Brutus, Strawberry & Orange (After School Shakes)

Brutus, Strawberry & Orange (After School Shakes)

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… The Second Helping Of Secret Recipes, Revised (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1978, p. 17).

Julius Caesar was a great warrior. He conquered all the part of Europe that is now France. He even marched his armies into [Great] Britain. He also took them to the east and conquered part of Asia. Brutus, Marcus Junius, 85-42 B.C., [was a] Roman political leader and one of the men that assassinated Caesar.

One of the worst experiences and also the most frightening since I have been trying to duplicate famous dishes, was with a law firm whose client produces a beverage product, containing a ‘mysterious white powder’ and orange juice. A Chicago newspaper quoted me incorrectly and denied the error that claimed I had a recipe for the famous drink.

The lawyers insisted (no… ‘demanded’ …and I have it in writing from them) that I send them a copy of my book. Many months later, when I asked them, for the third or fourth time, to please pay for the book, they wrote me a letter, calling me ‘impertinent’ for asking for payment and threatened legal action against me that would have destroyed our entire family – not to mention that the threat alone put me under a doctor’s care for months, just worrying about it.

Funny thing was… the recipe was one that my mother had been making since I was in diapers. With a few updated revisions, I found it was, ‘in my opinion’, identical to the famous product. I guess I came close that time.

ORANGE BRUTUS [After School Shake]…

My mother was always creating something in the kitchen that was angelically good and her best effort was an after-school shake that consisted of blending together a quart of orange juice, an egg white, a dash of lemon juice, a few drops of vanilla, and a [small (4-serving size) box of ‘Cook & Serve’ style] vanilla pudding…

I later altered it by [combining] an envelope of Dream Whip powder and a quart of orange juice in my blender for a minute or two.

STRAWBERRY BRUTUS [After School Shake]…


10-oz pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed

3¾-oz pkg. instant vanilla pudding powder

1 egg white

2 cups milk


Place all ingredients [as listed] in blender. Using on/off [agitating] speed, blend 1 or 2 minutes, until smooth. Pour over crushed ice. Makes 4 servings.


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Etiquette and Manners

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Etiquette and Manners

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!



As the second full week of May, this is National Etiquette Week! According to, Etiquette is a code of ethics or set of standards for acceptable social and personal behaviors, which are observed and practiced in polite societies, as well as in social classes or groups.

Etiquette refers to socially suitable and responsible behaviors. In simpler words, it’s a guideline of customs for good manners and civil conduct in a cultured society. Synonyms for “good mannered” include civil, considerate, cordial, courteous, and gracious, according to

There are a lot of great benefits that come from using good manners. Obviously, it makes you more pleasant to be around and draws others to you, like a magnet. Knowing how to behave and what is expected of you, in various social situations, produces positive reinforcements from others. Another benefit is that it helps build confidence and self-esteem.

My husband and I were recently discussing how our parents taught us these things (etiquette and manners) throughout our childhoods. We raised our children in the same manner. Somewhere along the way, parents stopped teaching these things to the next generations. I work in retail – so I witness it all the time.

Some examples of using proper etiquette include saying things like “please”, “thank you”, “I’m sorry”, and “excuse me”. Be punctual, professional, responsive, and respectful. Practice active listening and don’t interrupt others. Speak with kindness, honesty, a smile, and eye-contact. Give compliments and avoid negative remarks and criticisms.

The list goes on and on! Open doors for others. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Dress appropriately. Shake hands/fist-bump in greetings or agreements. Don’t be boastful or arrogant. Respect your elders. Be kind and compassionate. Show appreciation and gratitude.

Table manners and meal etiquette is usually different at home than it is at someone else’s house or out in public. Commonly though, chew with your mouth closed; be observant of your surroundings and other people; read the room and choose your words/topics wisely, watching your volume, as well. Avoid using your cell phone in social settings.

These are all examples of good manners that show consideration for others. Holidays, weddings, funerals, and church services are other settings/events that follow certain rules of conduct (or etiquette). Etiquette and good manners are essential in life, as they help us to behave well at home and in society.


As seen in…

No Laughing Matter, By Gloria Pitzer (Circa 1971)


SOMETHING HAS GOT TO be done about etiquette books. All of them seem to be written for grownups. This makes as much sense as sending Twiggy to a sauna bath. The grownups I know have beautiful manners. It’s a joy to be in their company.

On the other hand, how many children are invited to catered [affairs]? Give a grownup a present for his [or her] birthday and he [or she will] be as happy as a hippy with a new string of beads. He [or she] doesn’t burst into tears and declare outrageously: ‘But I already have a Hot Wheels [or Barbie] case!’

Emily Post has wasted her energies on adults. She should have directed her talents to children. We’re all aware of little children’s charms. I have noticed this whenever I take my 4-year old with me.

I have yet to have the produce manager at the ‘A & P’ pat me on the head and offer me an apple. Nor has the bank teller offered me a sucker, only to hear me rapt: ‘But I want a purple one. I hate green!’

The experts claim children learn by example rather than precept. I wish they would then explain why a child would rather sit ON the table or UNDER it, when parents sit on chairs – with all four legs of that chair on the floor, yet!

Most parents hope to instill in their offspring, during infancy, the simple precept of keeping their fingers out of the Pablum; and accelerate it through teenage adolescence, with more sophisticated postulates of good table manners.

We then hope they come to know that forks are NOT for tapping table legs or catapulting peas off of somebody’s head. Heaven knows we parents try! Yet, children, in spite of their endearing young charms are not socially in demand.

Grandmothers do not invite them to spend the entire summer with them – a weekend, maybe! And you’re not about to serve fondue to them, at dinner because, for one thing, little children would rather build something out of their mashed potatoes than eat them.

The trouble with children is they fail to realize that parents are emotionally insecure. And the reason children must be taught to conform to basic social graces is that, someday, they too will be adults. They too will become attached to certain material objects they will respect and cherish and want others to respect and cherish…

Like plants and vases and ball point pens – that bicycles are very expensive and should not be left in the drive-way, where the garbage man might run over them.

A six-year old cannot understand, even though you’ve explained it to her 37 times why she cannot take your silver gravy ladle to the sandbox or your wiglet to ‘show-and-tell’. But just wait until you try to throw out a bald-headed Barbie doll, with a string missing from her back and [only] one leg.

Reasoning and civilized behavior are what distinguishes human beings from animals. We start to learn etiquette at a very young age – from our parents and family, as well as from institutions like schools, churches, and businesses.

There are a variety of different “codes of etiquette”, depending on diverse places and events – such as in a store, place of business, or corporation; during formal/informal “meetings”, at weddings and funerals, while dining/eating out, when talking on the phone, and even bathroom usage.

Kids are sponges. Teach them early about good behavior. It takes a village – so set good examples for them to follow! Etiquette is not written rules with which everyone HAS to comply, or else. However, there are consequences to bad behaviors, while good behaviors are rewarded. When we use good manners, life is so much more pleasant!

Etiquette teaches us how to behave appropriately and treat others respectfully, in any context – such as being a good neighbor and citizen. There’s also proper etiquette for travel, in workplaces and schools, and on the internet [aka: netiquette]. By the way, National Business Etiquette Week is the first full business week [Monday to Friday] in June.

‘I believe these people agree that there is a greater need to recognize decency and honesty, but in good taste; savoring dependability, unselfishness, compassion and, yes, good manners – all of which are basic to the good life for both the individual and the community.’ – Helen Hayes (in a commencement address). [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. 17).]


As seen in…

This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 8)


EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE a few good examples to follow at some time in their life. I’m fortunate to have found several… My next door neighbor is one good example to follow.

She’s the one [who’ll] take a cake to a new neighbor, to welcome them. And she’s the one [who’ll] collect for flowers if there’s a death in the neighborhood. She always waves when she sees another neighbor and always smiles. A good example!

My mother is another good example I’ve followed. Her best gift and her greatest asset is that she’s always been a patient listener and a wise advisor. She was absolutely loyal to my father, through all of his mistakes, in each of his blunders.

The world could turn their backs on her children but she would always be there for [us] when we needed her. She’s given me an example that’s going to be tough to equal. In time though, I hope that I can say I’ve had so many good examples to follow – I’ll try to be one, myself, to somebody else.

Have you noticed how much neighboring and neighborhoods have changed over the years? In the past, people used to bring their new neighbors casseroles or baked goods, just to introduce themselves and say, “Hi! Welcome to the neighborhood!” Years ago, neighbors often offered to help with the “move-in” or some other project.

Sometimes they’d stop by for a cup of coffee and some small talk, chatting about current events and asking questions about each other. According to, Neighborhood Etiquette used to include sharing things like tools and garden equipment, so everyone didn’t have to go out and buy expensive items that they didn’t often use.

Neighborhood parties and barbecues are becoming faded memories as people barely know their neighbors anymore. By the way, tomorrow is National Do Something Good for Your Neighbor Day. Let’s get back to being good neighbors!


All forms of good etiquette begin with “The Golden Rule” – treat others as you would like to be treated. We’ve been taught this since we were toddlers in a sandbox. Why does it seem like so many of us tend to forget about that once we age into the double digits?

According to Wikipedia’s analysis of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum (the author) “explains how the world would be improved if adults adhered to the same basic rules as children; i.e. sharing, being kind to one another, cleaning up after themselves, and living ‘a balanced life’ of work, play, and learning.” Basic etiquette.


In honor of Saturday, being National Pick Strawberries Day, and May, being National Strawberry Month, PLUS Wednesday, being National Juice Slush Day, here’s Mom’s copycat recipes for Strawberry Brutus and Brutus Orange Beverage, as seen in her self-published cookbook, The Second Helping Of Secret Recipes Cookbook – Revised (National Home News, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1978, 4th Printing; p. 17). Remember Brutus? He’s the one who “did in” Julius!



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


May celebrates, among other things… American Cheese Month, National Better Speech and Language Month, National Asparagus Month, National Barbecue Month, National Egg Month, National Hamburger Month, National Inventor’s Month, National Photography Month, National Salad Month, National Salsa Month, and National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!



The second full week in May [14th-20th of 2023] also celebrates… National Salvation Army Week and American Craft Beer Week! Additionally, National Bike to Work Week [14th-20th of 2023] is always the week of National Bike to Work Day, which is the 3rd Friday in May [19th for 2023]!

Today is also… National Chocolate Chip Day and National Nylon Stocking Day!

Tomorrow is… National Barbecue Day, National Love a Tree Day, National Mimosa Day, and National Biographer’s Day!

Wednesday, May 17th, is… National Pack Rat Day, National Cherry Cobbler Day, National Walnut Day, and National Idaho Day!

Thursday, May 18th, is… National Visit Your Relatives Day, National No Dirty Dishes Day, and National Cheese Soufflé Day!

May 19th, is… National Devil’s Food Cake Day! Plus, as the 3rd Friday in May (for 2023), it’s also… National Pizza Party Day, National Bike to Work Day, and National NASCAR Day!

May 20th, is… National Be a Millionaire Day, National Rescue Dog Day, and National Quiche Lorraine Day! Plus, as the 3rd Saturday in May(for 2023), it’s also… National Armed Forces Day and National Learn to Swim Day! 

Sunday, May 21st, is… National Waitstaff Day, National Strawberries and Cream Day, and National Memo Day!


…20 down and 32 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Smile Power

Happy Monday everyone! I hope today holds something about which you can smile. I always look forward to Mondays, myself, because they are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!



Today is the start of National Etiquette Week, which ends this Friday! Etiquette is a code of customs for polite manners and behaviors in society. Some examples of proper etiquette are saying “please” and “thank you” and “excuse me”, being punctual and professional and respectful, speaking with kindness and honesty, smiling at people and looking them in the eye, not interrupting others, giving compliments and not criticizing, as well as not being boastful or arrogant.

The list goes on and on! Reasoning and civilized behaviors are what distinguish human beings from animals. We start to learn etiquette at a very young age – from our parents and family, as well as from institutions like schools, churches, and businesses. There are many different codes of etiquette, depending on a variety of diverse places and events; such as corporations, meetings, weddings, funerals, dining and eating, talking on the phone, and even bathroom usage.

‘I believe these people agree that there is a greater need to recognize decency and honesty, but in good taste, savoring dependability, unselfishness, compassion and, yes, good manners – all of which are basic to the good life for both the individual and the community.’ – Helen Hayes (in a commencement address) [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. 17).]

Etiquette is similar to what we all learned in kindergarten. According to Wikipedia’s interpretation of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum (the author) “explains how the world would be improved if adults adhered to the same basic rules as children; i.e. sharing, being kind to one another, cleaning up after themselves, and living ‘a balanced life’ of work, play, and learning.”


‘Smile and the world smiles with you!’ – Stanley Gordon West

By the way, since smiling is a small part of good etiquette, I also want to mention that tomorrow is (among other things) National Smile Power Day! If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because we just celebrated National Smile Day two weeks ago! But who couldn’t use another reason for smiling? Smiling can practically cure what ails you or, at the very least, help you deal with “it” better.

The power of smiling – no matter if you’re the giver or receiver – activates certain networks in our brains that positively improves our feelings, attitudes, and mindsets; while reducing stress, anxiety, and tension. Smiling prompts the brain to reduce cortisol, while producing endorphins and serotonin, which simply makes you feel better, overall.

There are many scientific studies out there that show all the health benefits from smiling (and genuine laughing, which can’t be done without smiling)! It makes you feel good and feeling good makes you smile even more, which causes a chain reaction in people receiving a smile from someone else and paying it forward to others. It’s a good kind of contagion! BEST OF ALL – IT’S FREE!


This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 4)



When doctors told Norman Cousins that he had one chance in 500 to live, he remembered the old saying that ‘laughter [was] the best medicine’. Cousins then asked Allen Funt, producer of the TV show ‘Candid Camera’ to send him films of past ‘Candid Camera’ classics and a motion picture projector.

Cousins soon made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine laughter would give him at least two hours of pain-free sleep. Cousins and his doctors made the startling discovery that laughter not only eased his pain, but also produced measurable changes in his body chemistry – small but lasting drops in the dangerously high sedimentation rate of his red blood cells. [Cousins wrote:]

‘The life force may be the least understood force on Earth. William James said that human beings tend to live too far within self-imposed limits. It is possible that these limits will recede when we respect more fully, the natural drive of the human mind and body toward perfectibility and regeneration. Protecting and cherishing that natural drive may well represent the finest exercise of human freedom.’

The power of a smile can welcome a new friend or simply make people feel comfortable. One of the most attractive features of people, in general, is a genuine smile. It’s like an open invitation that says you’re friendly and want to relate with others. Additionally, smiling also gives the perception of being trustworthy and agreeable. A true smile shows others that you’re willing to cooperate and worthy of their time and attention.

Many things used to make Mom smile, even when she felt like she was at her wit’s end. Seeing her grandchildren and great-grandchildren was probably at the top of the list. Listening to music (anything from Frank Sinatra to Kenny Rodgers); watching uplifting, musical and comedic movies; reading her copies of The Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s Science And Health With Key To The Scriptures; as well as, journaling also ranked high on the list, too.

‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones.’ – Proverbs 17:22


Excerpts from…

This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 17)


I’VE NEVER HEARD of anyone ‘suffering’ from wrinkles caused by smiling too much. But look at all of the furrowed foreheads on folks who have frowned their way through life. We can smile because we’re friendly, or because we’re sympathetic, or because we’re easily humored – but the smile of simply being connected with life in general is something we each deny ourselves by CHOICE! The frustration sets in when we can’t find anyone to blame for our not being able to smile!

‘To make a smile come, they say, brings 13 muscles into play – while if you want to thrive, you’ve got to work up 35!’ – Gloria Pitzer

‘Happy is the person who has a good supply of the milk of human kindness and knows how to keep it from souring.’ – Gloria Pitzer


The exhilaration that comes from hearty laughter is the most satisfying ‘high’ one can experience. The small smiles that lead up to laughter is a good start in the direction of finding the humorous and the enjoyable aspects of life. What we witness can either be dismissed or retained in our thoughts. If it makes you smile – hold on to the thought!


One of Mom’s fondest memories that would make her smile was of her relationship, over the years, with the Phil Donahue Show people. While, at first, it was overwhelming and exhausting, even devastating to a point; but it grew to be one of the best things that ever happened to Mom as the “Secret RecipesTM Detective” and one of the most treasured times of her life!


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, pp. 95-96)


THOUGH MANY EVENTS drift through my mind, surprisingly enough, it is the ‘Donahue’ show I recall most frequently, when I consider turning points.

We were settling down in our new home in St. Clair, with the office in the basement. We outgrew that arrangement in the short time and then rented a large office up town. The books became more successful than we anticipated in the newsletter circulation was growing to over 10,000 subscribers…

We were receiving a few hundred letters a day, which will usually do, from the radio shows and newspaper stories that I have been involved with as a consultant on franchise foods. In the spring of 1981, Carol Haddix, who had transferred from the Detroit Free Press to become food editor at the Chicago Tribune, ran a story about us.

The Donahue show people called to request that we appear on their show as soon as we could arrange it. We had just finished a television appearance with PM magazine out of Detroit and another with Channel 4 in Detroit for the noon news and the response was so overwhelming that we were hoping to put off any further publicity until we could take care of the current response…

The Donahue show appearance will always remain the single most important part of our growing, of opening many doors that would have been otherwise close to us in the field and for allowing me to let my light shine. Now to keep on shining!

So on July 6th, Paul and I flew to Chicago, staying at the Hyatt O’Hare, and did the Donahue show vibe, for an entire hour, on July 7, flying back that same afternoon. In the airport, on the way to catch our plane back to Detroit, a woman came up to us all smiles and said she had just seen us on television, and we told her how to send for the books.

The next day, however, 15,000 letters were waiting for us at the St. Clair post office. And every day for four months we picked up thousands of letters, having received by Christmas, well over 1 million letters requesting information on how to acquire our books, which were still available only by mail from our address…



Fudge is another thing that always made Mom smile! Therefore, in honor of National Fudge Day coming up on Wednesday, June 16th, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for “Niagara Falls Fudge” like she always enjoyed at Maple Leaf Village in Niagara Falls, Ontario!

As seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 232)

[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…


June celebrates, among other things… National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, National Candy Month, National Camping Month, National Caribbean American Month, National Country Cooking Month, National Dairy MonthNational Great Outdoors Month, National Iced Tea Month, National Papaya Month, National Pollinators Month, National Soul Food Month, National Rose Month, and National Turkey Lovers Month!

Other observances happening this week include:

June 13-19 is National Little League Week and National Flag Week (which is always the week of National Flag Day)! Add an extra day for Men’s Health Week (which always starts the second Sunday in June & ends on Father’s Day)! The third week in June also observes Animal Rights Awareness Week and Universal Father’s Week!


Today, June 14th, is also… the U.S. Army’s Birthday, National Strawberry Shortcake Day, National Flag Day, National Bourbon Day, and National New Mexico Day!

Tuesday, June 15th, is… Nature Photography Day!

Thursday, June 17th, is… National Eat Your Vegetables Day, National Stewart’s Root Beer Day, National Apple Strudel Day, and National Cherry Tart Day!

Friday, June 18th, is… National Go Fishing Day, National Splurge Day, Wear BLUE Day (always on the Friday before Father’s Day), and National Take Back the Lunch Break Day (which is the third Friday in June)!

Saturday, June 19th, is… National Garfield the Cat Day, Juneteenth, and National Martini Day!

Sunday, June 20th, is… American Eagle Day, National Vanilla Milkshake Day, National Ice Cream Soda Day, Summer [Solstice] Begins (which is the longest Day of the Year), and National Seashell Day (which is the first Day of Summer)! As the third Sunday in June, it’s also Father’s Day and Turkey Lovers’ Day (plus, it’s Turkey Lovers’ Month, too)! Also, as the third Sunday in June, it’s the start of National Play Catch Week (June 20-26)!


…24 down and 28 to go!