. The rest of you – please, pay attention! You’re about to find reassurance that cooking can be accomplished with confidence.

When you’re not an exceptional cook, you can muddle through the murky waters of an offshore success, hoping that one dish will come along to prompt a little praise and, with a little practice, more praise. But when cooking doesn’t come easily to you, the search for a successful recipe continues, cookbook after cookbook.

So you go into the experience each time, promising yourself that you will give it your all and make your mark as a masterpiece chef. It never works out as well in your kitchen, as the cookbooks promise it will if you follow their very involved recommendations.

You only want to coax an occasional compliment now and then from those who doubt your culinary capabilities – not win the Pillsbury Bake-Off! After all, one compliment in a climate of continuous catastrophes is often just the ticket to keep you going long enough to try another dish that may prompt more praise. We all love approval!

When you are not positive about your cooking skills, however, life in your kitchen may seem like mishap without merit. You have neither the time nor inclination to master your own fate, counteract your caution with confidence, nor pursue the practice of food preparation with purpose!

For those of us who cook without confidence, life in the kitchen can be a comedy of errors! It is for this kind of cook that I’ve written [‘Mixed Blessings’].


Unfortunately, in general, most people are more likely to criticize something or someone – and spread the word of it – than they are to pay a compliment and share it. It’s pretty sad that, in our world, good news (compliments) only travels so far, while bad news (criticism) travels so much farther (and faster). We, as a public, can change that, though.

Always pay compliments to others – not criticism. Create positive, complimentary reviews on social media. Make a habit of sharing others’ positive compliments, as well. Mom always preached to me and my siblings, while we were growing up, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” In which case, I suppose, silence really is golden.


As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Mixed Blessings – Recipes & Remedies (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; March 1984, p. 81)


WE ALWAYS EXPECT MORE of others than we want them to expect of us. We’re more often, in our heart of hearts, the victim rather than the cause. We need more than wanting to be needed. We criticize more than we compliment. We jump to conclusions when a particle of truth justifies our discontent was someone we have cared about because it is a bandage for our emotional wounds.

We avoid touching and hugging and pats on the back because we’re afraid of being accused that we’re gushy, or strange – or worse yet – that we might be rejected. We can’t take that risk.

Notice how some people become quite stiff when you reach out to hug them or touch them. They are almost plastic in their refusal to submit to your expression of warmth. And because we are afraid of how others will accept us, we build cocoons in which to reside emotionally rather than risk rejection or confront criticism.

What a shame! We’re missing so much! We entertain false pride at our table of regrets as if it were an honored guest. We could just as easily express genuine human kindness, but somehow the impersonal dignity of the ‘Divine’ righteousness seems a fair and probably acceptable cop-out for being personally exempt from the involvement with others.


In honor of Friday, being National Chocolate Cake Day, here are Mom’s copycat recipes for “Exotic Chocolate Cake”, “Exotic Chocolate Icing”, and “Buttercream Icing”; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, pp. 195 & 197). [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…


January observes, among other things… National Soup Month, National Blood Donor Month, National Hobby Month, National Hot Tea Month, National Mentoring Month, National Oatmeal Month, National Slow Cooking Month, and National Sunday Supper Month!

Since yesterday was the start of the fourth week of January, this is also… Tax Identity Theft Week!

Today also celebrates… National Handwriting Day and National Pie Day!

Tomorrow is… National Beer Can Appreciation Day and National Peanut Butter Day!

January 25th is… National Florida Day, National Irish Coffee Day, and National Opposite Day! Plus, as the fourth Wednesday in January (2023), it’s also… National Library Shelfie Day!

Thursday, January 26th is… National Green Juice Day, National Peanut Brittle Day, and National Spouses Day!

January 28th is… National Blueberry Pancake Day and National Have Fun At Work Day! Plus, as the last Saturday in January (2023), it’s also… National Seed Swap Day!

January 29th is… National Corn Chip Day and National Puzzle Day! Beginning the last Sunday in January and celebrated for eight days is… National Meat Week!


…4 down and 48 to go!

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