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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.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Making clotted cream

It's a staple for afternoon tea in England and can be found jarred at some high end grocers. But if you're hoping to have real clotted cream with the scones you'll be making to help you set the tone for watching the Royal Wedding on Friday, search out the heavy cream usually called whipping cream. Avoid the type labeled ultra-pasteurized because it probably won't work. And unless you really don't care one bit about calories, make just a small quantity. It's very very good on lots of things and so simple to make it would be really easy to overindulge. You'll find the scones recipe in Wednesday's Food story in the News-Herald, which is aimed at helping you celebrate the Royal Wedding in style, whether you're at home alone at the crack of dawn or having friends over to watch the nuptials at 6 a.m. Cleveland time. Start making it right away so it will be ready for eating by then.
The clotted cream can be stored in the fridge for three or four days.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Pour whipping cream into a heavy-bottomed oven-safe pan. Choose a small pan so cream comes up one to three inches. Cover the pan and place in the oven. Leave it undisturbed for at least 8 hours until a thick yellow skin has formed over the cream. That skin is the clotted cream. Let the pan cool to room temperature then place the entire pan in the refrigerator for another 8 hours. Skim the clotted cream off the top and serve with scones. The remaining cream can still be used for baking.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Changes at Gavi's

It was sad to learn that Gavi's Restaurant is closing so Dave and Mary Gromelski can devote their energies to their burgeoning catering business. But it makes sense when you hear them tell it. Everyone who knows them will remark on the fine hospitality they serve up and comment on how both are very hands-on managers, greeting guests and seeing to every aspect of the dining experience. Over the years they've also operated the food service at Andrews School, Lake Farmpark and done a lot of catering for weddings and fundraisers, fine tuning their efforts in that direction. Seven years ago when they became parents of daughter Sara one had to wonder how they would manage. Mary's mom came to live with them and has always spoken Italian to Sara, resulting in the girl being totally bilingual. A few years ago the Gromelskis opened Sara's in Gates Mills, naming it after their daughter and soon acquiring a whole new group of fans for their food.
But ther missed working together and in figuring out how to remedy that they decided to use Gavi's as a venue for parties and events and puit its kitechn at the center of the catering operation. It makes good sense from both a business and personal perspective.
I'm sure the restaurant will be packed with well wishers in the few weeks left before it closes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm so honored

Here's my news from the spring meeting of the Midwest Travel Writers Association, of which I've been a member since 1983. Those who follow my regular blogs got other aspects of these two stories last year.
I am so honored by these awards.

The News-Herald's Janet Podolak has won two travel writing awards from the Midwest Travel Writers Association. The honors were announced Saturday at the organization's spring meeting in Chicago.

In awarding an honorable mention to Podolak's "Say Bonjour to Something Different" Judge Cindy Richards, said "This two-part series gives a nice overview of the least populated corner of France with its donkey ride along the Robert Louis Stevenson Trail, boat ride along the Tarn River and a huge underground cave."

See that story at

Podolak's "Meet those sharing Adriatic Voyage" won an honorable mention in the competition's photojournalism category with Richards writing: "This piece about a trip aboard a wooden sailing ship off the coast of Croatia advertised it all — photos, text and video."

Find that story at

Podolak, who has been with The News-Herald since 1973, lives in Mentor. In addition to Travel, she writes for the Food, Health, Religion and Community sections of The News-Herald.

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