Barring unforeseen circumstances (and if all goes according to plan), I plan on sleeping in until around 8 (Wednesday) morning, waking up to the wonderful aroma of my Mom frying bacon on the stove and baking homemade biscuits in the oven.

Of course, thatís taking into account that I made my 5 a.m. flight Tuesday morning and I arrived in Columbia, South Carolina just in time to take my mom to lunch at the Lizardís Thicket, which happens to be one of our favorite restaurants. My mouth is already watering just thinking about having a big plate of collard greens cooked with fatback and just the right amount of pepper flakes.

But I digress.

I want to talk about today.

You see, todayís my birthday.† And for my birthday, Iím taking Mom to the Palmetto Pig on Devine Street, just a few blocks from the South Carolina State Capitol. The pulled pork barbecue and BBQ hash over rice is just heavenly. There are no other adjectives that come close to describing how wonderfully delectable it tastes.

I havenít had BBQ hash over rice since I went home to visit mom last May. Itís been a year, and Iím really craving it. Donít ask me whatís in it. All I know is itís made with beef and is spiced with vinegar and lots of pepper. I think itís also the only South Carolina dish thatís made with beef ó everything else is made with pork or seafood. And if it doesnít include pork, itís cooked with pork.

The Palmetto Pig opens at 11 and Iíd really like to be there when they open. They have a open buffet line that includes real mac and cheese that just melts on your tongue (Iím sure itís made with pork), cole slaw, corn bread and homemade Nanner Puddiní. Oh, they also have fresh green beans cooked in, you guessed it, fatback. Thatís what I call, ďGood Eats.Ē You can go through the line as many times as you like ó as long as you donít leave the building. Iíd like to make a few passes before they close at 3.

So yes, I plan to be in ďhog heavenĒ on my birthday.

Mom had mentioned going to Murrellís Inlet on Thursday to have a South Carolina boiliní pot. That sounds good, too. Crab, muscles, clams and shrimp boiled up in a big pot with corn on the cob, red potatoes and a big link of pork sausage and seasoned to perfection. When it comes off the fire, they spread newspaper over the table, drain the pot and dump the contents out on the table.

Of course, if we do end up taking a road trip to the coast, we have to leave early to arrive in time for breakfast because you havenít lived until you have a big bowl of shrimp and grits. And yes, it has bacon in it and it is absolutely wonderful.

But Iím getting ahead of myself.

Weíre still talking about today.

My day at the Palmetto Pig. Iíll be thinking about yíall while Iím eating my birthday feast. Iíll take a picture, too. If I remember. When I went last year I never slowed down long enough to take a photo and by the time I thought about it, the only thing to take a picture of was an empty plate.

Hey, itís my birthday and I can pig out if I want to.

In addition to having some good food, Iím looking forward to spending time with Mom and seeing my cousins. Iíll see you all when I get back from vacation. Be sure to follow my epicurean experiences from Carolina on Facebook.