November 26, 2019
Earlier this Fall, some old friends and I spent 10 days in southwestern Alberta. We have taken this trip for 20 years now. It is an annual pilgrimage where we marvel over the spectacle of trout streams that plunge through the shale slabs of the Canadian Rockies. This do-it-yourself camping and fishing affair has always been a celebration of catching large wild fish in pristine terrain. But it is also about kicking back with old mates over a campfire in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
And what better way to celebrate being off-the grid than to cook, drink, and eat. A lot...and with cast iron. I used to pack up my Smithey’s and hit the road for my annual journey west. It turns out Canadian Airlines didn’t think I should travel with 60 lbs of cast iron, so there is now a highly secretive cache of Smithey R&D pans, rejects, and accessories stowed with a battery of camping gear in the corner of a storage unit not far from the best butcher shop in southwestern Alberta. The small inconvenience of lugging my cookware to Canada has been worth it though. It has kindled many a memory.
Every time I clean up a pan after a roisterous camp dinner, it reminds me of how lucky I am to do what I love and love what I do. Whether at home or on a journey into the wild, I get to celebrate the timeless beauty of cast iron, and the joy that cooking in it brings to people, wherever I go. And that, along with all of you, our Smithey community, is what I’ll be giving thanks for this month—and always.