Today’s National Encourage a Young Writer Day, among other things. Mom loved mentoring anyone (young and old, alike) who shared her love for writing! She was also my mentor – in writing and so many other things, from being creative to being a mom.
Mom’s love for and devotion to writing began when she was a young girl. The writing seed bloomed into a legacy, as the Secret Recipes DetectiveTM. Mom loved talking about how writing made her a worthwhile living, but it especially made living worthwhile. She loved to help others find that joy, too.
I try to write something every day, now, myself. Since starting these blog posts, over 4½ years ago, writing has become very therapeutic for me, just as it was for Mom. Like Mom, I’m most happy and content when I’m writing and creating something, artistically. I just wish I could make a living with my writing, as she did with hers.
I can feel her angel hugs, even now, as I’m typing this; and she’s whispering, in my ear, “be patient”. Mom believed that fate was a “meant-to-be” moment. She put her faith in fate and followed where it led. As a result, she became the ORIGINAL Recipe DetectiveTM!
For 40 years, Mom wrote articles, recipes, newsletters, and cookbooks but she never thought of it as work (even though it was). Like the old adage says, “find a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
Excerpts by Gloria Pitzer, as seen in…
My Cup Runneth Over – And I Can’t Find My Mop, (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989)
SOMETIMES, WE FORCE ourselves into making hasty decisions; when, it turns out, this can be a misguided attempt to try to shape an event that just isn’t ready to be shaped yet! Encouragement to be patient and consider all of the options was always one of the supportive ways that my parents tried to see me through the rough times, when I was growing up.
No matter what the problem, the emphasis was always on being patient; on letting my listening thought be receptive to new ideas, right ideas. I was never disappointed when I waited. I might have been a little impatient, but the more experiences I had with waiting, the easier it [became]. (p. 20)
JOURNALISM IS A PECULIAR profession to follow. I’ve been a serious journalist [since 1954]. I’ve worked among writers who wrote to live, while the rest of us lived to write. We had to communicate to reach out to someone with ideas, with thoughts, with reasonings and [remembrances].
Somehow, we had to make a difference, touching others with some good – like the single stone tossed into the still waters of a shimmering pond, the ripples begin, as they always do, where the stone touched the water’s surface and responded around and around, until the widest circle touched the grassy edge [of the shore], again and again.
While I live to write, I must consider that others do not. Writers never retire – not if they are truly writers. Editors retire. [Even] reporters retire from their work at some given point. But old writers never die, they just run out of words.
There is great joy in an exchange of ideas, specifically when you have something of value to share. When that exchange of ideas flows from a mutual appreciation of the good in human life, there is no doubt that the abundance of good continues to unfold around us from only one Unlimited Source.
We don’t think too much about that Source until we’re in real trouble. Then, we’re willing to reach out because, after all, what have we got to lose? Too bad we don’t tap that Source when everything is going well and exercise our ability to think [and be grateful], which is something very few people take the time to do. (p. 22)
Similarly, fate’s “meant-to-be” influences have taken me and my own inherited love for writing on this incredible learning journey, blogging about Mom and her wonderful, ground-breaking creations. Before the copycat recipes, Mom wrote several series of articles about a variety of topics she thought would interest other people like herself.
I try to do the same in my blog posts, mixing Mom into a variety of topics that might interest other people like us; as well as, to honor her legacy as a writer and influencer. Creative writing has always made me feel close to Mom. She was always my biggest fan, encouraging me throughout my life.
MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 43)
HOW TO LAUNCH A NEWSLETTER
WHENEVER I AM ASKED by somebody wanting to launch a newsletter of their own, how to get started, I wish I could just send them a blueprint or a floor plan, like you would when you build a house or a garage.
With newsletter writing and marketing, it’s all based on individuality, and experience being the best teacher and then having a responsive audience. It all begins with the sale. You have to know to whom you will be directing your material and how you will be meeting their needs. Nobody can tell you HOW to do that.
You either know how or you don’t! If you don’t know how to talk to your reader, you’re like a lighthouse without a light! You have to let your light shine and part of the preparation for communicating with your reader is to know HOW to talk to them, what they need from your newsletters that will enrich them or make their lives better.
‘There’s a powerful wisdom we don’t understand. It comes down to believing…to having faith.’ – Gloria Pitzer
AGAIN, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, pp. 47-48)
THE BEGINNING OF THE FAMILY ENTERPRISE
I HAD USED A RECIPE in one of my newspaper columns at the Port Huron paper for a sauce like McDonald’s used on their hamburgers. It was such a hit with the readers… It seemed so obvious… Repeat the recipes that were so popular at the paper for those few weeks, only this time putting them into my own newsletter.
I couldn’t wait to get home and get started putting together all of the recipes I could find that had anything at all to do with fast food restaurants or franchise eateries. Nobody, but nobody had done that yet.
There were cookbooks on how to do it the way the gourmets did and recipes from famous inns and restaurants with wine stewards and parking valets, but never from a hamburger palace or a pizza carry-out! Those were considered SECRETS. One thought led to another and soon the whole format was taking place on the paper in front of me.
HOW TO SELL IT – RADIO
The request for more and more came almost as immediately as the recipes would circulate, mostly through Bob Allison’s [radio] show, but as well through our newsletter, which was then growing to a circulation of nearly 1000.
The idea soon developed to put these famous secrets on index cards and sell them as, I explained earlier, we did prior to the first series of books. One step led to another and each step came from having absolute faith that failure was impossible.
When you unselfishly search for something to do, something to share, I have learned from first-hand experience, you never come away disappointed. I wasn’t looking for the rewards or gratification – only the service for the product. That, I believe, is why it all worked out so beautifully.
One of the first radio affiliations that I had, other than my regular visits with Bob Allison and his ‘Ask Your Neighbor’ [radio show], was with Warren Pierce at WJR in Detroit. In those early interviews we talked with Warren’s listeners, answering questions about imitating famous foods and one of the most often requested recipes on that show was for hot fudge like Sanders (Fred Sanders Confectionery Company).
It was right after I had given the recipe on the air and immediately after Carol Haddix had printed my recipe for that ice cream topping in the Detroit Free Press that a letter came from Jack Sanders, Chairman of the Board of Sanders and great-grandson of the company’s founder.
At once, I looked at the envelope and imagined trouble because I had come so close to the original with my recipe. But quite the contrary!
It was an invitation to Paul and me and our family to visit the Sanders’ plant and headquarters in Highland Park (Michigan) and to see, he wrote to us, ‘if it doesn’t spoil your fun’ how their products were really made.
We became good friends after that exciting tour and in our ‘Fast Food Recipe Book’ I give you some 16 pages of information and history, plus recipes that have been inspired by Sanders products.
Writing a newsletter is not as easy an endeavor as it may seem. Obviously, like blogging, it requires a regular production schedule and a long-time commitment to it. For success and longevity, it also entails devotion, duty, and dedication – call it “the 3-D effect”.
It takes so many little steps – literally and figuratively – to get where you want to be – in life, in love, and in livelihood. I’ve taken many little steps, myself; especially after helping Mom re-write her favorite, self-published cookbook – Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (as she couldn’t do it again, herself).
After the book went to print, I needed to learn the “ins & outs” of using social media and blogging, to promote it and Mom’s legacy, as the ORIGINAL Secret Recipes DetectiveTM. I’m still learning new things, as I go. It’s a slow process since I’m not tech-savvy.
Regardless, I love blogging, whether I’m doing it for a few people or for thousands of people. I don’t even know how many people read my posts but I keep writing them, nonetheless. I love getting emails and messages from those who’ve come across my writings and happily remember my mom and her Secret RecipesTM legacy.
In honor of Saturday, being National Banana Day, here’s Mom’s copycat recipe for “Banana Bundt Cake”; as seen in her self-published cookbook, Gloria Pitzer’s Mostly 4-Ingredient Recipes (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; April 1986, p. 66).
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
April celebrates, among other things… National Month of Hope, Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, National Couple Appreciation Month, National Decorating Month, National Fresh Celery Month, National Garden Month, National Humor Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Soy Foods Month, National Poetry Month
Today is also… National Cinnamon Crescent Day! Being the start of the second business week in April, it’s also the start of National Library Week! Special days within this special week include… National Library Workers Day (Tuesday) and National Bookmobile Day (Wednesday).
Saturday, April 15th is… National Glazed Spiral Ham Day!
…15 down and 37 to go!