7 Year Tea Party Winners: Susan Craft's winner of her trilogy novels - The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia is: Lucy Reynolds, The winner of a copy of The Backcountry Brides is: Tammy Cordery, the winner of a silver quill charm is: Kathy Maher, Choice of one of three books by Carrie Fancett Pagels in paperback: Joy Ellis, A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas winner is: Becky Smith, Janet Grunst's Selah-Award winning novel, A Heart Set Free, is: Sherry Moe.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Have you noticed that with the arrival of fall, with its cooler days and evenings, our menus also change? In our home, we shift from cold soups, pasta salads, and vegetables, to warmer fare like soups and stews.

Soups and stews have been around probably as long as folks have been preparing meals. One pot containing an entire meal, be it pottages, porridges, stews, or soups was a typical repast throughout the colonies. It was nutritious and met the needs of the affluent as well as the poor, the healthy or the sick. Ingredients were as varied as the culture, nationality, and availability permitted.

One such dish that dates back to at least the Colonial era is a favorite that has become known as Brunswick Stew. There seems to be a question about the true birthplace of Brunswick stew; some place its origin as Brunswick County, Virginia and others swear it all started in Brunswick, Georgia

While both may have a claim, there are so many variations to the stew, it’s fair to say this mixture of meat and vegetables could come from almost any area. I’ll share the recipe that I have from Virginia which my family has enjoyed for many years. Of course they may prefer this recipe because I have substituted ham and chicken for squirrel and rabbit. This makes a large quantity so I freeze some to use at a later time. Sweet corn bread is the perfect accompaniment. Many recipes for cornbread, Johnnycakes, spoon bread, and hasty pudding may have originated with Native Americans and adapted by the colonists. Like Brunswick Stew, there are many recipes for each of these dishes.

Stewpot at Brunswick/St. Simon Visitor Center, Georgia
Brunswick Stew
Cut up 3lb. chicken and place in large soup kettle with 3 quarts water or broth
1 large onion diced
1/2 lb. lean ham cut into small pieces
-simmer 2 hours
Add: 3 pints of tomatoes
1 pint lima beans
1 pint corn
4 large potatoes diced
1Tbsp. salt
1/4 teasp. pepper
small pod red pepper or 1 can pimento

Cover and simmer gently 1 more hour. Can add 3 oz butter
Serve hot.

Sweet Corn Bread or Muffins
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs beaten
½ cup salad oil 
1 cup milk
1½ cup regular flour 
3 tsp. baking powder
1½ cup yellow cornmeal
1/8 teasp salt

Blend sugar & salad oil. Mix in eggs. Mix flour with baking powder, salt. Add cornmeal . Blend dry ingredients with creamed mixture alternately with milk. Pour in greased, floured 9 in square pan. Bake 400° for 30 minutes. Bake large muffins 15 minutes.


  1. Thanks, Janet, for the yummy recipes and for this information.

  2. Janet, Now that fall is here I love to be in the kitchen making stew or soup and bread. Thanks so much for the great recipes and historical info. I do plan on trying the recipes. You've combined both my passions:) Hope this is a blessed fall for you. Wish we lived closer and could enjoy it together. Bless you.

  3. I had corn muffins yesterday myself. Just got the craving!

    I recall doing some research on Brunswick Stew. My friends and I like to do theme meals (along with movies). To prepare for a vacation to Savannah GA, we did a southern meal. I think I settled on that New Year's Dish with the black eyed peas (Which I can't recall the name of, being a yankee and all...)

    There's probably a few festivals and cook-offs centered around Brunswick stew and that's what first caught my attention. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Thank you, Ladies. It just so happens that I have some Brunswick Stew in my ice box right now.

    Debra, your comment made me chuckle. I was already planning a blog post for our family tradition of serving Hopping John on New Years.

  5. Susan Craft said ...

    Janet, thanks for the yummy recipes. My mother-in-law used to make the best corn sticks in cast iron pans molded into the shape of corn. They were a tiny bit crunchy on the outside and moist inside. I tried to cook them, but mine weren't as good as hers, though. We served them with homemade vegetable soup using the vegetables she grew in her garden. I had almost forgotten about that. Thanks for your post that brought back such fond memories.

  6. I am looking forward to Janet's next recipe. We now have two yummy cornbread recipes - Janet's and Laura's. Just bought white cornmeal. May make both. Betty Crocker used to have those molds that Susan Craft mentioned. Wonder if someone still makes those?

  7. Sugar in Cornbread? That's what we in
    L.A.(lower Alabama)call Yankee Cornbread.


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