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Grace Overflows on Boggy Bayou: Part 1

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Sunday, July 11, 2021


Yesterday, Tom and I crossed the Destin Mid-Bay Bridge and took the better part of the day in search of a couple of things… real estate properties and more importantly, food! The latter one, my friends, is a search that never ends. Are we “foodies”? I don’t know. I guess we’d like to think so. But even more so, we’re “eaties”. Yes, we’re DEFINITELY “eaties”! Did we find either? Well, maybe and yes. The property we found is not really our gig at the very moment, but it is a friend’s. We’re helping him look. Maybe, just maybe, more on that in the coming months. But, the food we found, well… that’s TOTALLY our gig, and boy, did we stumble upon a GREAT one!

I guess a couple of months ago, Tom had seen this place which sits across the water from the harbor where a friend docks his boat. Apparently, this place struck a chord in him as he recalled it today. He didn’t know the name, its exact location or even what it was, but he banked it in his memory. So, in search of this “whatever” place, we headed down a dirt road and discovered “Willingham Seafood Market”.

Don’t you just LOVE seafood markets? I always have! In fact, I can still remember as a little girl going to the best two in our New Jersey hometown. I can remember the smell, the sights and “Al”, one the local proprietors. Mostly, we got flounder which my mom would dredge in cornmeal and fry come Friday night. YUM!

So this place is AWESOME! It is located along the beautiful “Boggy Bayou”. As we drove up, there was an older couple exiting with a HUGE bag of little neck clams alerting us to the fact that there must have been a FANTASTIC clam bake somewhere along the coast yesterday! We just might need to do that. There were oyster shells covering the parking lot (these shells are often used around here like pebbles), and the entrance was a nostalgic screen door that of course, creaked upon entering. The market was very small but just enough busy!

What a GREAT selection they had! And the guys working there? They were so very friendly and knowledgeable. I could just tell they loved this life. It’s the simple things. It was so hard to choose our catch, but we finally settled on crab fingers and “scamp”. Now, scamp is a new one for me, but Tom knew of it (of course). Scamp is a type of grouper, and who doesn’t like grouper? Tom says, “If you are lucky enough to find it in the market at a good price, buy it.” So, we did! And, Oh. My. Goodness! Delicious! It was so good that I am sharing the link to the recipe below. Really… I think this would work well for any white fish if scamp or any other type of grouper is not available. Give it a try!

Here is the link to the recipe…

Docked outside the shop were a couple of beautiful, old shrimp boats. The guys told us these working beauties head their way out along the panhandle shrimping from Apalachicola, Florida all the way to Mobile Bay, Alabama. I don’t know about you, but give me a few big ol’ cold shrimp and some cocktail sauce, and I’m pretty much in food heaven! The boats were docked along a long skinny pier. I’m glad they decided to rest the day we were there! What a beautiful sight!

Now, we are NOT shy people, but we try our best to be safe and respectful of property, so we asked the guys if we could walk along the pier. Tom for the boats and me for the many, MANY pelicans I saw. #FunFact There are two animals I absolutely and equally adore at the beach: pelicans and dolphins. The joy these beauties God created brings me is insane, and I will probably write much-ly about both of them. Today, it's definitely pelicans.

We got the approval. I was THRILLED, but I had never fed a pelican before… never.Life is full of “firsts”; don’t miss out on them!I got to feed my new and very, VERY close friend, well, first. Obviously, she was thrilled, and so was I! Our friendship and our trust was building. Take the time to build friendships. Get to know someone. Food is a great way to break the ice. Trust takes time. And, as one would expect… where there’s free food, there’s takers. One by one, the rest of them came… running toward us. Oh my gosh… ADORABLE! I was able to feed 5 of them, and yes… one did get a little mean to my new friend. I scolded him a bit, but I forgave him just as quickly. It’s good to forgive. It was a fun and frenzied feeding time! Oh, what an experience! I’ll never forget it… never, and not just for the feeding either. In that time and in that exchange with these BEAUTIFUL creatures, we noticed something very special about my new friend. In Part 2 of this blog… I’ll share more.

~ Christina


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