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Choucroute garnie. With kielbasa, smoked pork butt, and ham.

There are a huge number of reasons why I love living in the South, and wouldn’t really consider living anywhere else. And one of those reasons is that when folks have an illness or a death in the family, Southern cooks take to the kitchen.

My pastor is just out of the hospital after nine days’ worth of surgery, recovery and IV antibiotics resulting from a very angry brown recluse spider that munched on his arm a couple of weeks ago. Generalized systemic staph infection resulted. This is, you understand, not a Good Thing.

He’s home and doing well, but he’s quite tired, and his wife has gone back to work, leaving him in the care of his teenaged children. So I told her at church Sunday that I’d bring dinner over one night this week.

Now, I know Charlie, who has some German heritage, likes German food. I do too, and I don’t get a lot of opportunity to cook it. So I decided to cook him some choucroute garnie.

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Sunday dinner. Could’ve done without out-of-season okra.

Y’all. Go to Sam’s, right now, and get you some Weber Honey Garlic Rub.

You don’t have a Sam’s card? Go get one, you cheapskate. You’ll save the $50 a year on toilet paper, laundry detergent and dishwasher soap. Not to mention whatever other goodies you get in the habit of buying.

I was in Sam’s the other day, picking up some of the basics I get at Sam’s, and sampling the samples as I shopped. If you go to Sams about 11 a.m. on a Friday, you can basically eat lunch off the samples, if you’re not plumb ravenous. And sometimes, you try something you just have to buy, which, of course, is their point.

And they had chunks of chicken breast, sprinkled down with Weber’s Honey Garlic Rub, and sauteed on their little hot plate. And they were pretty decent, albeit REAL garlicky, and I thought to myself, “Self? We could make use of that, couldn’t we?” and Self agreed that we could, albeit we’d need to do something to tone down the garlic just a bit, else our breath would become a corporeal object.

So we bought it.

And promptly forgot about it.

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