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!

#TheRecipeDetective

#NationalComplimentDay

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.

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

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)

DOING SOMETHING NICE

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.

Dictionary.com 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!

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

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

UPLIFTING WORDS & THOUGHTS FOR EVERYDAY LIVING & TROUBLED TIMES

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’].

LAST THOUGHTS…

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.

AGAIN, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

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

CRITICIZE vs. COMPLIMENT

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.

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

IN CLOSING…

In honor of Friday, being National Chocolate Cake Day, here are Mom’s copycat recipes for “Exotic Chocolate Cake” and “Exotic Chocolate Icing”; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 197). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition)].

#NationalChocolateCakeDay

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

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!

#TGIM

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…4 down and 48 to go!

ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Secrets Of Homemade Groceries (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Sept. 1979, p. 37)

If you’ve never made your own ice cream sandwiches, you’ve been missing something (besides hips and double chins)! All things in moderation. These are the very best and so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it sooner…

INGREDIENTS:

The Cake:

2/3 cup flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

2-oz bitter baking chocolate

1/3 cup butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

2 beaten eggs

1 tsp vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS:

Stir the first three ingredients together, twice. Melt chocolate and butter [in a double boiler] over hot water. While it cools a little, beat the sugar, eggs, and vanilla [together], thoroughly. Blend in the chocolate mixture and then the flour mixture, a little at a time.

You want to have a very thin cake, so be certain to spread the batter evenly over the bottom of a well-greased 10x13x2-inch pan or use two 9-inch-square pans, also greased well. Bake in 350°F oven for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

You’ll see them firming up quite a bit while they’re cooling off, so don’t over-bake them. When completely cool to the touch, place a cookie sheet over the pan and gently invert cake onto the cookie sheet to cut into [24] bars, about 2×3½-inches each.

Freeze them for an hour or so and then add a slice of firmly frozen ice cream [same size] in any flavor of your choice, creating a sandwich, with two bars of cake; remembering to place the ice cream on the bottom side of each bar so the shiny side is out.

Wrap in double foil and seal ends. Label, date, and freeze. Keep for months. Makes about a dozen sandwiches.

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Life Is Good

BISCUIT MIX, LIKE BISQUICK

BISCUIT MIX, LIKE BISQUICK

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; June 1997, p. 5)

INGREDIENTS:

8 cups flour

3 TB baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp salt

¾ cup dry, milk powder

1 cup solid Crisco

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine all [ingredients] but Crisco, sifting 3 times into a large bowl. Cut in Crisco until it resembles coarse crumbs. Store in 3-qt container, covered, at room temperature to use in 30 days or refrigerate to use in 2 months. Makes 10 ½ cups mix.

To use mix for making biscuits: Combine 2 ½ cups mix with ½ cup buttermilk (or ¼ cup milk and ¼ cup sour cream, plus 3 TB butter or margarine. Knead on floured surface or in a bowl until smooth and elastic.

Roll out ½-inch thick. Cut into 2-inch circles with juice glass dipped into biscuit mix [if you don’t have a biscuit cutter]. Place close together in greased 9-inch baking pans, wiping tops of each in dab of butter or sour cream. Bake at 450°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – The Flavors Of Michigan

TUNA SALAD, LIKE SANDERS’

TUNA SALAD, LIKE SANDERS’

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 37).

INGREDIENTS:

2 cans (6-oz each) tuna packed in water (not oil), drained

1 rib celery, finely minced

½ cup mayonnaise

3 TB sweet pickle relish

3 TB sweet orange marmalade

1 TB lemon juice

2 tsp dry, minced onions

Yolks of 3 hard-cooked eggs, mashed well with fork

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine [ingredients as listed] with mixer. When well-combined, refrigerate in a tightly capped container to use as sandwich filling within a week, at least. Do not freeze, please. Makes 8 [servings].

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Americana Happiness

CHICKEN SALAD, LIKE SANDERS’

CHICKEN SALAD, LIKE SANDERS’

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 37).

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups chopped celery [prepared*]

2 cups canned, drained, chunk chicken (white meat, like Hormel’s)

2/3 cup real mayonnaise

½ cup canned, jellied cranberry sauce; mashed with fork

3 TB lemon juice

2 tsp dry, minced parsley flakes

½ tsp onion salt

¼ tsp black pepper

3 TB creamer powder (like Creamora)

3 hard-cooked eggs, yolks only – mashed well

INSTRUCTIONS:

Simmer, just until blanched, [the] celery in just enough water to cover; just a bit salted, too, for even boiling and simmer gently – perhaps 5 minutes. Drain and refrigerate, covered, until cold.

Then combine celery with chunk chicken. To this add the mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. Then add lemon juice, parsley, onion salt, pepper, powdered creamer and the yolks only of 3 hard-cooked eggs, mashed well.

Blend it all together nicely, with mixer on medium speed; adding more mayonnaise or chicken, to your liking. Keep refrigerated, tightly capped, to use as a sandwich spread within a week to 10 days. Do NOT freeze, please.

Makes 8 sandwiches. Or scoop this onto a lettuce-lined plate, surrounded with slices of apples, bananas, and canned, drained pineapple [chunks or slices].

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Americana Happiness

MONTE CRISTO, TORONTO-STYLE

MONTE CRISTO, TORONTO-STYLE

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – Best Of The Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 185). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

Allow 3 slices of bread per sandwich. You’ll assemble the sandwiches and trim off the crusts and then dip them into a batter, like that for making French toast, and grill them to perfection.

INGREDIENTS:

6 slices of white bread

¼ cup butter or margarine

2 slices each (cut to fit the bread): baked ham, cooked white chicken, Swiss cheese and tomato

2 eggs

¼ cup milk

½ teaspoon season salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Butter one side of each slice of bread, allowing 1 teaspoon of butter per slice. Melt remaining butter in a small skillet. Assemble the sandwiches so that you have a slice of ham between 2 slices of bread (buttered-sides-inward) and the chicken, cheese and tomato slices on the 2nd layer, with the 3rd slice of bread, buttered-side-down. Secure with toothpicks and cut, diagonally, into 2 triangles. Trim off the crusts. Beat the eggs, milk and salt together, dipping the sandwich pieces in the mixture to coat the bread on top and bottom. Fry in melted butter until golden brown. Serve at once. Makes 2 sandwiches.

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – The Food Effect

HOPELESS BROWNIE MIX

HOPELESS BROWNIE MIX

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – Best Of The Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 211). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

One of the best recipes that I ever had was for a brownie mix that kept very well in a covered container in the refrigerator. The brownies were moist and rich and fudgy, like those of the Hostess company – only better! Or so the kids said!

INGREDIENTS:

5 cups sugar

3 cups flour

2 cups unsweetened baking cocoa

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon salt

3 ½ cups Crisco

INSTRUCTIONS:

To make the mix: In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together everything but the Crisco. Cut in the Crisco until the mixture resembles gravel. Store in covered container up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator. Freeze it up to 6 months. To measure, lightly spoon mix into measuring cup and level off with flat side of a knife. Makes about 14 cups mix. It will look like a mess of wet sand when you’ve mixed it all together – but it makes beautiful brownies, sufficient to prepare five 8-inch square pans.

To make the brownies: beat 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2/4 cups brownie mix. Stir until nearly smooth. Add ½ cup chopped nuts if you wish. Spread evenly in a greased 8-inch square pan. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan. Dust in powdered sugar or frost with my Fudge Icing (see Index.) Makes 16 2-inch squares.

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Laughter Is The Best Medicine

LUNCHBOX BROWNIES

LUNCHBOX BROWNIES

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – Best Of The Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 207). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

This is a brownie cake recipe that makes up like a Texas-type sheet-cake, but comes out like a moist, chewy brownie; because you pour the warm frosting over the warm brownies as soon as you take them out of the oven. The frosting forces the brownies to “fall”.

When they have cooled, and are cut into squares, they have a custardy texture, rather than a cake texture. Originally, I developed this recipe for a bakery in Algonac, MI where we lived many years ago…

INGREDIENTS:

The Brownie Batter:

2 cups each: sugar and flour

1 cup each: water and margarine

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1/3 cup real buttermilk, do not use sour milk for this

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS:

Stir the sugar and flour together in large mixing bowl and set aside. In 1 ½-quart sauce pan, put the water, margarine and cocoa together, stirring until smooth and cocoa has dissolved.

Bring just to a bubble – without letting it boil, so it won’t scorch – and immediately pour the hot mixture over the sugar and flour, mixing it on medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add buttermilk, mixing for 2 minutes [more] on medium. Mix in eggs, soda, salt and vanilla until blended.

Pour batter into greased 10x17x2½-inch pan (or 13x10x2-inch pan for thicker bars). Bake at 375°F for only 20 minutes. While the brownies are in the oven, you should be preparing the [Fudge Cake Icing].

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Bargain Hunting

FUDGE CAKE ICING

FUDGE CAKE ICING

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – Best Of The Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 207). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

In a 1 ½-quart sauce pan, combine 1/3 cup whole milk (not buttermilk, this time) with 1/3 cup margarine, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar and a dash of salt.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Let it boil gently for half a minute. Remove from heat. Beat in 1-pound powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in 1 cup broken walnuts or pecans (which, by the way, really “makes” it!)

Keep the icing warm until brownies are out of oven, using the top of a double boiler over simmering water, or on lowest heat possible on top of stove. Remove brownies from oven and, at once, pour the icing over the warm brownies. Cut brownies into bars when slightly cool. Makes about 36 bars.

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Bargain Hunting

BAGELS, LIKE THE BAGEL FACTORY’S

BAGELS, LIKE THE BAGEL FACTORY’S

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… The Secret Restaurant Recipes Book (National Homemakers Newsletter, Pearl Beach, MI; Jan. 1977, p. 31).

This is one recipe not often included in the general crop of cookbooks out today. [1977]

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp salt

1 pkg. (2/3-oz) compressed yeast or 1 TB dry yeast

1 cup lukewarm potato water, or scalded milk

2 eggs, separated

3 TB sugar

3 TB oil

3-qt boiling water

1 tsp cold water

Poppy/Sesame seeds & coarse salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Sift flour and salt together, saving ½ cup of flour for kneading board. Soften yeast (or sprinkle in the dry yeast) in half of the potato water. Stir into flour. Reserve 1 TB of egg yolk in a cup and [whisk] remaining eggs, lightly. Add sugar, eggs, and oil to remaining potato water and blend with flour mixture. [Mix] to form a dough, adding more flour if necessary to make it fairly firm.

Flour hands and turn dough out onto lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes). Place in a buttered or oiled bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk (about 1 ½ hours).

Preheat oven to 425°F. Punch down the dough and knead again until all air is pressed out and dough is smooth. Pull off pieces of dough [creating about 15 pieces] and roll into ropes about 7 inches long and ¾-inch thick. Coil rope to make a ring, moistening ends and overlapping them; squeeze slightly to seal. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Slide a few at a time into the hot water (do not overlap). Turn after 1 minute and remove with a slotted spoon after 1 more minute. (CAUTION: They will be very slippery.) Mix [reserved] egg yolk with the cold water and brush tops of bagels with the mixture.

Place bagels on oiled cookie sheets and, if desired, sprinkle with salt, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Makes about 15 bagels.

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happy Monday