CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — This is Elf on the Shelf with a twist

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, December 13, 2022

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There’s this ‘70s-style frog that has been in my husband’s family.

Every few months he or I will be startled by opening a drawer or moving a pillow to find this guy.

The finder gives a low-key reaction and then hides said frog until it’s time for him to make the next move.

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When I see what today’s parents do with The Elf on the Shelf  Tradition, I’m in awe of these creative, funny, teaching moments.

So I finally got one and we’re going to send off 2022 with a bang.

He came with a Peace, Love, Christmas hoodie and cool shades. We’re getting into some trouble together.

Here’s how hot he’s gotten:

The Lumistella Company (home to The Elf on the Shelf) has created countless resources to keep the tradition alive all season long, including:

  • Easy to execute elf ideas, all in the Scout Elf® Ideas appand on the website!
  • A variety of elf clothing including the Claus Couture Collection and MagiFreez
  • And set-it-and-forget-it accessories with ideas baked right in. Check out these fun ideas at

Read on for some East Texas history and holiday ideas:

“The Thicket’s Prodigy” is Ronald G. Brock’s memoir of his father’s memoirs, I think you would say. Sharing the “Extraordinary Life of an Improbable Genius,” the book goes from the simple life of Eugene H. “Gene” Brock, who strived to become “an educated man,” his work in Los Alamos on The Manhattan Project and his NASA contributions. The son adds his perspective of boyish observations from a friend’s pet’s catnip addiction  to his part in The World Wide Web.

Southeast Texas readers will understand many of these adventures and my impressions link to the food memories. Thicket folk sourced from swamp and woods for bass, frog legs, black walnuts, possum and mayhaw. When the family moved to Bryan, Safeway offered a “great leap” with culinary selections of Mellorine, the highly-touted milk substitute and the new concept of Birds Eye frozen vegetables, the author writes.

Greeting cards with onion artwork? Thank-you notes with artichoke and herbs? Perfect for me. Up your Idea Chic order with sachets an everyone will know you for the foodie you are. A rustic bag of mulling spices for wine or cider hit the spot by a friend’s fire pit. I mulled with merlot at home and transported the blend in Mason jars. Learn more at

Just glancing through the Nomatic travel bag site makes you want to hop a plane. Under new arrivals is the lite sling that’s one heck of a fancy fanny pack, or front bag if you are a hiker. The curve makes it comfy on the body and easy keep track of your passport while headed up the Swiss Alps. I can dream, can’t I? But hey, it will also keep your phone and coupons handy on a trip to the mall. Good gear makes the exercise go easier, don’t you think? Learn more at

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie wishing you happy holidays. All of them. Reach her at