2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 38

Week 38 (12/14/2006)


“What if ‘The Season to be Jolly’ lasted all year long?” A Dove chocolate wrapper.


As you can probably tell by now, I really like Dove dark chocolates.  Not only does the chocolate feed my addiction, but the quotes inside the label feed my soul. They often provide me with inspiration for this newsletter.


The one above is really thought provoking.  This week I want to know what you think about it.  “What if the season to be jolly lasted all year long?”


Please respond by separate e-mail to ed@americasbestflowers.com  I will share them with our readers next week.  Please do not use this link – somehow it never gets through.


“Are You from Wisconsin?”  by Jeff Foxworthy, from an e-mail forwarded by a customer


When it’s cold and dark, with many months to wait for spring, it’s easy to wonder why we live here.  And then you awake to find a layer of crystal covering everything in sight, from the heavy fog that froze in the night, and it takes your breath away.  And you know why we live the north country.


“If someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don’t work there, you might live in Wisconsin.”  Our wonderful customers do this all the time. Thank You!


Create Your Own Holiday Centerpiece Workshop


This Saturday, December 16 at 10:00 AM, we will show you how to create an elegant holiday centerpiece using fresh greens, candles, berries, and more, for your holiday table.  Our talented staff will provide assistance and all materials necessary to complete your centerpiece.  Class size is limited. Pre-registration is required. $35 fee includes the cost of the centerpiece. Call 222-2269 for additional information.


“If you know how to say, Oconomowoc, Waukesha, Menomonie & Manitowoc, you might live in Wisconsin.” If you can spell them, you must live in Wisconsin.




America’s Best Flowers has colorful tinsel trees, in shades of silver, purple, red, lemon and teal, which will bring excitement to your holiday decorating this year.  These 6 ft. Jackson Spruce trees come complete with 450 lights, creating a striking appearance, especially after dark. Combine with a 2 foot version, and a sparkly cone tree or two in the same or contrasting colors, and you will have a bright, whimsical display. 


“If you have a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in Wisconsin.”  We get lots of wrong numbers here at ABF, sometimes end up answering gardening questions from the caller anyway.




America’s Best Flowers can paint poinsettias to match your tinsel tree or to coordinate with any décor.  Using paints developed in Europe especially for poinsettias, we take the traditional poinsettia to a new level.  By applying multiple colors, along with sprinklings of glitter, our talented staff is creating floral expressions.  Our poinsettias are fabulous this year.  Painted or not, they will bring beauty to your holiday festivities.  Come on out today and let us help you add zing to your holidays. 


“If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 38 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in Wisconsin.”  Especially if the only thing on your Christmas list is the drill!!


DID YOU KNOW?  Poinsettias are not poisonous.  


Wherever you go during the holidays, if discussion turns to poinsettias, you will hear, “I just love poinsettias, but I can’t have them.  I have cats (or a dog, or children).”  If you, too, have been deprived of the beauty of poinsettias in your home, because you were told they are poisonous, please read on…


The following information, written in 1994 and provided by the American Florists Society, was from one of many items found in an on-line search:


“Paul Bachman, marketing chairman of the Society of American Florists (SAF) stated ‘Poinsettias simply are not toxic.  That was proven 23 years ago in scientific tests and we want to set the record straight.’

In fact, no other consumer plant has been as widely tested as the poinsettia. Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) have measured the effects of ingesting unusually high doses of all parts of the plant (including the leaves, stems and sap) and found the plant to be non-toxic. According to POISINDEX (R), the information resource used by the majority of U.S. poison control centers, a 50-pound child would have to eat more than 1.25 pounds of poinsettia bracts (500 to 600 leaves) to exceed the experimental doses that found no toxicity.

That’s not to say you should eat one, though. Like other non-food items, if ingested, the poinsettia may cause some stomach discomfort — but nothing more.”


“If you have ever refused to buy something because it’s ‘too spendy,’ you might live in Wisconsin.”  Thriftiness is a good thing, right?




I know that outdoor gardening is probably the last thing on your mind this week, but if you planted perennials, trees or shrubs this year, it is the perfect time to water them.  The warm weather of the past few days has thawed the soil, which will allow any water you apply to reach your plants roots.  This is particularly important for evergreens, because they continue to lose moisture through their leaves all winter.   With warm temperatures forecast for this weekend, it’s also a great opportunity to add a layer of mulch.  America’s Best Flowers has several varieties available.  Come on out today, and let us help you choose the right one for you.


“If every time you see moonlight on a lake, you think of a dancing bear, and you gently sing, ‘From the land of sky-blue waters…’ you might live in Wisconsin.”  With so many lakes, we sing this a lot!


Bonnie’s Kitchen


Everyone has their favorite cookbook.  Mine is “Soupcon II”, a 1981 Junior League of Chicago cookbook.  Years ago, when I had my store, I sold many of them. Here are some really terrific Christmas cookie bar recipes, AND I’m going to include one for an Apricot Fruitcake that is “to die for”.



Makes 16 – 2” squares

Easy and delicious


1 ¼ c sifted flour

½ c butter, melted

3 T confectioners sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 c granulated sugar

½ t baking powder

¼ t salt

1 t vanilla

¾ c chopped nuts

½ c coconut (I use more)

½ c maraschino cherries, quartered


Cream 1 cup of flour with butter and confectioners sugar. Spread in an 8” square pan.  Bake 20-25 minutes at 350.  Combine remaining ingredients, with remaining ¼ c flour.  Spread over top of baked pastry. Bake an additional 25 minutes at 350’. Cool before cutting into bars.  Recipe may be doubled.


“If you have either a pet or a child named ‘Brett,’ you might live in Wisconsin Die-hards might even have 3 sons – Brett, Brett and Brett!



Very rich and YUM!


1 ½ c flour

¾ c butter


½ c coconut

½ c chopped pecans

1 ½ c packed brown sugar

¼ t baking powder

2 T flour

dash of salt

1 ½ c confectioners sugar

1 T butter

Juice and rind of 1 lemon


Mix flour and butter together.  Pat into 8” square baking pan.  Bake at 350’ for about 20 minutes or until browned.  Mix the eggs, coconut, pecans, brown sugar, baking powder, butter, juice and rind of lemon. Spread over top of cooled bars.  Refrigerate.  To serve, cut chilled bars into small squares.


And now for the piece de resistance ….This is expensive to make, and REALLY hard to stir as the batter is so stiff, but EVERYONE WILL FLIP OVER IT!


“If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you might live in Wisconsin.”  Add sweatpants over the shorts and a tank top under the parka and you’re ready for any weather Wisconsin can throw at you!




An elegant Christmas hostess gift                                                     4 cakes


2 c butter, softened

2 ¼ c firmly packed light brown sugar

1 c honey

10 eggs

4 c sifted flour

2 t cinnamon

2 t baking powder

1 t ground allspice

¾ t salt

3 lbs dried apricots, sliced

2 lbs. pecan halves

1 ½ lbs pitted dates, sliced

1 lb golden raisins

1 c apricot nectar

½ c half and half

2 T fresh lemon juice

1 c brandy

¼ c orange flavored liqueur


Cream butter, sugar and honey.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir flour, cinnamon, baking powder, allspice and salt.  Stir ½ of the flour mixture into sugar mixture.  Dredge apricots, pecans, dates and raisins in remaining flour. Combine nectar, half and half, and lemon juice; add to batter.  Fold in apricot mixture.  Pour into 4 buttered and floured 9 ½ X 5 inch loaf pans. Bake at 250’for 2 ½ to 3 hrs or until tester comes out clean.  Cool in pans.  Combine brandy and liqueur.  Sprinkle over cakes; let stand 1 hour. Wrap tightly in foil.  Refrigerate at least 1 week before eating.


Note: Use a HUGE bowl to mix. I cut each one into thirds to make 12 cakes, or you could use small pans.


“A client brought a litter of golden retriever puppies to my veterinary clinic for inoculations and worming.  As the look-a-like pups squirmed over and under one another in their box, I realized it would be difficult to tell the treated ones from the rest.  I turned on the water faucet, wet my fingers, and moistened each dog’s head when I was finished with it.


After the fourth puppy, I noticed my hitherto talkative client had grown silent.  As I sprinkled the last pup’s head, the woman leaned forward and whispered, “I didn’t know they had to be baptized.”

Carol and Ed Knapton, owners of Americas's Best Flowers You’ll Love Your Garden … It’s Our Promise! May the Holy Spirit Guide You! God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
Sec – Treasurer Berry Hill Farms, Inc.
DBA Americas Best Flowers Garden Center
4311 Vilas Hope Road
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
608-222-2269 Fax 608-222-1234 Cell 608-698-5627