Blogs > News-Herald Food and Travel

Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Omelet in Alberta

A few blogs back I wrote about the lovely breakfast I enjoyed at the Lake Shore Bed & Breakfast & Spa in Alberta. I sat in Kathy Gette's living room on the edge of Lake Newell as I wrote that blog because that was where my computer found the wi-fi signal. I was writing quickly as we prepared to leave for the next part of my explorations in western Canada. It was a whirlwind trip in the first days of summer to very unusual part of the world.

If you get The News-Herald, you'll read the first part of my series about that visit on Sunday. It's about the legacy left by dinosaurs in southeastern Alberta, but those of you who are following my blog have had something of a preview. More dinosaur remains have been found there than any other place in the world .

You'll meet Kathy and her b&b in the second part of the series, which runs July 27. In that story I promise a picture of the shrimp omelet with tequila lime sauce she served me. It was one of the most delicious things I tasted that entire week!

Here's the recipe, fulfilling the FOOD title of this blog. I also am the newspaper's Food editor so I expect to bring more of that aspect of my job into future blogs.

2 eggs, beaten
5 Shrimp sauteed in coconut oil and minced garlic
Sliced red pepper oven roasted until brown
Cream cheese sliced
Cook omelet in small amount of coconut oil. When set, lay thinly sliced cream cheese on top. Add red pepper slices and four shrimp. Fold over and slide onto plate. Top with slice of red pepper, 1 shrimp and spoonful of tequila lime sauce.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

driving to Alaska

Last week in Alberta I met the Muellers and Glasscocks who were driving their Honda Goldwing motorcycles more than 5,000 miles to Alaska. It wasn't hard to spot the folks who belonged to the tricked out motorcycles in the parking lot of the Alberta Travel Centre just over the border from Montana.

They were sitting at a picnic table planning their overnight in Banff, still about four hours' drive away. But since it doesn't get dark this far north until well after 10 p.m., they had plenty of time.

They had almost 2,000 miles behind them and would spend another two weeks to reach Alaska. They expected to take six weeks for their epic journey, which began in the Florida retirement community where the couples met.

They're paying about $30 a night to camp in the pop-up campers they're towing behind their $35,000 motorcycles. The pop-ups open to a comfortable 5 by 14 foot space that keeps them well out of the elements.

They're driving the Cana-Mex Highway, a major route for traffic between Mexico and Canada that follows an ancient trade route used by Indians for thousands of years.

Find out what the Muellers and Glasscocks expect to spend for their epic journey in the News-Herald's July 6 Travel section.
That's also where you'll learn about purple gas and the numerous Alberta oil wells that provide more than 15 percent of our fuel.

Smoky Virginia beach

I'm just back from Virginia Beach where the smoky air made me flee even the gorgeous beach.

More than 4,000 acres of the Great Dismal Swamp on the North Carolina-Virginia border are burning. Because it's an underground fire of the peat that underlies the swamp, it's been hard to fight.

Since the prevailing winds this time of year are from the west/southwest, that takes the smoke over the Outer Banks and the Virginia shore most of the time. News accounts report that an outdoor worker as far away as baltimore reported smelling the smoke, which has an earthy not really unpleasant odor.

I was visiting my daughter in the shore community of Sandbridge, where the smoke obscured the sun, made my eyes water and made it impossible for a morning run along the beach. This is a community of huge vacation homes typically rented by families and groups of friends. The upcoming July Fourth weekend is prime time and every house is filled.

As is so often the case in areas where tourism is a big part of the economy, news accounts of the fire haven't been widespread. Although Northeast Ohioans love to vacation along this part of the Atlantic coast, we're more apt to hear about the California wildfires. The fires began June 9

"People come out of their houses and smell smoke so call the fire department," my daughter told me. "They're now telling people not to call them unless they see flames."

Those folks committed to their rentals months ago so tourismin Sandbridge isn't really being affected. But in downtown Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks people who hear of the swamp fire are making other plans.

The Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality has declared Code Orange days most of the past month. That means air quality is unhealthy and active children and adults, and people with heart and lung disease should think about staying indoors and rescheduling outdoor actitivities.

No one can predict when this fire will be put out. Some people have said it will probably take a hurricane to do the trick.
Others point to history and a 1923 Dismal Swamp fire they called the Great Conflagration.

It burned for three years.