I sit here doing a most unusual thing. I am chewing the fat. No, I'm not talking to anyone. No juicy gossip is being shared. I am all alone except for the puppy. But I'm chewing the fat. Literally.
A couple of years ago, as I made multiple trips from Maryland to Florida and back again, I discovered an amazing restaurant. At least it is to me.
Thunderbird Country Buffet. It sits right on 95 in Florence, South Carolina. I remember because that was my sweet grandma's name. Florence. It's attached to a very rundown motel. They call it an inn. I have no desire to stay there. Ever! I'll admit, I'm a bit of a motel snob. I have lobster taste on a hot dog budget, lol.
The restaurant is not much better, aesthetically. Reviews often call it dirty. I think that if it were perfectly clean, it would still look dirty and grungy. It needs a remodel. Badly.
The only thing in the decor that looks like it could have been purchased in the last twenty years is the drapery. A waiter who had been there for many years explained to us once that the only remaining owner is very old. He has always been very adamant about nothing being changed for sentimental reasons. Perhaps a dear wife. I can't quite remember.
But apparently the drapery was falling off of the rods and beyond repair and a few years ago he allowed for new window coverings. It's still an old-fashioned style, but the drapes are fresher and newer. Everything else is very much in need of a face lift.
But if you can get past what you see, the food is amazing. Homemade and fresh and delicious. Fried chicken and fried fish, with cheesy mac & cheese, slow cooked veggies, and homemade breads. The desserts are old school and delicious, and people come from miles around for their peach cobbler.
And it was here that I discovered a delicacy. Fat back. I LOVE fatback! It is similar to very thick cut bacon, except without the strips of meat. I don't like that part. I break the meat off of bacon and give it to the dog. I'm not kidding. Fatback is, in its entirety, the very best part of bacon. Except thicker. And softer. And saltier.
I know, I know. Fatback is bad for me. Very, very bad. Good thing I live six hours away from Thunderbird Country Buffet. Right? I don't get there often.
But my grafted-in sister made the journey from Maryland to Florida a few days ago. And she made a stop along the way just for me. Thunderbird Country Buffet. And as she walked through my front door I was greeted with hugs and a styrofoam container of six-hour-old fatback. I'm a happy camper.
I could tell you HOW to eat it, if you ever have the opportunity, but I won't bore you with those details today. Private message me if you really have a need to know. But I can tell you this. I am sitting here chewing on the cured and fried fat from the back of some poor pig feeling very, very blessed. The Lord is so good to me. In every little thing. I wish I knew why.
Psalm 103:1-5 "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases...Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things."
Read all of Psalm 103 and see who God is, who I am, and where my sins are. Oh, how I love Him!
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