Helen and Teacher

Helen and Teacher
The Story of my Life

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Quick Holiday Meal Tips and Snacks, also for Dr. E's Greening Tips

The Holidays are upon us.  Frankly, I no longer celebrate.  Those in my family who loved these things are dead, and the sick games my siblings in law play don't interest me.  We are more or less banished by the desperate housewife brigade known as my husband's family.  God help all of us, but it is what it is.

People joked that I was the Festival of Trees all by myself, but now, my treasured ornaments are crammed in boxes, some broken carelessly by others who don't respect my space or my things, others sold or given away.  I don't have any tree, and of my 30 some Nativity Sets, some antique and very unusual, none see the light of day.   We don't have a nice meal of any kind, and I have no time to bake or make presents.  I have not time for anything but taking care of other people and their problems, and taking the blame for them.

Enough vetching.  Bah Humbug, and Ho Ho Ho!!

Here are some quick tips for meal ideas, for people who have to work, or have no time and a lot of people to deal with.

You don't have to do a lot of mixing and baking, etc to feed a hungry crew.  Sure, we can make things ahead of time, but it's nice to take advantage of what's in the store to keep a few ready to eat things on hand.

Aldi, and other discount groceries also have special things this time of year.  Brands like Culinary Circle and President's choice make decent brie and parmesan cheeses.   These are good just cut up with Wasa crackers, Melba Toast, or Ritz, any crackers.  Brie is good with plain shredded wheat, too.  As Mr. Food used to say, any brands are fine.

A la my idol, Barbara Pym, a few hard boiled eggs on hand go a long way, and can be deviled or made into egg salad.  Aldi sells it's own very good chicken salad, or you cam make your own with canned chicken, or roast or boiled chicken.  Many grocery stores sell rotisserie chicken already baked, and it makes a great meal by itself.

Making up a pot of chili or soup isn't a bad idea, and there are many mixes available that make this possible even for those who don't cook.   Or, make your own homemade soup, and create a stock using turkey bones, vegetables, and herbs.   Any decent cookbook or site has directions.  For all of these ideas, locate any edition of the Joy of Cooking, and have fun!

A variety of pastas sprinkled with grated cheese and butter are always good.  So are cut up vegetables and dip, mock or real crab, as is or in dips, cans of smoked oysters, kippers, or boiled shrimp.

A few servings of the above with fresh grapes, cut up pomegranates or other fruits make a light meal that guests can help themselves to.

One of my friends used to make surprisingly good dip of cream cheese blended with ketchup, that's it.  Dried French onion soup and sour cream is my favorite.  Easy guacamole with avocado, salsa, lemon juice, sour cream and mayo is also good.  I blend the sour cream, may, and a little cream cheese [whipped] with sesame seeds, a drop of sesame oil and soy sauce for Asian dip.  Chopped up scallions or baby canned shrimp make the Asian dip even better.

Take advantage of all the varieties of nuts and peanuts out there, shelled and otherwise, of the cookie trays, candies, dried fruit, fresh fruit and other items set out. If you eat meat, there are lots of cold cuts and cheeses available in the deli section that make good quick meals.  Keurig also has soup cups, and lots of cocoa and other hot drinks.

Have a few extra bottles of soda, a few good bottles of wine or some micro-brew beer, and , and you have some quick meals and snacks available for family and guests who drop in.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Rare Plant Sale, also for Dr. E's Greening! Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!


Save 20% at Logee's from "Black Friday" through 'Cyber Monday" November 27-30, 2015. Shop Small Business Saturday, November 28, encourages people to shop from small businesses. As a family-run nursery, we wouldn't be here without your business. Thank you. In appreciation you can Save 20% off any items of your choice (excluding gift certificates) from Friday, November 27 through Monday, November 30 at midnight. This sale is for in-stock items only. (Backordered items are not part of this sale.) 
Note: To receive these special prices you must put the first item into your shopping cart, then enter "EMAIL20" as the promotional code and click "Apply Key Code".
Here are a few plants and plant accessories to consider:

Christmas Cactus
'Thor Britt'
Sea Urchin Set
Triple Pot Plant Stand
Desert Rose
'Tickled Pink' p.p.a.f.
Cattleya Orchid Hagan's Ace 'Mandarin Orange'
Christmas Cactus
'Red Aspen'
Ivy Holiday Tree

Note: To receive these special prices you must put the first item into your shopping cart, then enter "EMAIL20" as the promotional code and click "Apply Key Code". 
In order to receive these same great prices in our walk-in store, please bring the below coupon with you. 
Offer ends November 27-30, 2015.

Make sure you like us on Facebook, our Logee's Tropical Plants Page shares gardening tips, sales and our popular Bloom of the Week Photo. 
Happy Planting,


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Egg Lemon or Avgolemono Soup Made Easy, also for Dr. E's Greening Tips for the Common Person

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can buttermilk
1 can water
1/2 c rice or orzo, cooked
shredded chicken
1 tsp. lemon juice
lemon zest, optional
spring of fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dry parsely
sprinkling of black pepper or freshly ground pepper
1 pat butter

Prepare soup with buttermilk and water.  Bring to a bowl, then simmer on low.  Add lemon juice and stir.  Add chicken, zest, parsley, pepper and orzo or rice.   Melt in pat of butter before serving.

This takes only a few minutes and is delicious.  Also, those who are nervous about the raw eggs beaten into the chicken broth and lemon juice of the traditional recipe won't have to worry.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Free Newsletter, as Pym might say, with "Bits and Pieces" and Dolls, Viva the Vicar's Soap Animals, Father Chrismas on the Xmas Cake, Cycladic Idols, and Norman's Taxidermy Critters!

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Christmas Favorites
Happy Thanksgiving!   How time flies; it seems like just yesterday it was July, and we were excited over Love, Shirley Temple.  This weekend, another auction takes place by Theriault's that features Shirley memorabilia of all kinds of things.  I particularly love her charm bracelets; look for posts on them and the vinyl Shirleys being auctioned. I hope you take out your pilgrim statues, wax candle dolls, dried apple heads and corn husk dolls to celebrate this uniquely American holiday.  On my Doll Museum blog, I featured photos of French dolls, in honor of those who died and were hurt last Friday in Paris.  More French doll posts to follow on About, with one vintage post below.  Happy Collecting!
Ellen Tsagaris
Doll Collecting Expert
Christmas Favorites  
Christmas this year provides many choices for doll collectors.  The Holidays are here, and with them come many new choices for collectors and doll/toy lovers everywhere!
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Dolls from Spain
Being a CEO of the Doll House could Land you a Corner Office!  
Collecting dolls teaches management and other marketable skills. Just think of the creativity, passion, social media skills, historical knowledge, organization and multitasking involved in caring for a doll collection!
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Review: The Pueblo Storyteller  
Thanksgiving is almost here, and I always like to review and study the Native American Dolls in my collection.  Just last Tuesday, we talked about it in my diversity class for law enforcement.  Storyteller's are special dolls, true art figures, memorialized in this wonderful book.
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Collections of Things I Don't Collect  
This is a fun time or year to take stock of our various, doll-related collecting passions!
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Antique French Fashion Dolls  
There are several good articles in this indexed category from our About.com doll collecting site that feature French dolls.  Enjoy surfing the links!
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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: An Interview with Alf Ertsland and Svein Hellberg

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: An Interview with Alf Ertsland and Svein Hellberg: When did you start collecting? I can’t remember exactly when we start talking about antique dolls.  We had, however, a common interes...

The dolls written up here are not just the stuff of memoir, but of legend!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Recipe for Simple Hot Pot, also for Dr. E's Greening Tips

Simple Hot Pot

2 packets simple Ramen noodles

1 6 oz can oysters

3 eggs

About 4 pieces of salami, cut into strips

3/4 cups frozen broccoli or other vegetable.  Fresh or cannned will do, too

About 2 TBSP sesame seeds

Prepare Ramen noddles as directed.  I used chicken flavor.  When it comes to a boil, add the Oysters. Include the liquid, it adds flavor.

Add the broccoli

Add salami and sesame seeds

Bring to a rapid boil, and add the eggs and let them poach. Remove and serve

I made a one avocado guacamole, just 1 TBSP each sour cream and mayonnaise, a squirt of lemon juice, a dash of salsa verde mashed into avocado.   Used as a dip with Triscuits. Also made a simple, one can tuna salad as a dip, with a heaping TBSP may, a little salt and pepper and parsley.  Real simple.

Served with sliced up orange.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Your Favorite Toy: I'd like to hear from You

What was your favorite doll or toy? What memories did it spark?  I'd like to hear from you, and will publish selected pieces on this blog.  Google The Strong National Museum of Play to get ideas, or our own Antique Doll Collector Magazine Blog.  If I get enough entries, I will consider a giveaway of my upcoming book on Kindle:  "Creepy Ass Humans: The Dolls Reply."

"Old Rag Doll, Torn and Tattered/ You were my Friend when it Really Mattered."

Uncle Ben, Dolls, Peter Frampton

What more could I want!  Peter Frampton's "Show me the Way" headlines and Uncle Ben's commercial for rice, where the stars are soft sculpture dolls animated!!

Excerpts on GMO's

 companies, and could quite possibly change their business quite dramatically, businesses such as Kellogg’s, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Pepsi/Frito-Lay, Smucker’s, Wal-Mart. Monsanto would rather have food companies go GMO-free, rather than admit that their products contain GMO’s.

Seems pretty sad to me, when it all comes down to money, not the health and safety of us, just how much more money they can make. They and their allies had $46  million poured into trying to defeat just one ballot initiative last year in California that would of required labels for GMO foods.

Only a very large grassroots resistance will halt the U.S. Senate and House from taking away our right to know. We MUST continue to support efforts like the current state ballot initiative to label GMO’s, and to ban factory farms, and other corporate crimes. We also need to take a long hard look at the people we are voting for. If our elected officials support these companies, then they need to go as well, they cannot continue to walk over our constitutional rights and disregard the 225-year old principle of a shared balance of power between the federal government, and the state and local government.

I would encourage you all to join in this fight, help the organic consumer’s, of which I am one. Help natural health advocates, as they are making a difference. We are waking up people, and we have determination in this cause!

Tell everyone you know, spread the word, “We Have a Right to Know!” Tell your congressmen and women , especially the 73 incumbents who voted last year to eliminate states’ rights to legislate on GMO labels. “enough is enough”,”basta ya”. Power to the People (Cummins,2013)!


Ronnie Cummins is National Director of the Organic Consumers Association

Cummins, Ronnie, 2013, May 17, Counterpunch.org

Free Newsletter for November 9th

Newsletter for Week of November 9th
Halloween flew away on a kitchen witch's broom, and Thanksgiving with pilgrim and turkey dolls awaits.  Christmas is just around the corner.  I saw doll "sightings" on "Laverne and Shirley" which featured Madame Alexanders and on "Bonanza" where Raggedy Ann and a porcelain doll starred. This week, an update on a favorite website, Ghost of the Doll which has information on dolls and toys from the 70s to 90s, and a history of Chinese Opera dolls.  Also read about how to use dolls to teach.
Ellen Tsagaris
Doll Collecting Expert
Strawberry Shortcake in Porcelain
There is nothing Spooky about this Great Site about dolls 1980-2000.  
Ghost of the Doll is fun and easy to navigate, and is a veritable web museum of the toys from this era.
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"It Ain't Over" till the Dolls Sing!  
Unusual Chinese Opera Dolls are just the tip of the iceberg when collecting dolls from China.
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Iris Clops
Keep One Eye on Monster High!  
Iris Clops is a fashionably stylish monster of a completely different stripe from the Cyclops of old myth.
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Dolls go to School  
Teaching courses on dolls; resources and ideas.
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