Memphis – RIP

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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To explain my absence here –

All the color has left my house. Dexter & Moxie & I are left to grieve the loss of another best friend. A few weeks short of being 8, suddenly – on June 20th – & with no explanation – apparently in his sleep. My gorgeous, adoring, adored — and deeply loved – Memphis. The not knowing why is only less brutal than the searing loss. Memphis was our salvation 4 years ago – after the similar loss of my son, Grisbi. I looked at Memphis every day – grateful he was so young & that I had the promise of many years ahead with him. He was such a vulnerable, cuddly, needy, handsome, perfect little guy. I cannot believe he has been ripped away from us so so prematurely. None of us could possibly have loved him more than we do. He was our golden angel boy.

I lost the boy who was, perhaps, the baby I have loved the most deeply. Maybe because he loved me with such complete commitment. Maybe because he came to me after having already lived a hard life himself. Maybe because he was the cure to the massive shock & heartbreak here caused by the sudden loss my 4-year old pug, Grisbi. Maybe because my other two dogs also seemed to see something special in him. Maybe because he was bossy & demanding & soft & cuddly. Maybe because he thought every idea I had was the best one. Maybe because his eyes drooped closed from just the expectation of a chest scratching. Maybe because he loved food as much as I do. Maybe because he had a pinky toe that was too short & he hated anyone touching it. Maybe because his tail curled tighter when I spoke to him. I don’t know. The only things that are certain: that I could not possibly have loved him more than I DO – and that he left us a full ten years before he should have. We are left awash in grief & with a deep sense of injustice. We miss you so brutally, my Memphis. So terribly.

RIP, Memphis, my baby. I love you as much as you loved me – times infinity. xoxoxoxox

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Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew & Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas

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Photo by Miles B. Miller – 2013

All Other Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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My most recent travels put me in Oxford, Mississippi for four days at the amazing Oxford Film Festival

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where my new short (Grasshopper!) was screening along with my pal Richard Speight, Jr’s short (America 101) – which had it’s world premiere.  I was entertained watching him get stopped like a rock star everywhere he went by avid Supernatural fans.

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Nice drinks

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Bizarre hotel lobby taxidermy:

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And good eats in cutie downtown Oxford:

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From there, my boyfriend, Miles, and I headed to Memphis for an anniversary of sorts that we called our “Memphersary.”

Two days there eating great food at Flight

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and we tried grilled oysters at Bleu:

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We got caught in the rain on Beale Street:

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Some vegetarian soul food sides at Rum Boogie Cafe (and a super intimidating-looking Miles):

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We spent lots of time at the duck-obsessed Peabody & enjoyed looking at the Memphis Pusiness Journal sign from the roof.

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And Miles ate lots of meat at The King’s Palace on Beale:

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Then we took the Greyhound to Little Rock:

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Classy & handy syringe disposal:

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And the hottest spot in Forrest City – the Greyhound terminal.ImageImageImage

Too much to tell about Little Rock except that by the time I got there, I was craving something not fried & I was dying to cook something.  These two desires were satisfied separately.   Miles bought me a decadent lunch at Ashley’s in the Capital Hotel.

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We shared an amazing shrimp & grits which was so good, I pretended not to see the ham floating in there & just avoided it:

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I had a squash risotto:

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And look at this ridiculous steak & potato tower Miles got!!!

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The crazy thing was that these entrees cost an average of about $17 each but the cheapest wine was $14 a glass.  Yikes!

In return, I went to the only grocery store near his condo and bought the ingredients to make him a beef stew.

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The grocery is an upscale, little mini-market attached to Dugan’s, the Irish pub on the ground floor of Miles’ condo building.  We spend a LOT of time at Dugan’s.  Anyway, when I say I bought the ingredients – I mean I had to buy everything.  Here is the inside of Miles’ fridge & freezer:

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NOTHING.  Nothing except beer, wine, club soda, tonic water & some film.

Here is the little market (shots taken by Miles):

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Dugan’s little store is really a miraculous wonderland.  Everything I could think of – they seemed to have.  Not a selection of everything but a little bit of everything from laundry soap to fresh, raw salmon to fancy cheeses to cereals & canned goods.  They make sandwiches & soups & have wicked looking pastries, inexpensive wines & honestly, just about everything else I could think of – albeit in small quantities.

By comparison, Miles is FAR less stocked – as he owns ONE pan with a lid & a slow cooker that gave him that he has never used.

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Oh – and he has salt & pepper & a bag of Asian condiments (soy seen below) from a restaurant from which he gets delivery.  And he has ONLY one knife – a steak knife.

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I spent $45 in the store on a rib-eye, some potatoes & carrots & garlic & rice & a few condiment items, a can of tomatoes, a large container of rice and some olive oil.

Here is the kitchen:

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Here is the view from the kitchen:

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Here are the ingredients:

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And here is what I did:

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Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

INGREDIENTS

Meat (a chuck larger than my hand & fingers) – cubed

4 garlic cloves – diced

2 TBS olive oil

1 red onion – diced

1 carrot – cubed

1 potato – cubed

1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes

1/2 cup red wine

1 TBS A-1 Steak Sauce

Crystal Hot Sauce (to taste)

1/3 cup Curly Bob’s Sauce (HERE is a little article on Curly Bob)

Soy sauce and/or salt & pepper to taste

(You could add peas or any other veggies you care to, as well, or maybe some barley.)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil & saute the garlic & onion until translucent.  Add the cubed meat & cook nearly through.  Add red wine & cook over high heat a minute or two.

Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker & cook on high for 4 hours or on low for eight.  I stirred mine around occasionally and added a packet of soy sauce – mostly because it was the only other ingredient handy with which to get crazy.  Not a single spice (other than S&P) was added to this dish.

Unfortunately – I divvied this all up & froze it for Miles to have in my absence & completely forgot to photograph the results.  I was also unable to taste it.  What I can say is – it friggin’ SMELLED awesome while it cooked!

A few nights ago, Miles defrosted it all & shared it to his friend & his brother.  He declared it a success & sent me the two photos I have posted here.  He is a fussy eater so if he says it was good – I’m gonna believe him!

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In closing – here is Miles & his brother Josh & their uncle, Watson.  Little Rock is very photogenic!

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Bloody Brain Shooters are not!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013