Thursday, July 29, 2021
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Valle Novak

Stories this photo appears in:

Welcome the bats: They’re a veritable ‘mosquito army’
June 6, 2021 1 a.m.

Welcome the bats: They’re a veritable ‘mosquito army’

Weekend Gardener Valle Novak reminds gardeners of the value of bats and other creatures inhabiting our world.

Feathered friends, flowers and fragrance
April 18, 2021 1 a.m.

Feathered friends, flowers and fragrance

Sometimes, when things seem dark and worrisome, Mother Nature sends a Golden Moment that banishes fears and heals hearts with a snap of her fingers.

Native shrubs and hardy cultivars ensure landscape success
January 31, 2021 1 a.m.

Native shrubs and hardy cultivars ensure landscape success

Usually, Weekend Gardener Valle Novak writes, her garden/landscape columns address either native or cultivated shrubs and flora, today she offers a “truce” encouraging a blending of the two for a happy combination of color, beauty and practicality for fabulous garden structure.

Festive breads can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish
January 24, 2021 1 a.m.

Festive breads can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish

With the holidays behind us, many refrigerators and/or bread-boxes hold wonderful sweet breads to brighten the morning’s coffee or serve as dessert. If you missed out on the goodies, whip up some of your own with these timeless recipes.

‘Lost’ birds, a peanut-eatin’ buck, and a whale of a tale
January 17, 2021 1 a.m.

‘Lost’ birds, a peanut-eatin’ buck, and a whale of a tale

In her more than 30-year residence at her home at the bottom of Schweitzer Mountain, Weekend Gardener Valle Novak says she seen many changes in the surroundings — some positive, some not so much.

Amazing bananas star in delectable main dishes, desserts
January 10, 2021 1 a.m.

Amazing bananas star in delectable main dishes, desserts

Over the years, travel has treated her to more than history, Country Chef Valle Novak writes. Among the benefits, she shares it has it opened her eyes to amazing cookery, often of things one doesn’t generally consider — such as bananas!

Memories over the years make aloneness easier
January 3, 2021 1 a.m.

Memories over the years make aloneness easier

I believe it’s true that the first few years of one’s life set the pattern for the decades to come.

Comfort fare for uncomfortable times provides warmth, nostalgia
December 27, 2020 1 a.m.

Comfort fare for uncomfortable times provides warmth, nostalgia

In our current state of confusion, fear, grief and loneliness, a little hug is needed now and then, and with that comfort a resounding “no-no,” how about comfort food? Warming soups, cookies and milk, old-fashioned pudding and old favorites may put a more gentle light on things.

Nightcaps, phenology, and Christmas for the birds
December 20, 2020 1 a.m.

Nightcaps, phenology, and Christmas for the birds

But Christmas is just around the corner and, despite COVID-19, will provide a beautiful reminder of what the season is really all about: Love, sacrifice, faith and trust. And if it isn’t as merry as we’ve been used to, at least it offers hope, something we all need now.

Warm up the kitchen with Christmas cookies in the oven
December 13, 2020 1 a.m.

Warm up the kitchen with Christmas cookies in the oven

Country Chef Valle Novak shares delicious cookies recipes to delight the tastebuds of your family and friends.

Musings on tough critters, heroic spiders, star-lit nights
December 6, 2020 1 a.m.

Musings on tough critters, heroic spiders, star-lit nights

Weekend Gardener Valle Novak muses on critters, spiders, and the beauty of star-lit nights.

Wonderful winter soups warm the cockles of your family’s hearts
November 29, 2020 1 a.m.

Wonderful winter soups warm the cockles of your family’s hearts

Cold and fitful wintry weather can be faced more easily when fragrant hot soup’s on the table

Another look at apples on the menu: Oldies and surprises
November 22, 2020 1 a.m.

Another look at apples on the menu: Oldies and surprises

With apples front and center at the supermarkets, Country Chef Valle Novak share more delicious recipes featuring the versatile apple.

Potatoes shine as focal (and gastronomic) star at Thanksgiving table
November 15, 2020 1 a.m.

Potatoes shine as focal (and gastronomic) star at Thanksgiving table

A few years back, I offered a spud-related page of recipes for the Thanksgiving feast. Since many people don’t feature the noble bird at their table, I chose selections to fit any entrée from meatloaf, Polish sausage, fried chicken or even burgers — to make for a tasty, fulfilling repast. I entitled that column “Sensational Spud dishes to surprise and delight” — now with some new additions, here are oldies, newbies, and a fab classic. Enjoy!

Native honeysuckle in two forms benefit ornamental landscaping
November 8, 2020 1 a.m.

Native honeysuckle in two forms benefit ornamental landscaping

Weekend Gardener Valle Novak shares her memories and information about the native honeysuckle.

Apples in infinite variety: delightful raw or cooked
November 1, 2020 2 a.m.

Apples in infinite variety: delightful raw or cooked

Country Chef Valle Novak shares delicious fall treats that center around apples.

Toss the sprays and let veggies, flowers and herbs police their garden
October 24, 2020 1 a.m.

Toss the sprays and let veggies, flowers and herbs police their garden

Over the years I have always stressed the benefits of organic, non-chemically adulterated gardens, grown in a healthy, non-dangerous way with the use of companions, compost and special planting options.

Welcoming winter birds, and digging heirloom veggie, flower gardening
October 18, 2020 1 a.m.

Welcoming winter birds, and digging heirloom veggie, flower gardening

My wintertime flocks of chickadees, nuthatches, Juncos and a few chipping sparrows remain now to hold down the fort — i.e., front-deck bird-feeding station — and a cheerful, delightful gathering they are!

Autumn fare features  gifts of garden, tree and woodland
October 11, 2020 1 a.m.

Autumn fare features gifts of garden, tree and woodland

Autumn is Country Chef Valle Novak's favorite time of the year and fall recipes add to the ambiance. Last week, she shared some of her seasonal favorites and returns this week with a few more delectable dishes.

Autumn vegetables star in hearty, delectable dishes
October 4, 2020 1 a.m.

Autumn vegetables star in hearty, delectable dishes

Autumn is upon us, and chilly weather calls for warming, satisfying foods — and are we in luck. Many gardens are still churning out hardy edibles, and other great veggies beckon from produce counters — fresh from the fall garden.

Reprise of rose care may save grief as well as unneeded effort
September 27, 2020 1 a.m.

Reprise of rose care may save grief as well as unneeded effort

Reprise of rose care may save grief as well as unneeded effort

Garden wrap-up, shrub warning/reminder & a little levity
September 20, 2020 1 a.m.

Garden wrap-up, shrub warning/reminder & a little levity

Area vegetable gardens are at the apex of bountiful harvest now — the reward for good stewardship on the part of the gardener.

Birds’ ‘surprise’ migrations leave empty spot in surroundings
September 13, 2020 1 a.m.

Birds’ ‘surprise’ migrations leave empty spot in surroundings

Birds’ ‘surprise’ migrations leave empty spot in surroundings

Tomatoes are finally ripe: Head for the Farmer’s Market!
September 6, 2020 1 a.m.

Tomatoes are finally ripe: Head for the Farmer’s Market!

Tomatoes are finally ripe: Head for the Farmer’s Market!

Antics of resident and migratory birds overcome postal woes
August 29, 2020 1 a.m.

Antics of resident and migratory birds overcome postal woes

Once in a while something so adorable happens that one simply must share it. My sharing today will probably not be news to a lot of people more savvy than me, but all the same, here it is.

Humble root crops take easily to deluxe gourmet treatment
August 23, 2020 1 a.m.

Humble root crops take easily to deluxe gourmet treatment

The summer sun has blessed our veggie gardens with warmth unknown for decades. Root crops are being dug earlier than usual, and cooks can revel in the availability of beets and carrots – featured today in some really cool recipes. The best part is the possibility of interchanging the veggies (in most cases) for double the culinary benefits. Enjoy!

Sizzling summers support sun-heat-loving ornamentals
August 16, 2020 1 a.m.

Sizzling summers support sun-heat-loving ornamentals

Our HOT summer has taken me back in memory to the ’40s, when as a kid in Coeur d’Alene, I made the daily trek to City Beach and spent hours playing in the water and picking up a toasty tan while basking on the beach.

Betony reprise attests to its many blessings to gardens, pollinators
August 9, 2020 1 a.m.

Betony reprise attests to its many blessings to gardens, pollinators

A few years ago, this column featured an article on the many attributes of Betony (Stachys) and invited interested readers to come over and dig out a few plants for their own gardens. Five or six couples availed themselves of the offer and though I wasn’t really worried about having compromised my own landscape, I was uncertain of the outcome.

Dressings truly make the salad; some classic options offered
August 2, 2020 1 a.m.

Dressings truly make the salad; some classic options offered

Today’s illustration of a three-bean salad is the perfect example of the art of variation, for nearly every dressing offered in our column could be used on it. And the neatest thing is, it makes a brand-new salad each time. This holds for any salad at all – from simple greens to elaborate fruit or beggie offerings. So use today’s line-up for inspiration any time you’re looking for a change in a favorite recipe. Enjoy!

Life at 90: Christmas in July, huckleberries, turtles, birds, bees and the beauty of flowers
July 25, 2020 1 a.m.

Life at 90: Christmas in July, huckleberries, turtles, birds, bees and the beauty of flowers

I’ve been having such a great time the past couple of months with the government windfall of $1,200! When that check came in, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it: Christmas shopping early! Having turned 90 in March, I figured that though I’m in pretty good shape (for the shape I’m in), it might be a great idea to have gifts for my six kids and their various and assorted progeny — totaling about 20 — purchased early. What fun! Even after the infamous Virus entered the scene, I’ve been able to stockpile the “perfect” gift for all of them, and the ensuing sorting, wrapping and in some cases, preparing for shipment, has been a ball.

Seafood, fresh veggies offer great summer dining
July 18, 2020 1 a.m.

Seafood, fresh veggies offer great summer dining

Today’s menu offerings are truly exceptional — with sophisticated possibilities for the fussiest company or to give your own discerning family a summer supper to remember. Seafood stars as go-withs, and the focus is on light but satisfying. Enjoy!

Masters of trade still alive and well in Sandpoint
July 12, 2020 1 a.m.

Masters of trade still alive and well in Sandpoint

One of my favorite memories of the late ’30s and early ’40s was the sound of the triangle “bell” clanging down Third Street in Coeur d’Alene as the horse-drawn cart approached, and the shout of the driver — “Knives, scissors, hatchets and axes!” Mother would run to gather all her dull knives and scissors and take them to the curb to await her turn as the driver plied his trade. Beautifully sharpened utensils were the result — costing about 10 cents each — a dime was a darn good coin back then — and soon he’d clop his pony down to the next two across-the-street neighbors — all eagerly awaiting his talents. And a true talent it was — for who sharpens our cutlery now?

Proper planning can deter mooching deer
July 4, 2020 1 a.m.

Proper planning can deter mooching deer

It seems that though our healthy deer population has mostly moved up the mountains for the summer, a few small groups still seem to hang around and wreak havoc in a host of ornamental gardens.

Small fruit trees, shrubs:  full-size beauty, delicious crops
June 28, 2020 1 a.m.

Small fruit trees, shrubs: full-size beauty, delicious crops

While we north Idahoans are blessed with many wild fruit-bearing trees and shrubs, domestic fruits offer that something extra for the kitchen as well as beauty and benefit to the landscape.

Show-off vinegars as simple as plucking an herb
June 14, 2020 1 a.m.

Show-off vinegars as simple as plucking an herb

Last week’s column on the blessings of vinegar and oil in cookery focused on the glories of really fine olive oils, so this time around we’ll talk about vinegars. My thoughts originally didn’t take into consideration the efficacy of creating your own however, so this offering will be sort a cross-over option for folks of either persuasion.

Everything you ever need to know about olive oil, vinegar
June 7, 2020 1 a.m.

Everything you ever need to know about olive oil, vinegar

In long-gone travels through Greece and Italy, I was always awed by the rustic beauty of the olive groves. In Greece especially, the gnarled trees grew on rugged, dun-colored hills looking impossibly old (and indeed they were) — and though in cookery I’d always touted all things French — I stopped at a shop by a grove near Delphi and bought my first bottle of Greek olive oil. I’ve never been without it since.

Native trees offer practical, pretty, beneficial  landscaping
May 31, 2020 1 a.m.

Native trees offer practical, pretty, beneficial landscaping

Arbor Day activities, though subdued somewhat by the extant virus, have been observed in various ways throughout the nation and the name itself — Arbor/”tree” — determined today’s column. Trees — or rather, small trees — will star front and center in a primer for those of you seeking information on the best choices for your own use.