Good grubs

We’re glad the snow is mostly gone, but it’s still frosty on the Gorge in the morning, with odd wraiths rising from the deep.

There’s nothing like starting off the new year with a good meal somewhere new. I’d wanted to try Smoken Bones Cookshack since hearing the chef, Ken Hueston, talk at the Farmlands conference in November. The place is simple, the ingredients high quality and well prepared. My beef ribs (with local yam fries and collard greens) had the happy double purpose of bringing light to Anton’s new year as well. Should have stopped after the main course – which was substantial but not excessive – because a heavy hand on the cinnamon meant the organic peach cobbler was overwhelmed, and the cobbler itself wasn’t great. Would like to try the brulée du jour next time; although the desserts did look a bit too big to wrangle after a plate full of meat. Maybe they are designed to share.

Anyway I liked also the fact that Smoken Bones has local eating and drinking nights three times a year; the next one’s coming up in March. Gonna try to be there.

Much to my regret I won’t be making the Grub mingler and fundraiser for LifeCycles this week, but it sounds like a wonderful thing.

Started reading from the back of the latest Poetry magazine which featured a great interview with Seamus Heaney; I’m thinking it was probably an excerpt of a recently released book of interviews by Dennis O’Driscoll, Stepping Stones, which they say is a biography by any other name. He has interesting things to say about the sources, for him, of some of his well-known poems, and the value to him of form, which he says brings poems on more quickly and easily than free verse does.

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