Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happiness Happens With Family Fun

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




Hand-in-hand with Happiness Happens Month, August is also Family Fun Month – because, obviously, happiness happens when you’re having family fun. August is the most popular month for so many enjoyable summer events. as well as going on one last vacation before the kids go back to school.

Some of my happiest childhood memories are of the fun, summer activities we did as a family like fishing, swimming and boating; plus, our family vacations to Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH), Sea World (Aurora, OH), Tahquamenon Falls and Soo Locks (U.P. of MI), Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada), Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island (MI).


Mackinac Island, Michigan is a very nostalgic place – the summer vacations that I spent there with my family, as I was growing up, are among my most memorable ones. Especially when we just happened to be staying at the Grand Hotel when the filming of “Somewhere in Time” was going on.

We had seen Christopher Reeves from a distance a couple of times, but we actually got to meet and talk to Christopher Plummer and Jane Seymour between scenes! I remember a couple of other family fun vacations, going to see some of our relatives who live in other states.

We had a family fun vacation visiting some of Dad’s side of the family in West Virginia, where there was a family fun reunion, as well. Another year, we went to see some relatives from Mom’s side of the family, in the Los Angeles area – and had additional family fun, visiting Universal Studios and Disneyland (Mom made a copycat version of their fudge, too).

I aspired to make happiness happen with family fun and wonderful summertime memories for my own children, when they were growing up. We often went camping, as well as to backyard barbeques, beaches, water parks, community carnivals, state fairs, art and car shows, outdoor movies and concerts, the zoo, and so on. Happiness happens with family fun!

One summer, we drove through Chicago on our way to Wisconsin, where we visited a friend of mine in Madison and another in Green Bay – seeing things we’d never seen before. Then we drove through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to go home. Along the way, we stopped to visit Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island.

I loved sharing my summer childhood memories with my own kids, first hand, while creating family fun memories for them, as well. We also went to big amusement parks like Cedar Point (OH), Boblo Island (Ontario), and Kings Island (OH). One time, we drove through Niagara Falls (Ontario) and stopped for a day of sightseeing, on our way to “upstate” New York.


As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s National Home News (National Home News, St. Clair, MI; Vol. 5, No. 9; September 1978, p. 11)

AT HOME – A Back-To-School Barometer For Veteran Mom’s

SOME MOTHERS ARE GIFTED at retaining certain pieces of information that they can tell you in the second week of June the exact date, time and hour of the day in September when school opens again.

Others rely on newspaper headlines, the calendar, their neighbors, but the best of all barometer for deciding when it’s time for the kids to go back to school is a series of events in the lives of mothers who know that the family that plays together gets on each other’s nerves… After a while!

You know it’s time for the kids to go back to school when you’re 13-year-old passes up a phone call from a boy to voluntarily wash the dishes because she’s bored. You know it’s time for the kids to get back to school, when the sound of a child licking a postage stamp gives his mother in the next room a tension headache.

When the city declares your backyard a dangerous intersection because of excessive mini-bike traffic through your flowerbeds, you know it’s time for the kids to go back to school. When you’re 16-year-old prefers to take out the garbage to lifting weights because he doesn’t have anything else to do, the vacation has out-lived its original purpose.

You know it’s time for the kids to go back to school when your own mother calls to apologize for not having had the children at her house for a few days but mentions something about Christmas vacation being just around the corner.

You know it’s time when the words to a record album your teenager has been playing all summer begin to make sense to you. It’s time for the kids to go back to school when you read in the paper that the teachers in your area still haven’t settled their contract with the school board.

You know it’s time when even the neighborhood kids start to call you ‘Mother’ and you discover you like it. It’s time when you find six of them even walking AROUND your newly planted bushes rather than THROUGH them.

Most mothers can tell when it’s time for the kids to go back to school when they see Christmas merchandise being marked down on the counters of their favorite store and all the Halloween favors have already been sold, and it isn’t even Labor Day yet!

Mothers can tell when it’s time by the number of Kool-Aid stains on the living room rug that begin to take on the interesting arrangement of a free-form art exhibit.

You know it’s time for the schools to open when the 15-year-old, who wouldn’t wear shoes all summer, suddenly takes an advance on his allowance to get himself six peers of socks and a haircut without being told to.

It’s time when a mother has made so much lemonade and spread so much mustard on sandwiches, that she can’t see the color yellow without feeling sexually attracted to a school bus! It’s time for the kids to return to their little red schoolhouse and their little reading books when they start leaving the house WITHOUT slamming the screen door!

You know the time is right if you have a high school senior, who for three years enjoyed every chance he had to get OUT of school but develops a sudden nervous rash when he hears school might not open if the teachers strike. In fact, show me a mother right now who isn’t glad to see the kids go back to school and I’ll show you a TEACHER!

Even after Mom and Dad became “empty nesters”, they continued to make happiness happen with their own version of family fun getaways (as families can be only two people). Mom loved to write about these trips and share her stories with her family of readers. Joining the Good Sam [RV] Club was among their happiest experiences.

It was a great source of wonderful friendships and memories for both of them. Mom kept scrap books of photos and special keepsakes from their many fun trips with Good Sam’s Michigan and Ohio chapters. They especially looked forward to Good Sam’s big “Samboree” events!

Sometimes Mom would give lectures at these events, regarding her copycat and short-cut cookery concepts, such as those published in her Mostly 4-Ingredients cookbook. She often wrote about her and Dad’s fun trips in her newsletters – from the new restaurant dishes they tried to the beautiful sights they saw and to all the great people they met.


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…

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!

NEEDLESS TO SAY, I can’t wait until we can begin our ‘motor-home camping’ again with our Good Sam friends. It’s our weekend vacation pleasure, May through October. Becoming part of the Good Sam organization is the best thing that has ever happened to us, where we could both enjoy mutual friendships and activities. Wonderful, caring people, who constantly remind us that ‘there are no strangers in Good Sam – only friends we haven’t met, yet!’ – Gloria Pitzer [As seen in… “GOOD SAM – CARING AND CAMPING”, from Gloria Pitzer’s Secret RecipesTM Newsletter (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May-June 1987, 126th issue, p. 3)]

TO THE GOOD SAM RV CLUB (MI & OH Branches): Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet with and talk to people from all over the country, relative to their recipe interests and food needs… Since our camping experiences with… Good Sam, [Paul and I] have truly adopted their slogan, ‘In Good Sam, there are no strangers – only friends we haven’t met yet!’ – Gloria Pitzer (1989)


Memories are made, families have fun (even when there’s only two of you), and happiness definitely happens in August! But we’re getting closer and closer to the Labor Day Weekend, which is the unofficial end of summer – just as Memorial Weekend is the unofficial start. Merchants are already gearing up for the fall and winter holidays.

Stores are loading their shelves and racks with candy and decorations for Halloween and the fall harvest season. Are you ready for fall and Halloween, yet? That’s okay… Neither am I. Let’s continue enjoying August’s Family Fun Month a little longer. We still have a couple weeks before Labor Day arrives!


Once again, in honor of August, being National Sandwich Month, here are TWO of Mom’s copycat recipes for Beef Feeder [aka: Sign of the Beefcarver] Style Beef Roast & Rye Rolls; from her self-published cookbook, Eating Out at Home (National Home News, St. Clair, MI; September 1978, p. 22).



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


The month of August observes, among other things… National Dog Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten MonthInternational Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Panini Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Today is also… National Spumoni Day and National Senior Citizens Day!

Tomorrow is… National Be An Angel Day, National Bao Day, Never Bean Better Day, and National Pecan Torte Day!

Wednesday, August 23rd, is… National Ride The Wind Day, National Sponge Cake Day, and National Cuban Sandwich Day!

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

Friday, 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! Plus, it’s the start of… Be Kind to Humankind Week (always the 25th to 31st)!

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

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


…34 down and 18 to go!



By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – Best Of The Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 188). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

The Denver Sandwich was a lunch-hour specialty at the Woolworth’s dime store [diner] on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit back in the day of saddle shoes and bobby socks, the Kern’s clock and streetcars that took you as far as the state fairgrounds – even up to 6 Mile and Palmer Park.

How the Denver Sandwich came to be a Detroit favorite, I will never know for certain, except that you can overdose on these and develop a strange side-effect that causes you to walk bow-legged, as if you’re nursing a saddle sore!


3 eggs

3 TB milk

2 TB each: chopped onion and diced green pepper

a dash each: season salt and black pepper

3 TB butter

2 slices buttered toast

1 slice Swiss cheese


In a small bowl, beat eggs with milk until frothy. Add chopped onion and diced green pepper – plus season salt and black pepper. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Pour egg mixture in skillet, stirring it until it is slightly scrambled, and turning it only one time, and briefly at that, to keep the center soft. Slip it out of the pan and onto buttered toast. Add cheese and the top slice of buttered toast. Cut it into 4 triangles and serve it piping hot! [Makes 1 sandwich.]


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happiness And Radio

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happiness And Radio

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




Next Sunday is National Radio Day and, for Mom, happiness happened whenever she was on the radio, talking about her copycat recipes! I’ve written several blog posts about Mom’s harmonious relationship with radio because radio filled her life with so much joy!

“The Recipe Detective” was the name given to her, in the mid-1970s, by a local radio audience because she investigated the secrets of the food industry, coming up with workable recipes for imitating their signature dishes and grocery products.

Mom always said that – of all the TV shows she was on and all of the newspaper and magazine interviews and stories about the Secret Recipes DetectiveTM, since her fast food recipes business began – she honestly preferred radio over all the others.

For the first three decades that Mom and Dad were in business, full time (1974-2004), not a day went by without a generous amount of mail or phone calls, expressing an enthusiastic interest in the recipes they developed and published, as a kitchen table enterprise. A couple years in the middle were overwhelming!

Under Dad’s talented direction and full-time management, they went from a hand-operated mimeograph machine, in our laundry room, to a full-fledged office – staff and all – then back, again, to the simplicity of a home office and a two-person (for the most part) operation.

Mom’s friend, Dick Syatt, at RKO-Radio in Boston, once told her, in regard to the tremendous response they received from her FIRST appearance on The Phil Donahue Show, in July 1981: ‘Hell is God giving you what you thought you wanted!’

They liked it better when it was simple – from the means by which they distributed and publicized their books and newsletter to the eventual exclusiveness of working with radio. They “had it all”, once – enough to know that’s not what they truly wanted.

Mom had been invited to do QVC and videos but, she learned, the filming of her recipes wasn’t as essential to their success, as production executives insisted. Mom proved that, too, when she lent her work to the Braille Institute and Books for the Blind – Talking Books. The way in which she described and presented her recipes made pictures redundant.

Radio felt like home to Mom. The audiences felt like close friends and the shows’ hosts felt like family. As a matter of fact, she had so many great things to say about her radio experiences – here are just some of those…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, pp. 57-59)


ADVERTISING WITH BOB Allison’s ‘Ask Your Neighbor’ radio show, which we later came to do, brought us the kind of audience that made all of the work worthwhile. We had only developed one book at that time. The [ad] spots we bought on his show were quite expensive for our limited budget, but the results were so rewarding that we later even increased the number of spots we took.

At the same time, I was placing ads in ‘Grit’ magazine, ‘Family Weekly’ (based in Pennsylvania) and with all of the Tower Press magazines, advertising the 200 recipes on our 4 x 6 cards and the books. We began to grow and increase our subscriptions nicely, at a rate that we could comfortably handle.

The five kids were all still in school and living at home as this developed. Paul was working as a purchasing agent for the Willey Sign Company, where he had been for nearly 20 years. The time he was then giving me, to help me fill orders, was after he came home from his own job at the sign company.

He also devoted every weekend and his two-week vacation to helping me with the recipes. So I was not surprised when he decided he would have to give up the sign company job in order to devote full attention to our recipe business.

He could see that with a few hundred letters a day, six days a week, I could not handle it alone. The kids were pitching in after school, if only to stuff envelopes, lick postage stamps and assembled the newsletter; [then,] alphabetize the 4 x 6 cards after they had been mimeographed and allowed to dry on the dining room table.

It was quite a relief when we decided to take the 4 x 6 cards to our printer and let them lithograph them on the offset, instead of fooling around with the messy mimeograph, ourselves, any longer. This left me free to devote more time to developing new recipes that would imitate the franchise menu items, and there was a constant interest in such dishes from all over the country. Every day presented a new and exciting challenge!

Radio has become one of the biggest blessings in our work and my recipe visits came about as a result of my initial work with Bob Allison and his ‘Ask Your Neighbor’ show. Other broadcasts it became a tradition with us involved all of the stations listed here – and then some.

The contacts of most of these came as a result of the wire service carrying a story about our recipes from time to time, the biggest occurring after a write up in ‘Mother Jones Magazine’ in 1976 [when it first began]. Zodiac news service carried the story and from that we must have been contacted by 100 stations in less than a week.

Many of those have remained among our regular visits even today. Others have come to us from the publicity we have mailed out to several hundred stations that are listed in the national Radio Directory [found in many public library systems].

Putting together such publicity was a huge project and a 10% return of such contacts is gratifying. So, for that reason, many people back off from using direct-mailing publicity. The behind-the-scenes work, involved in making our contacts, entails days and days of putting one of these projects together. None of it ever just happened.

The favorite broadcasts that I have considered my home-away-from-home include KNX-Radio, in Los Angeles, where I first met Jackie Olden; and now, Mel Baldwin and Melinda Lee carry on the Food-News show [there]. You will note that I mentioned them frequently in our newsletters.

There was also my introduction to WHIO-Radio, in Dayton [Ohio], where Lou Emm first introduced me to his listeners – before Donahue, as that is where Phil originated his TV show years ago. The monthly visits that I now enjoy participating in are with Andy Thomas of WVOC-Radio, in Columbia [SC] and with Marty Kaye, on a weekly basis, at WIBA-Radio, in Madison, Wisconsin.

I was so sorry to see Ed and Sydney Busch retire from their ‘America Over the Weekend’ broadcasts, for I began broadcasting with them at WFAA-Radio, in Dallas, in 1976 or 1977 – and it was over that station that I met Colonel Sanders.

Many of the stations with which I have worked in the past 20-plus years have made me feel so much a part of their regular staff, and their family of listeners, that I have come to think of them as my home-away-from-home.

When I work with WHO-Radio, in Des Moines, and Jan Michaelson, it is like ‘family’; for I worked with Jan at a Cincinnati station for many years prior to his move to Iowa. I was made to feel right at home. The listeners also accepted me like ‘family’.

From other radio experiences, I have come to know and love the staff and the listening audiences of each of the stations, which include KSDO-Radio, in San Diego [and] WIBC-Radio, in Indianapolis with Jeff Pigeon; who, after talking to me for only five minutes, had so inspired his listeners to want to try our recipes that we received nearly 1000 letters within two days after the radio visit!

My other radio visits cover KLIF-Radio, in Dallas, with Kevin McCarthy; KSL-Radio, in Salt Lake City, with Bob Lee; and WJR-Radio, in Detroit, with Bob Hynes on late-night and Jack Mindy and daytime.

There is also a long and friendly relationship between Toni Harblin and her listeners and me at WTNY-Radio, in Watertown, New York; as well as, WBKV-Radio, in West Bend, Wisconsin and WKRC-Radio, in Cincinnati, with JB Miller. I first met JB when he was with a West Virginia radio station, perhaps 12 or 13 years ago.

KTAR-Radio, in Phoenix, is a long-time friendship that comes along during the holidays, when I visit with Preston Westmoreland or Pat McMahon. And there are regular visits with Mike Donavon at WSTV-Radio, in the Steubenville, Ohio area.

Kathy Keene, at WHBY-Radio, in Appleton, Wisconsin, has an enthusiastic following. There are so many others that I hope I haven’t forgotten to mention these wonderful friends and the story of how we have grown.

WSUB-Radio, in the New London, Connecticut area, is [where I visit] with my pal, Margie Kreschollek – The Micro Whiz – and is a new radio visit that I thoroughly enjoy. Margie takes my conventional recipes and converts them to micro cooking in no time at all!

Another outstanding experience I had recently was with Jim Warren and Prime Time America. Beth Albright and I hit it off like old friends on her show at WISN-Radio, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; where we had two hours with which to acquaint her listeners with my recipe secrets.

Tim Regler, of KLIN-Radio, in Lincoln Nebraska, and I found his family of listeners just like neighbors on our street – friendly and receptive. Another recent visit that has become a regular event with us is with WFIR-Radio, in Roanoke, Virginia.

Dennis Elliott, of WMFR-Radio, in High Point North Carolina, was another challenging broadcast that brought wonderful letters from his listeners. When Dan Leonard left WEBR-Radio, in Buffalo, I was honored to be one of his last guests. I’ll really miss him there.

But the second Tuesday of every month, if you are in the Oklahoma City listening area, please tune into KTOK-Radio in my regular visit with Carol Arnold and her audience. We promise to give you chocolate recipes if nothing else!



Once again, in honor of August, being National Sandwich Month, here’s Mom’s copycat recipe for a Denver Sandwich, Like Woolworth’s; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 188). [A revision 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…


The month of August observes, among other things… National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Panini Month, National Sandwich Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Additionally, as the second week in August (14th-20th for 2023), it’s also… Elvis Week, which is always the week of August 16th!

Today is also… National Creamsicle Day!

Tomorrow is… National Relaxation Day and National Lemon Meringue Pie Day!

Wednesday, August 16th, is… National Tell a Joke Day, National Roller Coaster Day, and National Rum Day!

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

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

August 19th is… International Bow Day, National Soft Ice Cream Day, and National Potato Day! Plus, as the third Saturday in August (for 2023), it’s also… World Honey Bee Day!

Sunday, August 20th, is… National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day!


…33 down and 19 to go!



By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – 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).]


Archer Teacher Fish Batter (Below), using beer instead of club soda

½ cup Crisco

¼ cup margarine

Cheese sandwich (as prepared below)

2 slices buttered bread

Mayo and mustard, to taste

2-3 thin slices Monterey Jack cheese

1 slice Swiss cheese

2-3 thin slices tomato (optional)


Prepare one recipe of my Archer Teacher Fish Batter (see below) – but instead of the club soda, use beer. Melt Crisco oil and margarine in a 12-inch round skillet and get it hot without letting the margarine turn brown.

Prepare a cheese sandwich, buttering one side of each of the slices of bread; then applying mayonnaise and mustard, if you like, and slices of cheese, plus tomato slices – if you wish. Put the sandwich together securing it in 3 or 4 places with wooden toothpicks.

Dip it in the prepared beer batter on both sides to coat it evenly and lift it with a pancake turner into the hot oil mixture. Fry until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Replenish the oil and margarine as needed to maintain at least a 1-inch depth of melted oil mixture in the skillet. Serve it at once with a side of my shrimp cocktail or tartar sauce (see “Recipes” tab.) This is a favorite fast food of the Texas-Oklahoma area!

ARCHER TEACHER’S FISH BATTER (from p. 108 of same book)

[Combine as listed…]

1 teaspoon sweet basil powder

1/8 teaspoon each: oregano powder and sage powder

1 teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon garlic salt

about 3 cups of boxed pancake mix

2 to 3 cups of bottled club soda [or beer]


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happiness Happens

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happiness Happens

HAPPY August to everyone – literally – as it’s National Happiness Happens Month! Additionally, Thank God Its Monday again; thus, #HappyMonday, too! 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!




Tomorrow is, among other things. National Happiness Happens Day. Accompanied by the month long celebration, that makes it a dually special day! But we should make happiness happen every day and every month. As Elbert Hubbard said: “Happiness is a habit – cultivate it!” He also famously said to “make lemonade” from life’s lemons.

Mom used to tell me that true happiness came from within us. It’s not found in what I think I want or in the stuff I attain; but, rather, deep inside me. It’s not about the things you have in life but, rather, what you learn from life, that counts. As we’ve all heard, it’s the journey, not the arrival, that matters most.

Surprisingly, there are still many of those who believe their happiness is in direct proportion to their level of success and financial worth. I guess happiness means different things to different people. Where do you find happiness?


By the way the first week in August is also Simplify Your Life Week. So if happiness happens for you, in living a simple life then this is really the week for you! I, too, find happiness in the simple things – like the colors of a rainbow, the happy-go-lucky smile and laughter of my grandson; plus, the nuzzles and purrs from my cats (and my husband).

I also find happiness in the sun sparkling on the brilliant blue waters of The Great Lakes surrounding Michigan. It’s in the music of the birds, singing in my backyard. It’s also in the aromas of fresh brewed coffee and bacon, baking in the oven; as well as that of a pot roast, slow-cooking all day.

Mom found a unique way to make happiness happen for others through her cartoons, food-for-thought articles, and famous copycat recipes. She had a contagious happiness about her that appealed to her readers, as well as to the newspapers, magazines, radio and TV talk-shows that continually requested interviews with her for over four decades!

Audiences were always very receptive to Mom’s “happiness virus”. According to a study, conducted more than a decade ago, which still rings true today, happiness is contagious! The study indicated that when one person is happy, the effect can spread up to three degrees in a social network, reaching family and friends, as well as their family and friends.

Think about it… People, whom you’ll probably never know, are going to be happier tomorrow because you made someone else happy today. In turn, the same can happen to each of those people… so you can see how quickly the “happiness virus” can spread.

Did you know – happiness is healthy for us too? Whether you are making happiness happen for others or you’re on the receiving end, happiness is well-known to increase energy and self-esteem; which, in turn, is also good for our hearts and, thereby, is likely to help us live longer.

Mom was an innovator in the early 1970s, creating an incredible new trend in the food industry with her copycat recipes that covered everything from fast food favorites to “taboo” junk foods, from pantry and grocery products to famous restaurant dishes, and more!

They not only brought our family happiness, but also millions of strangers and their families and friends, most of whom we never met. They, too, found happiness in making, eating, and sharing Mom’s copycat versions of their favorite noshing pleasures. I love reading the emails I get from those who find happiness in reading …Memories Of My Mom.

Like Mom’s recipes, which never failed to spread happiness, I found her many humorous stories and cartoons to be just as contagiously happy. Mom had quite a talent for spinning a yarn. Her stories and cartoons always bring a smile to my face and a laugh to my lips.

Happiness is a state of thought. It begins with gratitude for all we’ve already received and achieved – not with what we ‘own’ or the ‘things’… – Gloria Pitzer, as seen in Gloria Pitzer’s Secret RecipesTM  Newsletter, Issue #218 (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; Nov. 2000, p. 5)


As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Jan-Feb. 1988, pp. 1 & 4)


ONE THING AMONG MANY that I have learned from Good Sam, our national RV organization, to which Paul and I have belonged for three years now; is that you should never ever withhold your enthusiasm for caring about others.

Never regret anything you do or say on behalf of the good it might bring to those [about whom] you care – for, if your motives are unselfish, and your intentions are to encourage or enrich or benefit others, you can’t lose.

You should jump right in, adding enthusiasm to whatever it is that you are doing that might appear to be just a passive condition when enthusiasm is needed. Try a little enthusiasm! …Enthusiasm and optimism go hand-in-hand with happiness.

These provide us with an emotional springboard from which we can dive quite smoothly, into deep and troubled waters, and still surface refreshed and invigorated.

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!

‘IF TRUE HAPPINESS IS acquired through persistence and patience, it would be like the fable of the elderly Chinese profit who asked for a needle when none could be found. However, somebody offered him a crowbar and a file. He was pleased and assured his friends that it was only a matter of time before he could produce the needle he wanted.’ – Gloria Pitzer [As seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; January 2018, p. 304).]


Excerpts by Gloria Pitzer, as seen in…

This is not a Cook Book – It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, pp. 7-8)


THE HAPPIEST LITTLE ESCAPES in our lives can be, to us, what the spout is to a tea kettle that is up to its neck in hot water! It can give us an outlet for letting off steam – in a nice way! Everyone, who has their own little escape from the harsh realities of everyday life, seems to fare better than those who have absolutely nothing to which to escape.

I escape to a good book that will make me smile – or better yet, laugh right out loud, like George Burns has written. I escape to crocheting and good music, to long walks and long drives in our motor home, with my husband.

There are so many lovely little escapes that each of us can choose that it’s a wonder more of us who seem to suffer from unreasonable burdens and false responsibilities, don’t seek out their retreats more often. It helps! (p. 7)


I WASN’T KIDDING WHEN I said I envied happy people more than I did wealthy or famous people. From what I’ve read and what the rich and famous have said in filmed interviews, not too many of them are really happy with their wealth and their fame.

John Luther said that ‘happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possessions. It’s a mental attitude. It comes from appreciating what we have, instead of being miserable about what we don’t have. It’s so simple – yet so hard for the human mind to comprehend.’ I agree! (p. 8)


Through Mom’s stories and recipes and my remembrances of her, I want to re-inspire happiness in the kitchen, in the home, in the family, throughout the neighborhood and community, as well as around the world – just as Mom once did. Make happiness happen, not just tomorrow but also all month. In fact, make it a goal to do it all year long!

‘GOOD CHEER IS something much more than faith in the future, it is gratitude for the past and joy in the present!– Gloria Pitzer


In honor of August, being National Sandwich Month, here is Mom’s secret recipe for a Batter-Coated Cheese Sandwich; 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…


The month of August observes, among other things… National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, and National Panini Month!

Other celebrations happening this week include… The Dog Days of Summer, which began July 3rd and runs through Friday, Aug. 11th! Additionally, as the first full week in August (6th-12th for 2023), it’s also… National Farmers Market Week!

Today is also… National Lighthouse Day and National Raspberries N’ Cream Day!

Tomorrow is… Global Sleep Under The Stars Night, National Frozen Custard Day, and National Dollar Day!

Wednesday, August 9th, is… National Rice Pudding Day and National Book Lovers Day!



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

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

August 12th is… National Julienne Fries Day and National Middle Child Day! Plus, as the second Saturday in August (for 2023), it’s also… National Bowling Day and National Garage Sale Day!

August 13th is… National Prosecco Day, National Filet Mignon Day, and International Left Handers Day! Plus, as the start of the second week of August, it’s also… National Bargain Hunting Week and National Kool-Aid Days! Additionally, the second full week (Aug. 14th-20th for 2023) is… National Resurrect Romance Week and it’s Romance Awareness Month, too!


…32 down and 20 to go!



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).]


2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened, solid, baking chocolate

1/3 cup butter or margarine

2/3 cup flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup chopped walnuts, optional


Melt chocolate and butter. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Beat eggs about 2 minutes on medium speed of electric mixer. Gradually add in sugar. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture. (Add nuts if you wish.)

Spread batter evenly over bottom of a greased, 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until it tests done. Cool in pan. Dust in powdered sugar or frost in my Fudge Icing (see Index.) Cut into 2-inch squares. Makes 16 pieces.


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happiness Begets Happiness



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).


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


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].


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Americana Happiness



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).


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


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].


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Americana Happiness



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.


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


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.


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – The Food Effect



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!


5 cups sugar

3 cups flour

2 cups unsweetened baking cocoa

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon salt

3 ½ cups Crisco


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.


See also…

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