2007 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 34: Christmas

Newsletter 34 – December 13, 2007       Events  Bonnies Cooking


Side by side or miles apart, dear friends are always close to the heart.


Our Wish For All Our Dear Friends

Is a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!!

We Miss You and Look Forward to Seeing You in the Spring.



Gift cards from America’s Best Flowers are the perfect Holiday gift!  Even though our retail is closed for the winter, our gift cards are available by phone.  Give us a call at 608-222-2269 and we will be happy to take your order, and mail the cards anywhere you like.  If you prefer, you can e-mail your orders to ed@americasbestflowers.com.


Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who is a very good carpenter. – from Jared, age 8


Have you ever thought about all the things in the world that are truly one-of-a-kind?  Though we usually think in terms of living things, even grains of sand and snowflakes are unique.  I ran across this information on snowflakes that I thought you might enjoy.  If snow must fall, perhaps looking at it from a different perspective might allow you to enjoy it more.

Snowflakes form from the water vapor in clouds.  When the temperature is below freezing, this water vapor crystallizes, forming snowflakes.  Temperature, air currents and humidity all affect their size and shape.  Dirt particles that get caught within the hardening vapors make the snowflakes heavier, and allow fractures in the freezing water crystals.  Snowflake formation is an active process.  As snowflakes fall, they can melt and grow, sometimes several times.  Each time this happens, their structure changes.

Snowflakes come in many different shapes and sizes – just like people.  Although no two snowflakes are exact replicas of each other, there are general types.  If you would like to see them, go to www.snowcrystals.com and click on Guide to Snowflakes.


It’s not easy to become an angel!  First, you die.  Then you go to heaven, and then there’s still the flight training to go through.  And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes. – from Matthew, age 9


America’s Best Flowers is currently closed for the winter.  Our associates are taking some time off during the holiday season, enjoying their families and friends.  To keep in touch, we will continue to send monthly newsletters throughout the winter.  We would love to hear from you, too. Your input provides ideas and information on how we can better serve you.  Please email – ed@americasbestflowers.com or write or call. 

Everybody’s got it all wrong.  Angels don’t wear halos anymore.  I forget why, but scientists are working on it – from Olive, age 9


2008 will be filled with many special events, planned with you in mind. 

Our SNEAK PEEK Weekend in mid-April will be a special opportunity for our Loyalty Customers.  In addition to introducing you to Gardening 2008, we will have FREE workshops in our Ask-the-Expert Series of Classes.

Later in April, our Spring Open House will feature FREE kid’s activities, hot dogs and popcorn.  Other spring events will include our annual Herb Fest, a special Earth Day Celebration, Mulch Madness and Container Workshops.  

The first Sunday in May is our annual “SALSA SUNDAY,” when we celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Latin music, free samples of chips and salsa, and a Salsa Container Planting workshop. We will give away a $50 gift certificate for the best salsa recipe.

Special Mother’s Day activities and free classes on vegetable and perennial gardening will continue throughout the season, along with our Make and Take Workshops and children’s activities.  We also promise you many exciting surprises, including our Independence Day Celebration, when we have FREE ice cream for all.

Our goal is to hold events that are interesting and helpful to our customers. If you have ideas for events, please let us know.  You can email us at ed@americasbestflowers.com or call 222-2269.


 I know my company has made a big effort to be family friendly, but I was baffled when I read this holiday announcement posted on the bulletin board: “All employees are invited to the annual Christmas party.  All children under the age of ten will receive a gift from Santa. Employees who have no children may bring grandchildren.”


Holiday Brunch

A customer gave us this recipe to pass on to anyone who will be serving a late breakfast to overnight guests.  It’s one of those make-ahead, bake when-you-need-it recipes that make it easy to serve a delicious meal without the last-minute fuss.  Add cut up fruit, ice cold glasses of milk and a bottomless pot of coffee for the perfect brunch.

Breakfast the Night Before

1 lb. bulk, fresh pork sausage, seasoned as desired (Bob Evans preferred)

8 slices bread, cubed

2 cups cubed cheddar cheese (8 oz)

4 eggs

2½ cups milk

1 can (10¾ oz.) condensed Golden Mushroom Soup

½ cup milk

Cook sausage in large skillet until brown, breaking up with wooden spoon; drain.  Pat sausage dry with paper towels.  Grease 9×13 baking dish.  Place bread cubes in baking dish.  Sprinkle cubed cheddar cheese over bread.  Sprinkle sausage over cheese.  Combine eggs with 2 ½ cups milk, beat with rotary beater or fork until well mixed.  Pour egg mixture over layered mixture in baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.  Heat oven to 300 degrees F.  Stir together mushroom soup and ½ cup milk in small bowl.  Pour over mixture in baking dish.  Place baking dish on baking sheet.  Bake uncovered, about 1½ hours or until center is set when baking dish is slightly jiggled.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Serves 8.

 It is a fine seasoning for Joy to think of those we love – Moliere


Like herbs are to our food, so are thoughts of those we love to our joy.  If we are not careful, the hectic pace of the holidays can rob of us of the very joy the season is supposed to bring.  This year, every time you cook, you can increase your joy.  Assign a face to the salt shaker, another to the peppermill. Aunt Margie can be marjoram and Uncle Syd cinnamon.  When you add hot pepper flakes to your pizza, you can smile about the trouble you and your flaky cousin Pam used to get into.  Make it fun.  Not only will you remove the drudgery from the time you spend cooking, you will smile more.  


Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy – Thich Nhat Hanh

Bonnie’s Kitchen

Here are two fun and easy recipes to make for the holidays. I like to sip the punch when I’m doing holiday baking!

Hot Spiced Christmas Punch

Serve with your favorite homemade Christmas cookies.   1 qt/8 servings

2 cups apple cider

2 cups cranberry juice

1 stick cinnamon

6 whole cloves

1 orange, juiced and strained

2 T. brown sugar

orange slices

Combine all ingredients except orange slices.  Heat slowly, until hot and spicy, about 15 minutes. Serve very hot in punch cups, or small mugs. Garnish with orange slices.


Chocolate Truffles

Easy, and just the right touch to end a special dinner…and A LOT less expensive than Godiva!

¼ cup strong coffee (or 1 T instant coffee dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water)

7 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

¾ cup, chilled unsalted butter, cut into thin slices

¼ cup brandy or orange liqueur

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa

Break up chocolate, and stir into the hot coffee. Soften in top of double boiler. Beat with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Remove from hot water, and beat another minute to cool. Gradually, beat chilled butter into chocolate with mixer. When smooth, beat in liqueur by dribbles. Chill for 2 hours or until firm. When firm, roll into small balls. Then roll in unsweetened cocoa.



Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement.  When his plane landed, there was a limousine waiting.  On a whim, he said to the driver, “I’m 87 years old and have never driven a limousine.  Would you mind if I drive for a while?”  The driver answered, “No problem.  Have at it.”

Mr. Graham headed down the highway, having the time of his life.  A short distance away a rookie State Trooper was operating his first speed trap.  The long black limo went past him doing 70 in a 55 zone.  The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo. As he walked up to the open window of the driver’s door, was he very surprised to see who was driving.

He immediately excused himself and went back to his car to call his supervisor.  “I know we are supposed to enforce the law,” he said, “but I also know that important people are given certain courtesies.  I need to know what I should do, because I have just stopped a very important person.”

The supervisor asked, “Is it the Governor?”  The young trooper said, “No, he’s more important than that.”  The supervisor said, “Oh, so it’s the President.”  The young trooper said, “No, he’s even more important than that.”

The supervisor finally asked, “Well then, who is it?”

The young trooper said, “I think it might be Jesus, because he’s got Billy Graham for a chauffeur!”




May the Holy Spirit Guide You!  God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
President 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
https://www.americasbestflowers.com/home.htmlAlso President of The Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin  http://www.cfgw.org/ an Organization that is a division of the six group Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF) a 3 Billion dollar industry with over 4700 businesses and over 43,000 employees in Wisconsin
Senator Representing Wisconsin members of the American Nursery and Landscape Association – ANLA
Also Board member of Garden’s Beautiful Garden Centers
Also member of legislative of Committee of WGIF
Also Board Member of (WGIF) Wisconsin Green Industry Federation

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