Just Two More Weeks!

Newsletter 44 – Thursday, December 12, 2013

America’s Best Flowers Holiday Hours

Our hours for the month of December are 10am – 6pm except for the following dates:

  • Sunday, December 22 – 10am – 4pm (We are closing early this day for our staff Christmas party.)
  • Tuesday, December 24 – Christmas Eve  – 10am – 3pm
  • Wednesday, December 25 to December 29 –  Closed
  • Monday, December 30– 10am – 5pm
  • Tuesday, December 31 – 10am – 5pm
  • Wednesday, January 1 – Closed

America’s Best Flowers will reopen on January 2, 2014

Hours will be 10am – 5pm, Monday through Saturday.  For the month of January we will be closed on Sundays.

Also, our last 2013 newsletter will be December 19.  You’ll receive our first 2014 newsletter on Thursday, January 16.

Custom made Holiday Porch Pots!

A holiday porch pot filled with fresh greens both bright and dark, a green/red ribbon, golden globes and silver pinecones
Made to Order!
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America’s Best Flowers would be happy to custom make your Holiday Porch Pots .  To order please stop in and talk to Marty, or email him at abfrobbins@yahoo.com, or call us at 608-222-2269.

What is a parent’s favorite Christmas carol?
Silent Night

DIY Holiday Porch Pots

Bring your imagination and come on out to the greenhouse Monday – Saturday, between 10am – 3pm to design and create your very own one-of-a-kind Holiday Porch Pot.

Fresh and Natural Gifts and Decorating Ideas

  • Boxed Amaryllis: Boxed gift set complete with bulb, soil and container. 
  • Bulk Amaryllis,
  • Decorated and undecorated fresh wreaths, (Made at our own floral shop in Edgerton and on-site at the farm in Cottage Grove.) 
  • Roping, 25’ and 50’ lengths,
  • Bundled greens, assorted greens in 3 pound bundles,
  • Blooming Cyclamen,
  • Decorated swags, and
  • Fresh table centerpieces.

Last, but by no means least, we have potted boxwoods, holly and dwarf Alberta spruce at blow-out prices!

What do you have in December that you don’t have in any other month ?
The letter "D"!

Other Holiday Decorating Items

A whole lot of stems and other pieces used for making porch pots
Just some of the items we have available for decorating!
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Choose from our wonderful selection of artificial table centerpieces and decorated artificial wreaths that will last through year after year of holiday celebrations.

For those of you that like to design and create your own centerpieces or wreaths, we have a wide variety of picks, berries, and gorgeous bows for your decorating needs.

What do reindeer have that no other animals have?
Baby reindeer!

Red and White Poinsettias!

Red and White Poinsettias!
Red and White Poinsettias!
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We realize it can be very difficult to choose between a beautiful red poinsettia and a beautiful white poinsettia.  What a dilemma!  Hmmm, we think we may have the perfect solution for you.  Why not decorate with both colors!  You knew that was coming, didn’t you?

Stop in and pick up several for the coming holiday season.  By the way, poinsettia plants make great host and/or hostess gifts!

Holiday Grab and Go Porch Pots and Hanging Baskets

Holiday Hanging Basket
Holiday Hanging Basket
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Our Holiday Hanging Baskets will look stunning hanging from a shepherds hook.

Stop by and grab and go with a few of our Grab and Go Decorated Porch Pots or Holiday Hanging Baskets! What a nice way to greet guests even before they cross your threshold.  Fresh greens combined with artificial poinsettias will stand the test of holiday time.

Our Beautiful Fresh Cut Christmas Trees are Going Fast!

Our display of christmas trees in the parking lot
Fresh Christmas Trees
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Our beautiful Frazier balsam mix trees have arrived.  We’ll fresh cut the trunk for you and help you load them into or on top of your vehicle.  If you live within 5 miles of our Cottage Grove location, we’d be happy to deliver them to your home.  A $10.00 delivery fee would apply for that service.

What do reindeer say before telling you a joke?
This one will sleigh you!

Send flowers for the holidays!

Our America’s Best Flowers Edgerton location can send special holiday bouquets all over the country.  Call our talented staff toll-free at 1-888-287-1411 and they’ll be happy to assist you.

Holiday Gift Giving Ideas

An America's Best Flowers gift card, featuring a monarch butterfly
Their garden will thank you!
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America’s Best Flowers gift cards are not only the perfect holiday gift for that favorite gardener in your life, but they make a great gift for your child’s teacher or a fellow co-worker.  Holidays and entertaining go together!  Rather than giving the customary bottle of wine to your host and hostess why not give an America’s Best Flowers gift card? 

We would be happy to take your gift card orders over the phone and mail the cards for you with a personal message for the recipient.

For the birds!

You can make it a happy, hardy, and healthy season for our feathered friends.  This gift boxed hanging Holiday Birdie Wreath, from Pine Tree Farms, serves up a feast of black oil sunflower, peanuts, colored safflower, and red millet.  Yummo!  Stop in and stock up for the winter. 

Hummingbirds have left us for the winter, but finches remain through the cold winter months.  America’s Bet Flowers has a great assortment of hanging hummingbird and finch feeders, from More Birds. 

These would make great gifts for the bird watcher in your life!

What kind of candle burns longer, a red candle or a green candle?
Neither, candles always burn shorter!

Flavorful bits and pieces…

Are you looking for something delicious and unique for your holiday candy dishes and stocking stuffers?  Check out the following sweet ideas from Wiley Wallaby for the holiday season:

  • Australian style gourmet red licorice,
  • Soft & Chewy assorted licorice, and
  • Outback beans with chewy red centers.

Dog Treat Stocking Stuffers!

A circular plastic bin divided into four sections, each containing about 7 bone-shaped dog biscuits. Most of them have white frosting and/or sprinkles.
The list of ingredients will really blow you away
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Please don’t forget your four-legged best friend this holiday season.  We have a variety of dog treats, this season, made from Trinity Barkery. 

This wonderful organization is devoted to helping people with developmental disabilities live full and abundant lives.  The Barkery offers them the opportunity for employment in a creative and stimulating environment.  By supporting this organization, you will help to provide both financial support and job opportunities for people with disabilities.

These dog treats are handmade with human quality ingredients.  They do not contain any preservatives, chemical additives, or by-products. 

We have an assortment of individually wrapped treats as well as packages of assorted varieties.

Q: What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
A: Snowflakes.

Lucy’s Story – Chapter 35

We trudged slowly through the knee-deep snow.  Step after step we struggled to keep upright, leaning into the wind to gain some balance against the tornado strength wind.  The whiteout conditions made it impossible for us to get our bearings.  I hated the thoughts that were going through my head.  Which way is home?  Were we going in the right direction?  Would we ever see my dad again? 

Our lungs were burning from breathing hour after hour of frigid artic air.  This can’t be happening.  My mom, I love my mom so much!  I could hear her struggling to catch her breath as she called out words of encouragement to me. 

‘Lucy, come on girl, we can make it!’  

Then, we see a faint image appear.  It’s getting closer and closer…it’s him.  It’s my dad.  He found us, we’re safe!  We’re home! 

‘Okay, Lucy, my little drama queen, snap out of it and just tell the real story!’, says my mom.

Really?  (Once again, isn’t this my story?)  Okay, whatever! 

My mom and I went for our first walk together this week.  We hadn’t gone on one together since mid-September before her foot surgery. 

Okay, we didn’t walk miles and miles, we just walked to the corner and down the block a very short way.

Okay, the snow was not knee-deep, only four inches deep.

Okay, there was no tornado strength wind, only a light winter breeze.

And, nope, no whiteout conditions existed, just a nice gentle snow fall.  

And, my mom’s actual words of encouragement were ‘Lucy, get your sweet dog hiney moving.  I’m cold.  It’s time to go home.’  

And, nope, my dad wasn’t searching for us.  He was out shoveling the sidewalk.  

I ask you, did Hemmingway’s mom edit his writing? Please send me an email at abfscimino@yahoo.com and let me know who you think should have the editing power.

`til next time,
    ~ Lucy

What did the Gingerbread Man put on his bed?
A cookie sheet!

Our Kitchen

Since Jim and I leave for Florida soon after Thanksgiving, we get together with family to celebrate Christmas before we go.  This year we changed things up a bit by combining it with a birthday party for Jim. It’s one of those wish-they-didn’t happen birthdays that end with a 0.   Instead of doing a big holiday meal, we decided to make it more fun and less work with an afternoon of hors d’oeuvres and birthday cake.

If you are like me, you have a folder full of recipes for tasty treats from friends and magazines, as well as those tried and true favorites from your past.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring one of my long-time favorites, but alas I couldn’t find the recipe.  I forgot to look it up before I got to the store, so I actually resorted to asking a couple of ladies in the aisle if they could remember what the ingredients were.  When they both said the same thing, I decided to buy it and hope for the best. 

When I got home, I consulted my new best friend, when it comes to recipes, Mr. Google.  Sure enough there were over a dozen choices for this meatball recipe.  By picking ideas from several, I came up with the following version, which I now claim as my own since it doesn’t match any of the ones I found.  As I type this, they are simmering away in the crockpot, but I can assure you that they passed the cook’s taste test with flying colors.

Enjoy!!

Bev’s Sweet and Tangy Meatballs

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 1 ½ c bread crumbs
  • 3 T dried parsley
  • ½ large onion, diced very finely
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 T Worcestershire sauce
Sauce
  • 1 12 oz bottle chili sauce
  • 1 ¾ c grape jelly
  • ¾ c Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce
Directions

Mix sauce ingredients in crock pot, turn on high while you prepare the meatballs.

Before you get your hands messy, line a cookie sheet with waxed paper to place the raw meatballs on. You need enough room for about 50 walnut size meatballs.

Beat eggs in a small bowl, add Worcestershire, salt and pepper.  In a large mixing bowl, combine meats until well mixed.  I use disposable glove-covered hands for this.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  Form meatballs and place on waxed paper.  Remove your gloves.

Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat.  Brown meatballs in batches, my biggest skillet held half at a time. Turn meatballs 3 or 4 times.  Cook about 10-12 minutes, until no longer pink in the middle.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to crockpot.  Cook on high for 30-45 minutes, until bubbly.  Reduce heat to low.  Leave plugged in to serve. 

SEE YOU SOON!!!
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