Today, the Country Chef’s spotlight shines on pasta — so elegant in salads and light side dishes in warm weather, and equally delightful as wintertime fare. We’ll spend two columns on this versatile subject, sharing recipes from far and near. Enjoy!
Recently in The Weekend Gardener, we talked about deer-proof plants and using them in the ornamental gardens. I quoted ideas from a variety of sources throughout the country, and will wrap up a few of their — and others’ — tips in today’s column.
Today’s roundup of soups and stews will complete our three-week adventure in that realm of cuisine. I feel that these four offerings are outstanding, and except for our first, pretty much “all-American.”
Wintertime is soup time! But real, stick-to-the-ribs, hearty soup that satisfies not only hunger but the need for sustenance as well. When it’s cold outside, we want to leave the table feeling filled, stoked, satiated — ready for work, be it at the office or out shoveling snow.
One of the delights of the holidays is the opportunity to show affection and appreciation for those we love.
One especially rewarding delight is the "kissing ball" — a delightful creation using fall's bounty to brighten the holidays. They're fun to make, and part of that fun is the gathering of herbs and greenery to create them.
It’s fresh apple time, and if you are one of those people who lets your apples lie unused on the ground without a clue as to what to do with them, read on! (The rest of us will haunt the farmers’ markets and the region's orchards for organic apples and use them in any number of ways.)
I recently noted that while tomatoes were rampant on supermarkets’ produce counters, they were not ripe here in our area, and when that time came, I would provide some recipes suitable to their wonderfulness (my own word).
Our hot, dry summer has been wonderful for the grain and produce harvest, but really rough on those of use with ornamental gardens that need plenty of water.
However, fall is on the way, and from now until freezing is time to put out bulbs, tubers corms. You can divide, transplant or plant new bulbs (or plants) now.
Weekend Gardener Valle Novak sat with a cup of coffee at her Sandpoint area home, waiting for it to get her heart started for the day, when she noticed a frenzy of activity in the leafy branches of one of her Rocky Mountain Maples. Curious, she grabbed her ever-present binoculars and focused in on — a hummingbird.
Asparagus, spinach, new peas, strawberries — delightful produce is brightening market counters and our gardens will soon follow. Today, the Country Chef offers some tasty and savory goodies to welcome the season.
Today I repeat my annual plea on behalf of the roses. Essentially hardy perennials, they want to live, and can do so for literally hundreds of years — if their purchasers/planters provide the basics: Site, proper selection, planting, and care.
There are those in the landscaping world who do not dote on flowers but prefer the many forms, textures and variety of colors available in foliage plants. This is an understandable preference when one considers the enormous array of beautiful ornamentals in which flowers are secondary to the drama of the leaves.
Sometimes it appears that true spring will never get here! I find solace from the cold, rainy, cloudy skies in the kitchen where the warmth of the oven and good smells from baking waft away thoughts of the weather.
I recently offered some ideas for hedges as property line borders, separation of the garden/home landscape into “rooms,” and as useful dividing lines between veggie or ornamental gardens.
Tall hedges were the point, for their efficiency in maintaining privacy is a “must” for some. You can, however, achieve the same separation of areas — if privacy is not an issue — with lower-growing borders that offer more options for floral/leafy beauty and other considerations such as fragrance, variety and ease of removal (transplanting) if you change your mind after time.
Many years ago, Valle wrote of hedgerows — the type that once bordered cultivated fields in the U.S. and still exist in great numbers in the British Isles. Today, I tone down that beautiful practice into a very practical land-scape planting consideration, hedges.
The sweetest holiday of them all was recently here — St. Valentine’s Day, but you don't need to save this delicious meal for Feb. 14. So, with the touching tale of that nicest of saints to inspire us, we’ll look at some worthy but affordable fare with which to honor our own favorite sweethearts.
One usually thinks of our most beautiful state — Hawaii — as a vacation paradise, but its lavish supply of year-round fruits makes it much more: our wintertime culinary solution.
Mangos, papayas, avocados, coconut, bananas, kiwi, guava, citrus and pineapple come to supermarket produce counters just when we need them most, with refreshing taste, variety, and loads of Vitamin C to make up for our loss of sunshine.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!