Into the wilds of Memphis for some halibut…and tequila

Fortaleza Anejo

Yesterday was a rare day for us. We went up to Memphis to Buster’s Wine & Liquor–the mid-town super market for best wines, beer, and liquors you cannot get anywhere else nearby. R rarely drinks and by rarely, I mean maybe 3 or 4 times a year he will have a Randorita or a shot of sipping tequila. He wanted Fortaleza Anejo–a highly rated sipping tequila. Buster’s had it–the closest place without going to California. I wanted fresh halibut, so I could make Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen Baked Grouper with Herbs over Polenta. (I know, halibut is not grouper–I will get to that.)

It has been so long since we were in Memphis we were shocked at all the new construction, road improvements, and kept asking if we were on the right road. We might not be able to get an electrical connection the right size for another 7 months but it doesn’t appear that Memphis is in a slowdown! Perhaps that is related to Mississippi being ranked #50 out of 50 states in almost every thing except poverty, racial disparity, adverse childhood experiences, asthma, food insecurity, unemployment, infant mortality, diabetes, obesity, just to note a few. [Please note: that is not MS bashing; you can find those statistics in almost any source you choose. Just stating the facts here.]

We were back home in time to feed Steffi and Abby their dinner, and I fed the kitties and watered flowers, and sat a few minutes on the front porch (albeit, under the fan!) to enjoy a small serving of the Santa Julia organic chardonnay from Argentina that I had discovered while cuz and I were on the Florida camping trip. Thank you, Buster’s! After all the critters had been fed, I went in to start dinner. Son came over shortly and asked “What are you building here?”

Baked halibut with herbs, spices, organic cherry tomatoes; served over rice, accompanied by fresh green beans almandine with truffle butter and fresh asiago sourdough boule. Accompanied by Santa Julia organic chardonnay from Argentina in Stoelzle crystal

I flashed the printed picture of Dorothy’s baked grouper over polenta and explained (as he said “grouper? What’s that?”) that I was substituting halibut and rice for grouper and polenta per Dorothy’s always generous suggested alternatives. I was uncertain if R or J eat polenta, and I had never had grouper but I know we all like halibut. And as I mentioned to Dorothy, I do not have a fish monger. 😢 I reckon the next best thing is to drive to Germantown to the Fresh Market and visit the fish counter, which I did. Nice as he was, pretty sure that young man at the counter was not a genuine fish monger, but I am willing to be wrong. I do love the awesome selections of fresh organic produce, the meat and fish options, and the bakery there. Well, to be truthful, I love everything about that store including the range of pasta, sauces, condiments, and other items ad infinitum. Back in the early days of living here, we traveled to Memphis once a month to get holistic dog food and always made the final stop at Fresh Market Germantown. It is a small store, but packed with all the items I dearly love to cook, eat, and drink.

Once the fish was in the oven baking, it was just sit back and reflect on the wonderful day R and I had enjoyed, the glorious relishing of seeing and doing something different from the normal routine of the last 2 years, and the pleasure of interacting with live humans who were smiling and talking to us. I mentioned we needed to start doing that again, at least once or twice a month–not necessarily Memphis, but to take a day trip somewhere together to just relax and enjoy time off the hillside.

Thank you again, Dorothy, for a tasty, healthy, amazingly easy entrée that was the perfect ending for a perfect day.

This entry was posted in Acts of Restorative Kindness, Family, Food and Wine and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Into the wilds of Memphis for some halibut…and tequila

  1. Katie says:

    Okay, that dinner looks delicious. And perfect after a busy day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica says:

    We go to Memphis once in a while and I haven’t heard of either place. I don’t drink, but my husband loves a good tequila, whiskey, or vodka. He can find decent ones here, but I’m sure he would love the place you described. Looks like maybe I ought to start trying some of Dorothy’s recipes- I am in a bit of a cooking rut. Your dish looks amazing. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      Thank you, Jessica. I don’t know where you travel from, but Buster’s is midtown on Highland off Poplar and the Fresh Market I like is in Germantown on Poplar as you are heading back toward Byhalia road returning to Mississippi. They do have a Fresh Market at Poplar and White Station Road in Memphis which would be closer depending on where you were going on leaving. You should definitely try Dorothy’s recipes! I have made several of them and they have all been delicious. They vary in how much effort, but it is always worth it. I especially like that she provides alternative options as well as vegan, gluten-free, or dairy free. We are not vegan, nor have issues with gluten or dairy, but I really enjoy eating plant-based meals and she is great at that. She does a lot of seafood options given her location in New England. I loved to cook but had gotten out of the habit lately, and now that I have my new kitchen am enjoying getting back into it. I am working on lowering my cholesterol via diet and exercise, and her recipes are great for that, also.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jessica says:

        Thank you for telling me where those are. We come in from Arkansas. We live about 10 miles north of Arkansas in MO. Memphis is about 2 hours for us. We’ve spent the night near downtown, ridden the trolley, been to the Bass Pro pyramid, the zoo, and some other touristy things. Next time, I’ll definitely add in the ones you’ve suggested. Thank you. To me, the markets sound amazing!
        Ok, wow! I will definitely have a look at her recipes. I am vegan, gluten free, and dairy free, so I am super interested now. Love when alternatives are offered. I think I may be following that blog, but I haven’t made any of the recipes yet. How exciting about a new kitchen!!! It does make cooking fun.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Having gone to college in Memphis, I loved this post.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Betty says:

    Sounds like a wonderful day, a delicious dinner and a resolve to refresh yourself with a change of scenery on a regular basis. I like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like a great day, and I’m so pleased you enjoyed my recipe! It’s so easy, and so flavorful, and everyone I’ve served it to in its various versions has loved it. I also love your green beans almandine with truffle butter, and I’ll have to give that combination a try!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fresh halibut in Memphis? Astonishing. Some of the best halibut I recall eating in an inland location (excluding obvious coastal locations like Puget Sound or Portland) was in Palm Springs, California. It was superb and staggeringly expensive. But Palm Springs has staggeringly rich inhabitants, so it was all on par. Nice-looking ladies at adjacent tables were speaking Russian….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      I am not sure where they fly it in from, but it is always good. It has truly increased in price tremendously since the last time I bought it though. However, since I am so staggeringly rich also I just bought it anyway, right? Seriously, had I known how much it would be, I probably would have looked at the grouper!


  7. Julia says:

    We are heading to Memphis on Wednesday. If the RV park is nice, we’ll stay there a bit and explore.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beth says:

    I highly recommend day trips or as I did today it was a wander about locally day! They are not too much of a drive and the change of scene, not to mention opportunities to explore a little, is a welcome change. The fish looks delicious as well as light and satisfying!

    Liked by 1 person

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