By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Eating Out at Home (National Home News, St. Clair, MI; September 1978)


1 (20-oz) can pineapple chunks, in heavy syrup

¼ cup + 3 TB melted butter or margarine

½ cup brown sugar, packed

1 ½ cups sifted flour

½ cup granulated sugar

2 ¼ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp salt

¼ tsp mace [pepper]

1 egg, beaten

2/3 cup pineapple syrup

½ tsp grated lemon peel


Grease sides of a 6-cup ring mold. Drain pineapple, reserving syrup (add water, if needed, to equal 2/3 cup). Combine 3TB of the melted butter/margarine with the brown sugar, in bottom of the mold. Add pineapple chunks and set aside.

Resift flour with the sugar, baking powder, salt, and mace [pepper]. Add egg, pineapple syrup, ¼ cup of the melted butter/margarine, and lemon peel. Blend well, for 1 minute, by hand. Spoon batter over pineapple chunks, in mold. Bake in center of oven at 350°F for 35-40 minutes.

Cake should spring back when touched lightly. A small, wooden skewer inserted in the center should come out clean when cake is done. Let stand 10 minutes then invert over serving plate. Best when served warm. Makes 8 servings.


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Volunteers Raise A Village

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Volunteers Raise A Village

Happy Monday and happy National Volunteer Week to everyone! I always love to celebrate Mondays because they are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!


April is still celebrating, among other things, National Volunteer Month; which came to be, in 1991, through President Bush’s “1000 Points of Light” campaign. Additionally, yesterday was the beginning of National Volunteer Week, which started in 1974 and is always observed throughout the 3rd full week of April!

Volunteers can be ANYONE – you don’t have to be a certain age or have a lot of money or time on your hands, nor do you need to have any special talents or skills. These unpaid workers are priceless helpers and undoubtedly the most unsung heroes of all time, helping to keep so many organizations and communities running!

We’re taught from generation to generation, the importance of volunteering… Paying it forward… Giving back to our communities and beyond! From the small-town, rural countryside to large metropolises, communities would not be able to completely function without volunteers, selflessly making a BIG difference.

In fact, most rural emergency services, like fire and medical, are staffed almost completely through the generous efforts of its community members. The service of volunteering is often woven into kids’ after school programs, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or the Campfire Boys & Girls Club. Additionally, it is also the summer-vacation-cornerstone of many college bound, high schoolers’ resumes.

This past year has had an influx of people, giving their time (since they’ve had more of it to give) and talents, doing “good deeds” for others, and helping out those who’ve had greater needs than themselves. Likewise, many people have also stepped up to the plate by donating things like tablets (and other such electronic devices), PPE, money, food, and other needs.

National Volunteer Week presents a special opportunity for all of us to thank our local volunteers – AND also to join them, in some way, as they are setting great inspirational examples for us to follow. Mom used to say, “The most valuable gift you can give is to be a good example!” While this past year has seen some dark, sorrowing days amidst the Covid-19 pandemic; it also seems to have brought out some of the best volunteers and “good examples” in more of us than ever before.

‘I’ve had so many good examples to follow – I’ll try to be one, myself, to somebody else.’ – Gloria Pitzer, This Is Not A Cook Book, (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 8)


Excerpts, written 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. 34 & 50)


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… There’s an old English verse [pictured below] that always comes back to me when I think of how nice it would be if this were not a ‘keep-your-distance’ and ‘don’t get me involved’ world!…


PEOPLE NOWADAYS GIVE up too easily. They’ll donate a dollar to an anonymous recipient of any given charity but won’t give two words to an offended neighbor – the two most important words of successfully living side-by-side – ‘I’m sorry.’ [NOTE: Some other great pairs include ‘let’s talk’, ‘you’re forgiven’, ‘thank you’, and ‘you’re welcome’.]

You don’t throw away the patient because the bandage needs changing. You try again… and again for some common ground of understanding. Otherwise, how will we, as a society, ever be able to love our neighbors across the world, until we have first learned to love those across the street?

‘THE GREATEST WASTE in the world is the difference between what we are, and what we could be!’ Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 10)


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. 10)


WE EACH HAVE A TALENT with which we can make others happy, if only we’re willing to use these! Too often we make the mistake, though, of thinking because we can do ONE thing well, we can do other things well, too. Not always so! For instance, I’m told that I have a good radio voice. A fellow once called in to the Larry Lick Show over WHLS [radio] in Port Huron [Michigan] to tell me he liked my voice so much that if I would consent to sing with his orchestra, he’d hire me in a minute.

Although I was terribly flattered, I felt compelled to admit that I sing so badly, that the only time I ever tried to sing in public, I was arrested for loitering in front of an orchestra! It was never my aptitude to sing, and I realized that as soon as I saw my husband rushing out into the street every time I would sing in the shower. He wanted the neighbors to know he wasn’t beating me!

‘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…

This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 24)


DON’T EXPECT THE WORLD to think you’re wonderful just because you do something ‘good’ – for someone else! Good people do good things all of the time – everyday, and no one [gives] them [a pat] on the back for it. You have to do good – not for what others are going to think of you, but what you’re going to think of yourself!

If you get a kick out of doing something good for somebody… do it! But don’t expect any rewards or special recognition for having gone out of your way. Every once in a while you may be complimented for something good that you’ve done, and that’s very nice.

But most of the time, whatever you do is to make yourself feel better about what has to be done, or what should be done! It’s not a matter of conscience, but of compassion. Either you have it, or you don’t!

‘Life’s most precious gifts don’t come in packages. They come from the heart, wrapped in love.’ – Gloria Pitzer


Excerpts from…

This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 29)


WE SEEM TO BE living in a ‘keep-your-distance’ and ‘don’t-get-me-involved’ world! People who are potentially caring, compassionate individuals should, but don’t always, care about each other! Some people profess to accept this kind of relationship with others. Some people profess to accept this kind of relationship with others.

They endorse the indifference of people who make no demands on each other, who offer no depth, no devotion and no dimension in their relationship. And, by golly… a lot of people are willing and able to settle for cardboard communication when, with a little effort on their own [part, they] could have a perfectly lovely, lasting experience with another potentially caring human being!


ONE OF THE GREATEST and most comforting of truths is that when one door closes, another opens. But too often we look so long and regretfully upon that closed door that we just cannot see the one that has been opened for us. Defeat is nothing but education in disguise!

It’s the first step we take toward something better than we had been experiencing. The opened door is a challenge and, yes, even a chance, that things may not be any better for us by going through it into a new experience. It just might lay a treasure at our feet that we never expected to find.

Every time a door closes in your life, don’t be so consumed in your own disappointments that you fail to see the door that is open – waiting for you to walk through it.


I was watching the Today show last week when they were interviewing Ali Stroker, a wonderful young writer. Al Roker asked her about her philosophy for a “what can I give” rather than “what am I getting” attitude, which she generously accredited to her boyfriend. Nonetheless, I was really impressed with her aphorism that if “you’re busy serving everyone else at the table, you just have to trust that, at the end, your plate will be full.”


REMINDER: NEXT MONDAY, April 26th, is my regular monthly visit on the Good Neighbor” show, with Kathy Keene! The show airs from 11am to 1pm, Central Time; I’m usually on during the first half hour of the show. If you’re not in the Appleton, WI area, to find the station on your radio, you can listen to the broadcast, live or later, through WHBY’s website!



In honor of National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day, here is Mom’s secret recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Coffeecake; as seen in her self-published book…

Eating Out At Home Cookbook (National Home News; St. Clair, MI; Sep. 1978, p. 32)

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


APRIL IS STILL, among other things… National Month of Hope, Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, National Autism Awareness 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 Straw Hat Month, National Poetry Month, National Pecan Month, Scottish-American Heritage Month, and Stress Awareness Month!

Some other celebrations for this week include the following:

Today is also… National Amaretto Day, National Garlic Day, National Hanging Out Day, and National North Dakota Day!

Tuesday, April 20th, is… National Cheddar Fries Day, National Lima Bean Respect Day, and National Look Alike Day! I can’t let that slide by without sharing this picture of me and my siblings on Christmas 1967! Mom made the matching outfits for me and my two sisters.


Wednesday, April 21st, is… National Chocolate Covered Cashews Day and National Kindergarten Day!

Thursday, April 22nd, is… National Earth Day, National Girl Scout Leader’s Day, National Jelly Bean Day, National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day [4th Thursday in April], and National Teach Children To Save Day [Changes Annually – April 22, 2021]!

Friday, April 23rd, is… National Cherry Cheesecake Day, National Picnic Day, and National Take a Chance Day! This is also the 36th birthday of my first born… my son, Paul Michael… Happy birthday, Honey!

Saturday, April 24th, is… National Pigs in a Blanket Day; PLUS, being the last Saturday in April, it’s also… National Kiss of Hope Day, National Pool Opening Day, National Rebuilding Day, and National Sense of Smell Day!

Sunday, April 25th, is… National DNA Day, National East Meets West Day, National Telephone Day, National Zucchini Bread Day, and National Pet Parents Day (which is always the last Sunday in April)! It’s also the start of Preservation Week (which is the last week in April)!


…16 down and another 36 to go!


Mondays & Memories of My Mom – The Quarantine Effect

Happy Monday to all! Whether you’re quarantined, staying home and staying safe, or working the “front-line”, I urge you to make the most of your Monday! Personally, I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year to share memories of my mom with all of you – #TGIM!

Staying fit and staying healthy, while staying home and staying safe, has become a recent focus for many who are beginning to see, what I’m calling, #TheQuarantineEffect; which is a weight-gaining side effect from the stay-at-home orders being followed nationwide – even worldwide. That’s why the hashtag, #Quarantine15, is on the rise.

The “Quarantine 15” effect began trending around mid-March, as people started “Tweeting” stories about their weight gain, during all of the “stay home, stay safe” orders; from their mindless, couch-potato-binging to anxiety and stress related munching. The weight gain was commonly compared to the “Freshman 15”; which is the average weight students usually gain during their first year at college and away from home. It’s generally due to their on-the-go-eating routines of ready-to-eat fast food and junk food products.

Over-eating is a common response to stress and anxiety! Historically, food has usually been a comfort source for most people, especially when they experience fear and worry. Besides hoarding toilet paper and cleaning products, many Americans have been stock piling snacks and junk food to enjoy while stuck at home. However, that allotment, which would ordinarily last a household a month, is now disappearing within a week or two!

There are so many articles and videos to be found on the internet about healthy eating and cooking, wise food choices and home exercise routines, from which we can derive all kinds of inspiration. While our lives have taken a sudden detour and changed our sense of normalcy, we must all remember that it’s only temporary. Some of us may see these self-quarantine orders go on for months, or even into next year, but it’s still only temporary.

While looking for inspiration for myself, recently, I found “How to not Gain Weight During the Coronavirus Lockdown”, written by Doree Lewak (; March 17, 2020), which gives some great advice on how to “stop the Open Mouth, Insert Food stress-snacking cycle”! I wish I had read it a month and 10 pounds ago. However, as the old adage goes, “better late than never!”

‘Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Half effort does not produce half results. It produces no results! Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.’ – Hamilton Holt


Mom and I have, both, struggled with “yo-yo weight” for most of our lives. One diet after another left us wondering why they seemed to work for other people, but not for us! Unfortunately, our mindsets (as with so many others) were to only diet until we got to our desired goals. There was never really any long-term plan for after that, other than to buy new clothes – or get out the “old size” clothes from previous diets, of which we never entirely disposed.

Once at our goal, we’d slowly forget about the discipline that got us there and start allowing ourselves to slack a little bit. One food “reward” here, another there and before we knew it, we’d fall back into our old habits; regaining what we had lost and then some, as we further sabotaged ourselves with our own excuses for failure.

Nevertheless, we did find a diet that helped us – when we worked it – Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution by Robert C. Atkins, M.D. (Bantam Books; Oct. 1981). We discovered, from Dr. Atkins’ book, that we have a carbohydrate intolerance. Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution is not a quick “weigh-fix” solution. It’s actually a low-carb lifestyle commitment. Thus, it only works if you work it, and only for as long as you work it! Truth be told, though, neither of us made the lifetime commitment to it previously.

However, about 13 months ago, on the first day of Spring 2019, I embraced the low-carb lifestyle with commitment; eventually, limiting my carb-intake to 25 grams a day, max. My goal was to lose 50 pounds AND maintain it! Being hypoglycemic, borderline diabetic and 55 pounds overweight, at the time, I felt 20 years older than I should have felt. That’s why I finally decided to make the lifestyle change commitment, much like I did when I quit smoking cigarettes almost 14 years ago.

I realized that I was only cheating myself whenever I made bad choices on what I ate and/or how much I ate for meals and snacks. After all, I was the one who was freely buying, preparing and consuming the food. There was no one to blame but myself. So, I came to terms with the release of my carb-addiction, in much the same way as I released tobacco from my lifestyle – based on the book, The Easy Way To Stop Smoking, by Allen Carr (Sterling Publishing Company, NY, NY; Sept. 2004).

I had to mentally accept that this was going to be a permanent change for me – a lifestyle – not just until I reached my weight loss goal. I did reach my weight-loss goal and I know, if I ever go back to my old lifestyle, I will also go back to my old weight. So, I try to continue to make wise choices in what I consume. However, with all the fall-out from the pandemic, stress is up, and I stopped watching HOW MUCH I ate. While I was still making low-carb choices, every little bit added up!  “Everything in moderation” is the best rule by which to live, but it’s easier said than done these days.

I made it through the holidays and winter without the weight gain I would usually procure. But, recently, with the stress and anxiety over the Covid-19 pandemic, I stopped counting my carbs and gained back 10 pounds, thus far, in the past month. The wildfire-like spread of this virus, around the world, and the resulting quarantines, health threats, business closures, job losses, and so much more is a lot for anybody to handle.

My mom was the first to develop homemade, make-alike versions of fast food and junk food products. The great thing about Mom’s recipes, at least with most of them, is that they can be tailored to many different diet restrictions. I’ve been putting my own low-carb adjustments on Mom’s (and others’) recipes for the past year, with some success; sharing a few of them within my blog posts.

‘You’ll be amazed at the number of recipes you can duplicate in your own kitchen – and those you can, at least, come close to imitating – with far more success than the advertising people give us credit!’ – Gloria Pitzer

Treats like Awrey’s and Hostess’ famous cookies and cakes, to name a couple, were among Mom’s “Original 200” recipes collection, in the 1970s, which she printed on index cards and sold through the mail for 25-cents each. Mom also printed her growing and evolving make-alike-recipe collections in her hundreds of newsletters and over 40 subsequent books. She finally had to retire, due to health reasons, after more than 40 years of being the Recipe DetectiveTM.


As seen in…

The Second Helping of Secret Recipes (National Homemakers Newsletter, Pearl Beach, MI; July 1977, p. 1-2)


What is the truth about junk food? The food experts have been referring to many snack foods and fast foods as ‘junk’ in an attempt to disqualify their value when compared to foods containing high amounts of protein and vitamins.

No one has confirmed a definition of the expression ‘junk food’, yet the public has been conditioned to accept any snack food, sweets, candies, confections, baked goods and many beverages as ‘junk food’ when, in reality, these are not without nutritional value.

All by itself, a raw carrot could hardly support the human system substantially; neither could a cup of yogurt. Yet, a candy bar or a small piece of cake or a hamburger on a bun is considered, by some of the food industry’s most prestigious experts, as having little or no food value in our daily diets.

Cartoon written and illustrated by Gloria Pitzer

The junk food paradox has caused school systems and other public institutions to ban the sale of any foods we would consider snack items, making it illegal, in fact, in the state of Michigan and some others, if such items were sold to children through vending machines on the premises.

This is infuriating to the good cooks and… food chemists among us, who know that JUNK FOOD is actually any food that is poorly prepared. ALL food has nutritional value. Some just seem to have more than others. But, in the final analysis, it is purely personal taste that will determine the popularity of one food over another.

The ‘fast food’ industry has been the most successful of any phase in the business. Their success depending largely on the fact that their recipes are all closely guarded secrets! I say, ‘baloney!’

As a very believing public, we have been spoon-fed a good deal of shrewd publicity by some very skilled… advertising people, who count on our susceptibility to commercial advertising campaigns to buy their products. Whether we’re buying a hamburger in one of McDonald’s restaurants… or a ‘Twinkie’ off of the grocer’s shelf, we still believe that these products can’t be equaled by any other company in the industry, nor by the average cook in a standard, home kitchen… AND this is wrong!


As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press, January 2018; p. 283)

If your choices, now, include things you eat without really enjoying them, you can begin to exercise, instead of your “will” power, your “won’t” power – and refuse to keep on eating what is not good for you and what you don’t really need, replacing it with something you do enjoy and that will benefit you in nourishment, either emotionally or physically.

The WON’T power exercise for me meant no bread, no potatoes, no pastries, no gravy, no grains or other starches. It worked beautifully. For you, it might not be satisfactory. So, you can choose another course of action. I merely wish to share my experience with you because it worked for me…

What works for one person, may not work for another; but sharing the secrets of a weight loss diet that works, is too good to ignore. Even if you, personally, are not interested in losing 10 pounds, you probably know someone who is! The diet industry pulls in millions and millions of dollars every year, developing new gimmicks, pills, plans, menus, clubs and published materials about losing weight. I have tried them all in my adult life – and never with success! So, I finally developed my own diet… [Based, largely, on the low-carb diet developed by Dr. Atkins.]

… It’s not really a diet, but a new pattern of eating that can, if I wish, serve me all my life. The best way to learn any new pattern of behavior – whether it is eating or dancing or jogging or working – is to break it down into small manageable parts and work through them step-by-step! This is not a diet to be used, discarded and taken up again. It is a way of life at the table. It is a new attitude towards food…


In honor of today being National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day, here is a recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake that Mom made for years; as found on page 97 of her self-published book (no longer in print), The Best of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Feb. 1990, 11th Printing).

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…

…16 down, 36 to go!