Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Comebacks

Thank God Its Monday, once again, and happy April!  I personally look forward to every Monday because they’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you;. So #HappyMonday to one and all!


This Wednesday is the 30th anniversary of Mom’s SECOND appearance on the Phil Donahue show (in 1993)! I wrote about Mom’s experiences with the Donahue Show appearances a few years ago, in my blog post, Fortunate. That episode broke records!

Let me back-track a bit. The year, following Mom’s FIRST appearance on the Donahue Show, in July 1981, was probably the most chaotic time in the 40-year history of her family-run, dining room table, cottage-style operation. We didn’t expect, nor were we set up for over a million letters in response, requesting the free recipes offered on the show.

Secret RecipesTM was just A FAMILY AFFAIR! Other than one full-time Administrative Assistant, it was just my parents, taking care of the day-to-day operations of their self-publishing, mail-order, recipes business, with a little help, now and then, from me and my sisters, after school.

For months, following Mom’s 1981 appearance, the Donahue show re-aired that episode around the country and around the world and we received over a million letters; necessitating the need to bring in some extra help, including some of my high school friends, to assist with all of the extra mailings we had to prepare and send out.

We mailed out hundreds of thousands of Mom’s “free recipes and product-ordering information” sheets, in exchange for all the self-addressed stamped envelopes that poured in, per the offer they had announced on the Donahue show. We were also mailing out thousands more newsletter issues, from all of the new subscriptions that followed.

As chaotic as it was, in the end, Mom recognized that the Donahue Show opened a lot of doors for her that might never have happened, otherwise. It brought her unique style of “copycat cookery” to the attention of MILLIONS of new eyes, fairly quickly (as it was before household internet) worldwide. She felt very fortunate and grateful.


There’s no denying that Mom pioneered a ‘movement’, carving out a new niche in the food industry – “copycat cookery”. There was nothing else like it, at that time. Critics said the “fad” wouldn’t last long. But Mom inspired a crusade of “copycats”. Unfortunately, some went as far as copying Mom’s work, to the point of plagiarism, prompting legal battles.

The pressure of everything was straining Mom and Dad and tearing our family apart. [NOTE: April is National Stress Awareness Month!] Mom swore she’d never do another national TV show. However, she was talked into doing several more, over the years, including Donahue, AGAIN!

I LOOK BACK NOW… and realize how FORTUNATE I was to have had my life touched by so many helpful people – so many famous people! It’s almost incredible that what started out to be merely the frosting on the cake, of my monthly newsletter, soon became the whole cake! – Gloria Pitzer, Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 86)

When the producer of the Donahue Show called Mom, after 12 years, asking her to come back, in April 1993, Mom hesitantly agreed but only on the condition that they not give out any contact information for Secret RecipesTM or our family. That stipulation inadvertently resulted in a record-breaking event for the show!

The “Recipe Detective” episode had the most requested transcript, of all time, shattering the last record into tiny bits! The Donahue Show sent Mom a congratulatory letter and plaque to commemorate the historic event. Unfortunately, the show ended it’s 29-year stretch (1967-1996) a few years later, re-running the 1993 episode of Mom that year, too.

There are “grainy” recordings of the 1993, hour-long episode on YouTube, in a series of 5 segments. I wish I knew where I could find a recording or transcript from Mom’s July 7th, 1981, appearance. If anyone reading this knows, PLEASE, send me an email at: [email protected] – and thank you, in advance!


Among the many recipe demonstrations that Mom did on the Donahue Show, was her “Hopeless Twinkles©” version of James Dewar’s invention. By the way, Thursday is National Hostess Twinkie Day. See Mom’s copycat recipe for these, on the “Recipes” tab.

Did you know… Mom was the FIRST person (circa 1975) to develop a make-at-home version for imitating the cream-filled, golden-sponge-cake delight at home? Thus, I was surprised to find, when I searched for “twinkie recipes” on Google, Mom’s imitation wasn’t even listed in the first two pages of “About 1,520,000 results…”!

So MANY copycats have copied the ORIGINAL copycat – yet so FEW have given her the proper credit she deserves, for being the inventor of copycat cookery. On that note, I also searched for “Pitzer Twinkie recipe”. Mom’s recipe, from this website, which I first shared in a 2019 blog post, was the THIRD one listed, out of “About 161,000 results…”).

I was pleased to see many of the others listed in that search properly accredited Mom’s original Hopeless Twinkles© recipe. Additionally, I’d like to give a shout-out to, for printing a copy of one of Mom’s Twinkie imitations and also giving her proper credit! In my searches, I stumbled upon the following excerpt (pictured below), at


Did you know… on August 19th, 1919… William B. Ward registered the trademark name, Hostess, for his family’s company’s breads and cakes division? Additionally, it was James Dewar, while working for the Ward family at the Continental Baking Company, who invented the original Twinkie®.

Originally, when the baking company was founded in the early 1900s, it was called Ward Baking Company. Soon after, it was known as the Continental Baking Company. Then it was purchased by Interstate Bakeries Corporation and renamed Hostess Brands.

For a more in-depth history of the Ward family, their baking company, Dewar’s Twinkies® and the drama that surrounded all of them, check out a fascinating article (as written by Bloomberg News), on, about the Twinkie history, spiced with murder & scandal! I’ve included, below, the short story that Mom wrote about Dewar decades ago.

A little over 10 years ago (in November 2012), there was a big run on Twinkies®. Hostess Brands Company had announced it was going out of business and utter madness ensued, as Americans swarmed the stores and internet to buy every Twinkie® they could find!

Some were being auctioned on eBay for THOUSANDS of dollars – and people were paying it! Our Canadian neighbors still had Hostess Brands in their country. They were laughing at us and joking about the lengths to which Americans would go, to get their hands on the suddenly-hard-to-find, coveted Twinkies®.

A spokesperson for Hostess Brands sarcastically asked the media where all of those Hostess enthusiasts were BEFORE they had to file for bankruptcy.

TO DEBUNK THE JUNK…don’t think of Hostess Twinkies as ‘junk’ dessert but, rather, the very same cake ingredients prepared in the Waldorf Astoria kitchens as the basis for their ‘Flaming Cherries Supreme’. All we did [to imitate the product] was shape the cake differently, adding a little body to the filling and putting it INSIDE the cake, rather than on top, as the Waldorf did! – Gloria Pitzer, Eating Out at Home (National Home News, St. Clair, MI; Sep. 1978, p. 3)




Today’s also National Find a Rainbow Day. Likewise, it’s the National Month of Hope! A quote on, claims rainbows are considered symbols of beauty, as well as signs of hope and promise. When April showers come and the sun’s rays are opposite them, in the sky, look for the beautiful “arc of many colors”, created by Mother Nature.

Scientifically, they’re simply made from a combination of elements – like the sun being opposite the rain, in the sky, and “reflections and refractions of light” in the droplets of water. This can also be imitated in your backyard, on a sunny day, with a garden hose, spraying water. Try it!


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. 34)


IT HAS BEEN SAID that ‘when God closes a door, He opens a window’ – for those who have the wit to discover it. Among the ill, the handicapped, the disfigured… are an astonishing number of people who have found their ‘windows’. In quiet resurrections, they have risen out of their pain and despair and shattered hopes to new ambitions, new satisfactions and new happiness.

Though largely unsung, these men and women have in them the stuff of heroes! Their battles of necessity are fought alone… in endless hours and days and months. But, in these battles, they somehow develop a special kind of courage and, sooner or later, the breakthrough comes. Then, in spite of all the odds against them, they dare to say: ‘I may not have much candle left but, with what I have, I’ll shed a light.’

So, if you can’t be a lighthouse be a candle! Let your light shine so that those on whom it may fall, will be blessed; and, like a springboard, bounce right back to make you feel good about it…

This made me think – besides being a light, “BE A RAINBOW” to someone! Shine beauty on them, giving hope and a promise for betterment of whatever may need it.


In honor of TODAY, being World Party Day, here’s Mom’s copycat recipe for “Prince Charles’ Skillet Strata”; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 135). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition)].



Having an incurable curiosity, it follows that I should find the study of nutrition and the importance certain foods have in our diet, a very interesting endeavor, of which I have never tried. THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW TO LEARN, some new information, interesting discoveries to make cooking a positive pursuit. – Gloria Pitzer [Gloria Pitzer’s Mixed Blessings – Recipes & Remedies (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; March 1984), p. 15)]

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


April observes, among other things… Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, National Couple Appreciation Month, National Decorating Month, National Fresh Celery Month, National Garden Month, National Humor Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Soy Foods Month, National Poetry Month, National Pecan Month, National Volunteer Month, and National Scottish-American Heritage Month!

The first full week of April is… National Public Health Week! [April 2nd-8th (for 2023)]

[NOTE: Lent began on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22nd (2023), and runs through Thursday, April 6th; with Easter Sunday, following on April 9th (2023).]

April 3rd-7th (2023) is also… National Wildlife Week! [The national DAY observance is Sep. 3rd (for 2023).]

Today is also… National Chocolate Mousse Day!

Tomorrow is… National Chicken Cordon Bleu Day, National Hug a Newsperson Day, National School Librarian Day, and National Vitamin C Day!

April 5th is… Gold Star Spouses Day, National Caramel Day, National Deep Dish Pizza Day, National Nebraska Day, National Raisin and Spice Bar Day, National Read a Road Map Day! Plus, as the first Wednesday in April (for 2023), it’s also… National Walking Day!

April 6th is… National Caramel Popcorn Day, New Beer’s Eve, and National Teflon Day! Plus, as the first Thursday in April (for 2023), it’s also… National Burrito Day!

Friday, April 7th is… National Beer Day, National Coffee Cake Day, National No Housework Day, and Good Friday (for 2023)!

Saturday, April 8th is… National All is Ours Day and National Zoo Lovers Day!

Sunday, April 9th is… National Cherish an Antique Day, National Chinese Almond Cookie Day, and Easter Sunday (for 2023)!


…14 down and 38 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Faith, Hope, & Love

Happy Monday, once again! I, myself, look forward to all Mondays! They’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you!



Last week, I discussed turning points in Mom’s life that directed her journey to being The Recipe DetectiveTM. Mom always accredited these turning points, which she often referred to as “meant-to-be’s”, to being part of God’s plan for her. Mom’s faith was a HUGE part of who she was!

Everything Mom wrote contained messages of faith, hope, and love that she referred to as “food for the soul” – interwoven with a bushel-and-a-peck of humor, her “Food for Thought” articles (from columns she used to syndicate), and “food for the table” recipes. The combination, along with Mom’s other artistic talents, set her publishings apart from any other’s!

In sharing her story and legacy of being The Recipe DetectiveTM, since this is the National Month of Hope, I thought I should also incorporate stories of Mom’s own faith, hope, and love; since that’s just as much a part of who she was, as were her writing and other talents.


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, pp. 104-105)


MY OLDER SISTER, Hazel, was about 12-years old when [the doctors] told Dad she had polio and probably would not live more than a year. Medical science had done all it could for her. She was unable to eat, to even get out of bed, and she was frail and weak…

Dad was clinging to just a thread of hope and willing to try anything that would help Hazel recover. He once told her, he would if he could, give her diamonds if she would just eat again, like a normal child. Finally, he took a step that turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to our family, and to Hazel.

Dad had known of a cousin who had become a serious student of Christian Science having studied under its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, in Boston, when the cousin was quite young. Dad knew that his cousin had experienced some remarkable healing through the study of this Science, so he took a chance that a visit to her might offer him some hope that Hazel could also be healed of polio through it…

It certainly was a turning point in their lives, for within a year she was completely recovered, restored to perfect health, without even a trace of a limp – no braces on her legs, no crutches. The medical authorities who had originally discharged her from school, readmitted her with astonishment and disbelief.

From that time on, Dad was absolutely devoted to the study of Christian Science, and it was my mother’s deep and abiding faith that served to then inspire me in my adult years, as she also adopted it as her own [faith] when she married my dad. Dad could never understand why any of his children would stray from its teachings as we reached adulthood.

But how proud he would be, today, to see that we have returned to it, without so much as even a backward glance or entertaining any regrets. Each new day is unfoldment and inspiration, finding new meaning to life because of a broader outlook, a deeper sense of prayerful appreciation for God’s perfect plan for each one of us!


A few years ago [in the mid-1980s], in fact, I learned that neither magic nor medicine could make my problems go away, nor even relieve me, temporarily, from physical torment and mental anguish. Doctors and tests and expensive medication did not help.

So, in desperation, I turned again to that faith by which I had been raised, discarding then and there every material, medical aid; much of which I was addicted to in the form of tranquilizers and sleeping aids.

I dumped it all into the garbage, one day – the cigarettes, of which I smoked nearly 3 packs a day for years; and all of the assorted kinds of alcohol, to which I had come to depend so much on, and without which at night I could not fall asleep, along with the medication the doctor said would never cure whatever it was that physically weakened me for several years and caused my heart to race periodically without warning.

The medicine that was supposed to help me was, instead, making me helpless. I sat down on the steps of the office and cried. I told Paul I could not go on like that any longer. So I phoned a friend who was a Christian Scientist and I asked her to give me the name and phone number of a registered practitioner from her Journal, which she did.

I called one, asking him if he would take my case. He did and it was the beginning for me of a brand-new life. Day by day, moment by moment, since that turning point I returned to normal health and energy, progressively free from the many unresolved fears and pain that seem to preoccupy me for such a long time. One step after the other, I gained confidence, courage and character. My cup runneth over and over and over!

A lot of stories Mom wrote were about finding the blessings in any given day or moment; good and bad, alike. That’s just how she was raised, being grateful for something, everyday – not just for Life’s gifts, but also for Life’s challenges. That which she confronted and overcame, empowered her to do more rather than discouraged her to fail. Failure was never an option Mom’s faith would allow in!

Besides being grateful for something every day, Mom would also strive to learn something new every day. She looked at every day as a defining moment, in which the combination of experience, faith, and knowledge can positively influence one’s personal evolutions.

Mom was a devout Christian – born and bred in the Christian Science faith, with Jewish and Lutheran influences, as well. No matter what the problems and struggles she faced, she never lost hope that it was all a part of “God’s plan” for her. She would always try to find something, from which to learn and for which to be grateful.

‘You have not failed until you quit trying.’ Gordon B. Hinckley

Mom held fast to hope, faith, and love; trudging through whatever she had to face, to get where she needed to be. Mom not only wrote daily about her faith in her personal journals but also in all of her cookbooks and newsletters. She shared it publicly and openly, with hopes of inspiring others – to be a candle, if not a lighthouse!


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)

Happy Easter (in advance)!


In honor of TODAY, being National Pet Day, here are some of Mom’s secret recipes for homemade pet foods. Having been part of her original catalog of 200+ recipe cards, they were reprinted in her self-published cookbook… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 44).


By the way, National Pet Parents Day is coming soon, too!


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


Some of April’s observances include… National Records and Information Management Month, Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, National Couple Appreciation Month, National Decorating Month, National Fresh Celery Month, National Garden Month, National Humor Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Soy Foods Month, National Poetry Month, Scottish-American Heritage Month, and Stress Awareness Month!

As the second full week of April (2022), it’s also… National Library Week, which includes… National Education and Sharing Day (today), National Library Workers Day (Tuesday), National Bookmobile Day (Wednesday), and National Library Workers Day (Saturday)!

Today is also… National Cheese Fondue Day and National Submarine Day!

April 12th is… National Colorado Day, National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, and National Licorice Day! 

April 13th is… National Make Lunch Count Day, National Peach Cobbler Day, and National Scrabble Day!

April 14th is… National Gardening Day, National Reach as High as You Can Day, and National Look Up at the Sky Day! It’s also… National Pecan Day AND National Pecan Month! Thus, here’s a re-share of Mom’s imitation of Pecan Pie, Like Big Boy’s!


April 15th is… National Banana Day, National Glazed Spiral Ham Day, National Rubber Eraser Day, and Good Friday (for 2022)!

April 16th is… National Eggs Benedict Day!

April 17th is… National Ellis Island Family History Day, National Cheeseball Day, and Easter (for 2022)! Plus, as the start of the third full week of April (2022), it’s also… National Volunteer Week; which goes with April being National Volunteer Month, too!


…15 down and 37 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Home Is Where Our Health Is

Happy Monday and happy April to one and all! #TGIM – I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year to share my memories of Mom!

“Home is where the heart is…” – a very old proverb, which was originally attributed to “Pliny the Elder” (A.D. 23-79). The proverb has many interpretations. For so many people, “home” is not necessarily a structure but, rather, wherever we are, as long as we’re with our loved ones. “Home-sweet-home” memories are deeply ingrained in many of our hearts, like a Norman Rockwell painting.

It’s nearly impossible to forget whatever our individual interpretations of “home” is in our lives. However, nowadays, that proverb is taking on a whole new meaning and interpretation, as Michigan, like many other states, is under a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order; meaning we should all stay home, only going out for ESSENTIAL things, like food and medicine. As we try to flatten this pandemic curve, it’s becoming more and more like “Home is where our health is!” Additionally, many are now learning more and more about “DIY” and self-sufficiency skills.


Still, so many people just aren’t adhering to the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order that many of us are under because they are more concerned about their constitutional rights being infringed upon than the health and welfare of their families, neighbors, communities and other surrounding communities as well. To those I say, “GET OVER IT!” Just bite the bullet and do what NEEDS to be done. It’s only for a little while, IF WE ALL PARTICIPATE! “This, too, shall pass!” Remember, everything in life is temporary – including life, itself.

Shout out, one more time, to, for their uplifting article, “7 Ways To Stay Strong When Everything Goes Wrong”. It’s five years old but timeless, as it really applies to the current, challenging days that we’re all facing. I found this passage particularly inspiring:

Remind yourself that everything in life is temporary. Every time it rains, it stops raining.  Every time you get hurt; you heal.  After darkness there is always light – you are reminded of this every morning… So if things are good right now, enjoy it.  It won’t last forever.  If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either.  Just because life isn’t easy at the moment, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh.  Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile.  Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending.  You get a second chance, every second.  You just have to take it and make the best of it.”

For the last few weeks of March, at the end of my blog posts, I’ve been promoting getting a jump-start on two of April’s national month-long observances, #NationalMonthOfHope & #StressAwarenessMonth because, more than ever, as says, regarding stress awareness, “we are all challenged to keep our stress levels low, and our peace levels high.”



The month of April is also celebrating national observances for lawns, gardens and landscapes – among other things! Gardening can be very therapeutic if you’re feeling stressed out and/or cooped up. With extra time on our hands these days, my husband and I are able to dedicate more time than usual to our annual outdoor spring cleanup and garden bed prepping duties.

Besides the fresh air and sunshine being a great mood-lifter, I find gardening to be a great stress reliever, as well as a wonderful low-impact exercise. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, our new norm has many people wanting to learn more about homesteading, self-sufficiency and growing their own groceries. I wrote a blog post called “Grow & Make Your Own Groceries” in March of 2019. It’s a great subject to revisit!

In their off-season, I re-purpose my Christmas deer lawn ornaments as trellises in my vegetable garden! They’re great for various vining plants like cucumbers and squash AND I don’t have to worry about storing them.

20 Everyday Activities and the Calories They Burn by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd. (as seen on  claims that pushing the lawn mower for 1 hour can burn 324 calories; plus, spending 30 minutes raking up the clippings will burn another 171 calories.


That article also suggests that picking up yard-waste can, ironically, reduce your waist size; advocating that 4 hours of hard work, cleaning up the yard, burns about 1,800 calories! That’s 450 calories per hour! Additionally, 2 hours of gardening burns about 648 calories or more, depending on the specific activity involved. The added perk is growing your own healthy herbs, fruits and vegetables at a much lower cost than going to the grocery store. Now is the season to start your gardening!

I’ve mentioned before that one of my personal favorites of Mom’s self-published cookbooks is The Secrets of Homemade Groceries (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Sep. 1979) – aka: “Book 5”. The cookbook is no longer in print, but I have seen some used copies on, both, eBay and Amazon. When I was a young mother and struggling to make ends meet, money was tight, and the pantry was often close to bare! Much like now, due to the food (and money) shortages going on during this pandemic.

Mom’s “Homemade Groceriescookbook was always my go-to-source AND still is! It teaches me how to make a lot of my favorite grocery products at home; as well as, how to stretch or extend other products, saving me quite a bit of money on my monthly grocery expenses for a family of five!

First 5 books of the Secret Recipes Collection


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 12)


THE FAMILY IS IMPORTANT to this troubled world that seems not to know what direction to go in for comfort and relief. So, I cater, in our publications, mostly to this family, with all of the old-fashioned values I can gather and still not sound corny or even ‘preachy’!

That for which I am most grateful, however, as I see how our family has worked together in helping us to build this dining room table enterprise into a substantial and professional operation, is the friendship that has grown over the years between [Paul, me and] the five children…my cup runneth over!

There’s a renewed movement to make a lot of things at home. Not only can we control the ingredients for a particular diet/lifestyle that way but, also, save money too! That is, basically, what inspired Mom to write that particular cookbook in the first place. Back in 1979, a lot of people were getting concerned, and rightly so, with all the additives that are put into our convenient, shelf-stable, grocery products. Furthermore, we can usually save money, making it ourselves – as long as we don’t add the value of our time into the equation!

The “work” of homemakers and the value of their time is often taken for granted by their families. However, the services they provide could earn a substantial salary in the open market – chef, maid/housekeeper, laundress, nanny, teacher, chauffeur, personal shopper, secretary, counselor, nurse, groundskeeper and gardener. In addition to these skills, homemakers also contribute a lot more to the home and family of which no amount of money can fill the needs.

According to Porcshe Moran, in her enlightening article, “How Much is a Stay-At-Home Parent Worth?”, a homemaker [aka: stay-at-home-parent] could earn an annual salary of about $178,201, according to 2019 data she obtained from The following picture shows the data I obtained through and regarding the average salaries paid, in Michigan, for the above-mentioned homemaker skills.

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, there weren’t readily available services for chefs, maids, laundresses, nannies, teachers, chauffeurs, personal shoppers, secretaries, counselors, nurses, groundskeepers and gardeners – people did for themselves. About the only food things that were usually purchased at the “General Store”, for the homestead kitchen, were the “staples” that most people couldn’t make, themselves; such as flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cornstarch, etc. Most homesteaders were self-sufficient in, at least, the basic things to survive.

If we didn’t catch it or kill it, ourselves, fish was purchased at the fish market; while foul, farm and other meats were bought at the butcher shop. Likewise, if we didn’t have our own cow or goat to milk or hens from which to gather eggs, fresh dairy products were usually delivered to our homes by the local creamery. Additionally, since we can’t all be bakers, fresh baked goods could be procured at the local bakery. Similarly, if we couldn’t grow our own, we went to the farmer’s market for fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables.


As seen in…

The Secrets of Homemade Groceries (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Sep. 1979, p. 1)

Many people feel that life is uphill all the way. They fail to look at the things that are good, enjoyable and worthwhile. They are conscience only of the climb. No road is ever uphill forever! We should soon learn the importance of being able to also come downhill without fear and be able to notice the scenery along the road, too.

Going through life without noticing the scenery and trying to see some of the beauty that is there – waiting to be recognized – reminds me of running ‘helter-skelter’, up and down the supermarket aisles, without seeing the ABUNDANCE that is there. Just take a moment to look at the heart-breaking plight of starving people in many parts of the world and, then, take a good look at the aisles and aisles of food available in this country! [Written in 1979.]

We have so much available to us here…many people fill their backyards each spring with flowers and shrubs, when they could easily plant food-seeds instead, thus cutting something off that weekly grocery bill!

‘The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.’Aldous L. Huxley, English Writer and Philosopher (b. 1894, d. 1963)

What happened to us, as a society? We’ve become a too-busy-with-other-things, instant-gratification-and-convenience-overloaded culture! About half a century ago, we evolved into times when both parents, in a family unit, had to work to make ends meet. The value of time changed dramatically, especially for the homemaker. Self-sufficiency and homesteading became a dying skill among many of the newer generations, who’ve opted to spend their time differently in exchange for conveniences – even to the extent of wanting more and more convenient food products.

Too many families are struggling to survive, right now; and it’s predicted to get worse before it gets better. Before this pandemic, there wasn’t enough time for a lot of people to make things from scratch, as they chose to spend their time on other things. We opened the door for convenient, processed foods in order to save us some time (instead of money), as time suddenly became a more valuable commodity. We still have about 16-18 “waking hours” in our days, every day. At some point, we just started prioritizing them differently – and now we must do it all over again, given our new norms these days.

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

‘Any change, even change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.’Arnold Bennett, English Novelist (b.1867, d.1931)

The ‘high demand’,overhead costs’ and ‘expected profits’ that are added to the prices of ‘convenience’ food products are what kill us at the grocery store check-outs! The lack of real nutrition that’s missing from these manufactured goods are not benefiting our health any either. They’re loaded with unnatural shelf-life stabilizers, none of which are found in homemade groceries, where YOU control the ingredients!

Most of Mom’s cookbooks focused on imitating fast food, junk food and restaurant dishes at home – except for “Book 5”, which deals exclusively with homemade grocery products and “extenders”. This exceptional cookbook includes some principles of canning and freezing foods, as well as making your own mixes, sauces and seasonings at a great financial savings compared to buying them at the store! Although, sometimes, we just can’t financially or physically afford convenience. The concept of homemade was hugely popular once and is, now, making another comeback.


In honor of National Beer Day, which is tomorrow, the following beer cake recipe was quite a popular choice from among Mom’s “Original 200” recipes.

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

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


REMINDER: suggests that we… “Stop shaming Monday and look at what Monday has to offer… 52 CHANCES to see a beautiful sunrise… share your talents with the world… teach someone a new skill that will better their lives…” For me, it’s 52 CHANCES to tell Mom’s story and, hopefully, ignite happy memories for others; while re-inspiring love in the kitchen, in the home and family, throughout the neighborhood and around the world…

…14 down, 38 to go!