May 25, 2024

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Memories of a long life: Travel, food, birds

Memories of a long life: Travel, food, birds

Yesterday marked the 92nd calendar year of my life on this earth. I locate that absolutely unbelievable, and though I am grateful for the reward of longevity with wits still intact (mostly) I really do not know exactly where the very last couple of a long time went!

Born in Coeur d’Alene in 1930, I put in the initially 30 a long time there, as a result of education, marriage(s), and increasing my spouse and children. Through the’60s, I moved to and worked in Spokane in communication — newspapers, Television, and other retailers needing a author/journalist. But when those people decades (and companions) passed and my superb six little ones experienced “grown up and gone” — so to speak — I put the past fully behind me, moved by itself to Sandpoint at age 50 — and that is when my life definitely started. I started off operating at the Bee as a attribute author and ultimately as arts editor — shortly to vie with the title “travel editor” — due to the fact I began my individual “odyssey” of the excellent globe I had began reading about when I was only 5 yrs outdated.*

I experienced previously been to each and every state apart from Rhode Island, viewing The us by auto — and the relaxation of the environment beckoned. I had determined from the commencing that I would by no means be a “it’s Tuesday so this will have to be Vienna” (sic) traveler, so allowed myself time. I spent a total month in Egypt — ditto Mexico (evaluating pyramids!) – Spain/Morocco, and Greece — like a terrific cruise to the islands and Ephesus .Later, I was captivated by London and began supplying (with the support of travel agent Sherry Metz) guided excursions for that great metropolis and its environs. Quickly extra had been Scotland, France, Switzerland and Italy. Add visits to New Orleans with a couple of neat cruises to Jamaica and the Bahamas exactly where I liked snorkeling (and buying). Adding to all this bounty, daughter Shelley and spouse Ray moved to Maui for many several years, which demanded at least three visitations.

As a result did I invest some 20 years in traveling and learning. I spoke satisfactory Spanish, weak French, read the Latin on ruins — and uncovered some hieroglyphs in Luxor! How could I have completed all this, you may well talk to — and my reply is “God’s grace and Visa.”

  • I read about Petra at age 5 (I still have the primary National Geographic) which lit the want for journey in just me — and regrettably, was the a single put I never designed it to!


Talking of Latin – “Hail Caesar”!

We’re all acquainted with the well known “Caesar Salad”, and in New Orleans numerous decades in the past, I ate at what I assumed to be Caesars initial restaurant.


The terrific Caesar Cardini developed his namesake piece de resistance in 1924 at his compact hotel in Tijuana. The previous report in which I found this “new” I (to me) facts disclosed that “he never ever mixed the dressing in advance of time, and nothing at all was measured, so the salad took on the qualities of a spontaneous perform of artwork.” The essentials then were being lemon juice, garlicky olive oil, eggs and Parmesan cheese. Caesar under no circumstances added anchovies, possibly — only a dash of Worcestershire sauce. He also didn’t chop up the Romaine lettuce, utilizing only the hearts, separated for taking in with the fingers!

Here’s the primary recipe.

Traditional Caesar Salad

(For 6)

7 Tbsps. more-virgin olive oil

4-6 garlic cloves, peeled, sliced

2 cups bread cubes, built from firm-textured bread

3 Romaine lettuce hearts

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1/4 tsp. contemporary-ground black pepper

Juice from 1 lemon

2 significant egg yolks, beaten

2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup refreshing grated Parmegiano Reggiano cheese

Merge olive oil and garlic in compact bowl, go over tightly and permit stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325F. Toss bread cubes with 3 Tbsps. garlic oil to coat unfold in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake about 10 minutes or just until edges get started to coloration. Set aside to neat.

Cautiously different the leaves of the romaine hearts place in a substantial coved salad bowl. Drizzle with 2 Tbsps. of the garlic oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper toss well. Incorporate a further 2 Tbsps. garlic oil, the lemon juice, yolks and Worcestershire toss carefully. Sprinkle with cheese and croutons. Have shallow coved bowls available for every single guest. Let them to serve with by themselves with a one particular-piece salad server. The first recipe says to encourage guests to consume their leaves with their fingers — but you can have salad forks on hand. In any situation have a great stack of napkins or paper towel accessible.

I consider this seems like a enjoyable summertime out of doors take care of which could only be improved with icy Bubbly on hand! As well, a platter of prawns would not be remiss for a “full food offer.”

Romaine mixes effectively with other greens for excellent summer time salads, as witness our illustration of a incredible montage of a wide variety of crunchy possibilities needing only a drizzle of olive oil for perfection.


This horrid wintertime has not been variety to the birds. For months, I observed only the different woodpeckers operating my “chef’s choice” of suet blocks. Now, only a quite several Chickadees, Nuthatches and a couple of Chipping sparrows — 5 or six birds max –join the at any time-existing turkey flock at the largesse of sunflower seeds tossed on the snow. Then I caught a glimpse of black-and-orange — and realized it could only be my extensive-time resident Varied Thrush — this reminded me of an write-up I wrote a couple a long time back which I called my “Rhapsody in Black and Orange:” Bundled ended up the thrush, the Robins, glorious Bullock’s Oriole (the West’s version of the East’s Baltimore Oriole), the almost never noticed Black headed Grosbeak, and the Towhees with their perky black tails*. Converse about glamour in the chook globe! At the time, observing them co-current in the most welcoming way with the resident Chickadees, Nuthatches and Juncos, I thought it unquestionably could not get any far better than this! The only damaging was that my digital camera had just ðied” and I could not get a photograph!

Anyhow, it will be just fantastic when this hand-killing, breath-having chilly is long gone and the birds return with their cheery interactions and pure, innocent attractiveness. Amen to that!

  • My chicken book reminded me of the orange-and-black Western Tanager, but they activity a shiny red head, so I opted not to include things like them.

Valle Novak writes the Place Chef and Weekend Gardener columns for the Each day Bee. She can be reached at [email protected] or by mobile phone at 208-265-4688 involving the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.