Wednesday, February 01, 2023
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Valle Novak

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Plan landscape with ‘deer-proof’ plants
January 29, 2023 1 a.m.

Plan landscape with ‘deer-proof’ plants

When all’s said and done, a hungry deer will eat just about anything. However, Weekend Gardener Valle Novak compiled a list from several sources, some of which agree with each other, some offering species not included by others, and some unique ideas for those wishing to include plants beloved by deer in their landscape.

Hearty menu offers satisfying cold weather supper
January 22, 2023 1 a.m.

Hearty menu offers satisfying cold weather supper

When it’s drizzling outside — or snowing or freezing — whatever new quirk our winter is gifting us with — old-timey, warming, and satisfying meals take the sting from January weather.

Hardy shrubs deliver glorious blooms, welcome color
January 15, 2023 1 a.m.

Hardy shrubs deliver glorious blooms, welcome color

So many selections are hardy in our chilly Zone 3-5 area that it’s easy to choose from several varieties. You may wish for color, in bark and leaf as well as flower, perhaps fruit for the bird population, or maybe drama of bloom. Whatever your wishes, there is a shrub or small tree for you.

Tasty, hearty fare satisfies winter appetites
January 1, 2023 1 a.m.

Tasty, hearty fare satisfies winter appetites

Wow! It's the start of another year and it's time to tone down the consump­tion of rich, heavy meals and return to some down­home "comfort" foods to bring the new year in properly.

Landscaping options help lure, protect birds
December 25, 2022 1 a.m.

Landscaping options help lure, protect birds

The Grow Native movement is becoming more and more accepted by home/land owners who appreciate the gifts of birds and wildlife that come with natural planting.

Veggies, seafood turn pancakes into special meals
December 11, 2022 1 a.m.

Veggies, seafood turn pancakes into special meals

Today, pundits are pushing for a simpler way of living, but I, child of the Great Depression, have always lived it. Lucky me, to have a Norwegian mom and grandma, and a German grandma as well, all of whom were superlative cooks-from-scratch (which was how it was back then) and planted within me the seed to always peel my own spuds, chop and grate my own veggies, and never buy packaged foods!

Special consideration needed for butterfly gardens
November 27, 2022 1 a.m.

Special consideration needed for butterfly gardens

Everyone loves butterflies and enjoys having them visit their flower gardens. Many people purposely plant fragrant and colorful annuals and perennials to lure these lovely creatures, and call the results “butterfly gardens,” but there’s much more to it than that, writes Weekend Gardener Valle Novak.

Easy hors d'oeuvres brighten holiday meals
November 13, 2022 1 a.m.

Easy hors d'oeuvres brighten holiday meals

In this classic column from Country Chef Valle Novak, holiday entertaining takes the spotlight.

A testament to wisdom of wild creatures
October 23, 2022 1 a.m.

A testament to wisdom of wild creatures

When I moved here from the Cd’A area in 1980, I bought a great log home on Smith Creek Road off Wrenco Loop. The five-acre property was exactly one mile from Wrenco and boasted a substantial outbuilding which had sheltered the original owners, Ed and Sally Fugle, while they built their house by hand with their own sawmill and on-site trees. I turned the outbuilding into a chicken house and with the gift of five chickens, began my sojourn as a landowner, crop-grower, wood-choppin’ Earth Mother.

Fresh herbs, fall veggies, great food brighten autumn
October 16, 2022 1 a.m.

Fresh herbs, fall veggies, great food brighten autumn

Country Chef Valle Novak shares delicious tastes of fall that take advantage of fresh harvests from the garden.

Provide shelter for nature’s creatures
October 2, 2022 1 a.m.

Provide shelter for nature’s creatures

Giving a hand to nature’s creatures is such a delight; their trust is humbling, and their antics keep one in stitches much of the time.

Fresh summer vegetables provide savory, hearty dishes
September 4, 2022 1 a.m.

Fresh summer vegetables provide savory, hearty dishes

Carrots, green beans and zucchini tumble in profusion on local gardens, produce shelves and at farmers markets now. Today we bring you some wonderful recipes to fully appreciate and enjoy them.

Xeriscaping helps thwart dry summer heat
August 28, 2022 1 a.m.

Xeriscaping helps thwart dry summer heat

Our North Idaho summers have become a beach-lover’s dream and a gardener’s nightmare with hot days and no rain for seemingly endless weeks. But don’t despair, all you green-thumbers, Help is at hand!

Let pasta feast take you to sunny Mediterranean
August 21, 2022 1 a.m.

Let pasta feast take you to sunny Mediterranean

Pasta stars in some elegant and satisfying recipes that need only a couple of “go-withs” and a bottle of wine to make the dinner table more inviting than ever. Enjoy!

Harvest herbs now for delightful gifts
August 14, 2022 1 a.m.

Harvest herbs now for delightful gifts

Lavender, tarragon, thyme, mint, rosemary, parsley, and sage — along with a host of other culinary herbs — are at their prime for harvest and drying now, and it’s the perfect time to put together your Christmas herb bouquets garni for friends and family.

Give your Festival feast a bit of Oriental flair
August 7, 2022 1 a.m.

Give your Festival feast a bit of Oriental flair

While the many excellent food booths at The Festival at Sandpoint offer superlative temptations, sometimes you want to bring your supper to enjoy it along with the great music and the added ambiance of the resident ospreys.

Plethora of goodies make for delightful Festival treats
July 31, 2022 1 a.m.

Plethora of goodies make for delightful Festival treats

From canapés to lettuce wraps to a delightful fruit salad, a little work at home makes for a delightful picnic or Festival meal — or a low-key dinner at home, writes Country Chef Valle Novak.

Rich, nutritious compost feeds hungry plants
July 24, 2022 1 a.m.

Rich, nutritious compost feeds hungry plants

Compost should be comprised of “greens” and “browns”

Don't confuse mulch, composting
July 17, 2022 1 a.m.

Don't confuse mulch, composting

Mulch is a layer of material, preferably organic, placed on the soil surface.

Celebrate summer with fabulous soup, sensational salads
July 10, 2022 1 a.m.

Celebrate summer with fabulous soup, sensational salads

Country Chef Valle Novak shares tasty recipes in this classic column

Cool, delectable summer pies hit the sweet spot
July 3, 2022 1 a.m.

Cool, delectable summer pies hit the sweet spot

Walla Walla sweet onions, seafood combine for a delicious summer meal

Herbs treats, wonderful rhubarb crisps and cookies
June 26, 2022 1 a.m.

Herbs treats, wonderful rhubarb crisps and cookies

Spotlight turns to fresh produce, delicious food

Summer's coming so get the treats ready
June 19, 2022 1 a.m.

Summer's coming so get the treats ready

Summer menus generally run to quick, simple and tasty.

Summer suppers enhanced with easy biscuits
June 12, 2022 1 a.m.

Summer suppers enhanced with easy biscuits

With warm weather finally arriving, we can look forward to fresh fruits and herbs to enhance our meals

Zucchini shines in seasonal summer fare
June 5, 2022 1 a.m.

Zucchini shines in seasonal summer fare

Zucchini is perhaps the most versatile of veggies — and the most taken for granted

A lifetime focus on birds, critters and nature’s gifts
May 29, 2022 1 a.m.

A lifetime focus on birds, critters and nature’s gifts

Celebrate and protect nature

Old roses provide breathtaking beauty, scent, history
May 15, 2022 1 a.m.

Old roses provide breathtaking beauty, scent, history

Old, or antique, roses are appreciated by many

All about roses: pruning, wild rose primer, and old roses
May 8, 2022 1 a.m.

All about roses: pruning, wild rose primer, and old roses

Of all the flowers in all the world the rose is number one

Love roses? Choose natives for beauty, scent, hardiness
May 1, 2022 1 a.m.

Love roses? Choose natives for beauty, scent, hardiness

If you’re planning on putting in some roses, pick what’s right for the area and your space

Tired of mowing the lawn? Consider today’s advice
April 24, 2022 1 a.m.

Tired of mowing the lawn? Consider today’s advice

Natural lawns look beautiful, cut down on the chores

An international array of spring-to-summer salads
April 17, 2022 1 a.m.

An international array of spring-to-summer salads

Regardless of the time of year, salads are a delight

Rhubarb: Spring’s overlooked culinary gift
April 10, 2022 1 a.m.

Rhubarb: Spring’s overlooked culinary gift

Provide beauty, source for delicious treats

Don’t allow chemicals to destroy garden safety
April 3, 2022 1 a.m.

Don’t allow chemicals to destroy garden safety

Natural best for a beautiful garden

Landscapes rock with drama, practicality
March 27, 2022 1 a.m.

Landscapes rock with drama, practicality

Weekend Gardener Valle Novak writes that her first gardens were of the typical raised-bed layout but that changed when she discovered rock gardening

Native shrubs are the answer to landscaping needs
March 20, 2022 1 a.m.

Native shrubs are the answer to landscaping needs

Whether tree, shrub or ground cover, natives guarantee long-lived shelter and often sustenance for bird and wildlife as well as beauty to your surroundings

Super companion planting list includes veggies, herbs, flowers
March 13, 2022 1 a.m.

Super companion planting list includes veggies, herbs, flowers

Though June 5 is still the optimum – safest – time to plant the veggies (and most everything else) it’s a good idea to spend some of March’s bluster planning where and how to work with some of your favorites. Over the years, this column has enlarged its focus to include companions of every ilk – veggies, fruits, herbs, flowers and even some “weeds” – for you to utilize or ignore as you see fit. That said, here’s your annual list. Enjoy!

Memories of a long life: Travel, food, birds
March 6, 2022 1 a.m.

Memories of a long life: Travel, food, birds

Yesterday marked the 92nd year of the life of Country Chef and Weekend Gardener, Valle Novak

Fish for dinner — Just for the halibut
February 27, 2022 1 a.m.

Fish for dinner — Just for the halibut

There’s just one caveat for preparing fish: Don't overcook.

French Country Garden dazzles with edible beauty
February 20, 2022 1 a.m.

French Country Garden dazzles with edible beauty

Bright bounty of dwarf blueberry bushes make the perfect edible ornamental

Legend of St. Valentine offers peace, love
February 13, 2022 1 a.m.

Legend of St. Valentine offers peace, love

St. Valentine’s Day is the epitome of love, kindness and sacrifice.

Treasured old cookie recipes still delight
February 6, 2022 1 a.m.

Treasured old cookie recipes still delight

Country Chef Valle Novak shares a treasure trove of classic cookie recipes.

Curry stars in warming winter soups
January 30, 2022 1 a.m.

Curry stars in warming winter soups

Winter soups warm the cockles of your heart

Add wild onions to your garden/landscape
January 23, 2022 1 a.m.

Add wild onions to your garden/landscape

For centuries here and abroad, cultures have used wild onions and their relatives — as food and medicine.

Lilies offer hardy beauty to garden landscape
January 16, 2022 1 a.m.

Lilies offer hardy beauty to garden landscape

Superb as garden plants, beautiful as long-lasting cut flowers, and ideal container plants, lilies boast a hardiness that belies their fragile beauty.

Violets welcome spring in garden and forest
January 9, 2022 1 a.m.

Violets welcome spring in garden and forest

Look down, now and then, so you don’t overlook the 'prettiest gift of all'

Christmas gift plants can live for years
January 2, 2022 1 a.m.

Christmas gift plants can live for years

From poinsettias to cyclamen, floral gifts are a delight

Welcome 2022 with luscious, unique desserts
December 26, 2021 1 a.m.

Welcome 2022 with luscious, unique desserts

Country Chef Valle Novak shares dishes designed for celebration

Pasta, seafood delights shine at Christmas buffet
December 19, 2021 1 a.m.

Pasta, seafood delights shine at Christmas buffet

Recipes help holiday celebrations sparkle

Yuletide treats and a wild bird update
December 12, 2021 1 a.m.

Yuletide treats and a wild bird update

Country Chef Valle Novak shares tasty holiday treats, news of the wild

Chocolate stars in delicious holiday goodies
December 5, 2021 1 a.m.

Chocolate stars in delicious holiday goodies

Country Chef Valle Novak rounded up some favorites for readers to begin their Christmas candy/cookie adventures in the kitchen.

Mossy habitat can support bevy of ornamentals
November 28, 2021 1 a.m.

Mossy habitat can support bevy of ornamentals

Moss can be just the ticket in certain spots, writes Weekend Gardener Valle Novak.

Spuds take the spotlight for Thanksgiving
November 21, 2021 1 a.m.

Spuds take the spotlight for Thanksgiving

Country Chef Valle Novak shares tasty recipes for the holiday

Fab fare on the menu as holidays near
November 14, 2021 1 a.m.

Fab fare on the menu as holidays near

Unique and fabulous offerings make holidays extra-special

It's time for final garden chores
November 7, 2021 midnight

It's time for final garden chores

Make it easy on yourself

Let practicality take over season's final garden chores

Happy Halloween and a few trick or treat possibilities
October 31, 2021 1 a.m.

Happy Halloween and a few trick or treat possibilities

Some people think of Halloween in terms of seasonal food.

Ornamental greenery enhances landscape
October 24, 2021 1 a.m.

Ornamental greenery enhances landscape

Weekend Gardener Valle Novak writes that it's time to plan for greenery in your landscape

Cookies are perfect Halloween ‘treats’
October 17, 2021 1 a.m.

Cookies are perfect Halloween ‘treats’

Great cookies make ideal holiday treat

October’s beauty belies its warning of winter
October 10, 2021 1 a.m.

October’s beauty belies its warning of winter

Welcome, October!

Labor Day Weekend proved perfect for planting party!
October 3, 2021 1 a.m.

Labor Day Weekend proved perfect for planting party!

A few willing hands proves it doesn’t take a big crew to accomplish a large undertaking

Delectable cookery for your hard-earned mushrooms
September 26, 2021 1 a.m.

Delectable cookery for your hard-earned mushrooms

The best s’hroom recipes are simple, says Country Chef Valle Novak. Today’s offerings provide the proof of that along with some elegant culinary possibilities.

Late September heralds mushroom season: Keys to success
September 19, 2021 1 a.m.

Late September heralds mushroom season: Keys to success

We are blessed with an abundance of edible mushrooms, and learning where to find them is a delight.

Time is now to transplant perennials, ornamentals
September 12, 2021 1 a.m.

Time is now to transplant perennials, ornamentals

Now is the time to start your fall gardening chores