Category Archives: soups, grits, and stews

Stovetop Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew 1When Caroline & I were divvying up the recipes for the cookbook, I was both elated and terrified to find Brunswick Stew end up in my pile. As you may know if you've been following this blog for a while, my family takes Brunswick Stew very seriously. It takes days to make it in the backyard in my great grandmother's cauldron. We don't mess around. So the idea of developing a stovetop version of this recipe that did justice to the stew my family cherishes? Terrifying. I ended up creating what I think is a masterpiece. Started in separate pots the chicken and the pork cook to perfection and then are combined, along with all their juices, to create a stew that tastes like it took way longer than 8 hours. Which, you'll remember, is a fraction of the time I think Brunswick Stew should take to cook. Unfortunately DK didn't think that the average home cook was really going to spend 8 hours cooking a stew in multiple different vessels so they sent me back to a drawing board. I have a suspicion, however, that at least a handful of you ARE just the kind of home cooks who have been looking for something that tastes authentic but isn't quite as involved-- something that you're happy to let simmer on your stove one chilly Sunday. Something that will feed your family all winter because this stew freezes like a dream. I know you're out there, and this recipe is for you. stovetop brunswick stew 2 Stovetop Brunswick Stew (the 8 Hour Version) 1 medium chicken, bones in 1 tbsp olive oil or butter 1.6lb  pork loin end, bone in 2 x 28oz cans diced tomatoes, in liquid 2 x 425g cans lima beans, in liquid 2 x 425g cans corn, in liquid 1  medium white or yellow onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 dozen fingerling or creamer potatoes, quartered or roughly chopped 3 celery stalks, sliced with tender greens 3 tbsp Worcestershiree sauce Salt & pepper to taste 2 tsp red pepper flakes Place chicken in a Dutch oven or slow cooker, cover with water, and season with salt, pepper, and 1 tsp red pepper flakes. Cook on 250/120C for 4 hours or until meat falls off the bone easily. As the chicken cooks brown pork in large soup pan. Brown 30-45 seconds on each side and set aside. Keeping the pot over medium heat add garlic, onion, and celery. Saute until onions are tender.  Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, and potatoes. Add 4 cups of water. Return pork to pot and reduce heat to simmer. Stir in Worchestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked. Pull the chicken meat off of the bone and add it to the soup pot, along with the chicken’s cooking liquid. Stir well, breaking the pork apart with your spoon until it is shredded, and return to simmer.Simmer an additional 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Season to taste and serve hot.  

Blackbean & Butternut Squash Soup

black bean soup 1 After letting the bone broth simmer on my stove for 24 hours, I was desperate for a bowl of soup. I love the way that a rich simmering soup started with bacon and butter brings the house to life, and how a soup full of layers of complex flavors can turn a cold, drab, rainy day into something special. Add in some crusty bread and a bottle of wine and you'll have the perfect fall evening. black bean soup 5 black bean soup 3 My first soup of the year is always this one. A hearty soup that begins with bacon and includes enough garlic to ward off the worst of colds, healing bone broth, and my seasonal favorite butternut squash, this soup belongs in a world with red leaves and knee boots and cardamom spiced everything. black bean soup 2 Black Bean & Butternut Squash Soup 1 lb dried black beans 1 lb thick cut bacon 1/2 stick salted butter 1 yellow onion 3 cloves garlic 6 cups bone broth 2 cups diced tomatoes 2 cups fresh cubed butternut squash 1 tbsp olive oil 1 cup fresh kale 1 tsp paprika Salt & pepper to taste 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar Soak beans overnight in a bowl, covered with a towel. In a soup pot cook half of the bacon, diced. Add in minced garlic, chopped onion, and butter. Drain and rinse beans, and add to pot, along with bone broth and seasoning. Simmer 1 hour or until beans have softened. Add in tomatoes and kale. Simmer an additional hour, tasting frequently and adding salt as needed. Heat oven to 425. Toss squash in oil and salt and roast for 20-25 minutes. As the squash is roasting, cook remaining bacon. Stir most of the squash into the soup, reserving some for garnish. Stir in apple cider vinegar. Serve soup hot topped with squash and crispy bacon.

Bone Broth

bone broth 1After the round of sickness that swept through school and a few long days traveling by air and automobile, I came down with the inevitable cold. This time of year is hard on the body, and I often struggle with doing my best to take time for myself while all the world around me seems to be going mad. It's easy to check out, order Indian food, and pledge to cook another day. In all honesty, we've been doing a lot more of that than I'd like to admit the past few months. But when a that first chill in the air (and fogginess in the chest) hits, my reset button switches. I pull myself up out of the muck of late summer and get back in the kitchen. An act that, inevitably, feeds much more than the body. bone broth 3 The first thing on the menu this week was a generous batch of bone broth. Bone broth, like chicken stock, is a simple combination of vegetables, water, and beef bones, simmered for an extended period of time. This batch had beef bones (labeled "soup bones" in the butcher's freezer department of the market), oxtail, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots. The bones were roasted, the vegetables were chopped, water was added, and the broth simmered for over 24 hours. bone broth 5 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset For the past few months I've been lamenting the end of summer, complaining to anyone who would listen that I wasn't ready for the seasons to change. And I wasn't. This summer was amazing- full of adventure, excitement, and opportunity. I loved every second of it and I was not willing to let go of long afternoons at the beach or boat rides or saying yes to everything because who cares, it's summer! Finally, however, this week, I was ready. I got home from another big trip with a cold and a messy house and I just knew it was time. It was time to settle back in for fall. Time for long evenings on the couch with a book and a cup of tea, for pots of soup simmering for hours on end, time for roasts and root vegetables. And when I get sick of all that, it will be time to dream of watermelon again. bone broth 2 Bone Broth 4-6 pounds beef bones & oxtail 4-6 pounds root vegetables- potatoes, carrots, onions, etc 1 head garlic (leave cloves whole) 1/2 stick butter Salt In a 425F oven, roast bones for 30 minutes. Melt butter in a large soup pot. Add bones to the pot, along with onion, garlic, and remaining root vegetables. Fill pot with filtered water. Bring to a boil. Stir well and reduce broth to a simmer. Simmer with the lid on but slightly cracked, for 12-24 hours. Strain and freeze the broth.

Almond Grit Cakes with Clementines & Honey

clementine grits 7 One of the very best things about the internet is the community. It has it's ups and downs, definitely, and sometimes having a public blog that is open to criticism leads to reading, well, criticism of my person and my recipes and my life which sucks but the trade off for the positive is huge. I've met people and made connections and friendships that I wouldn't trade for the world. Not to mention of course that this blog and everything that it is and has become wouldn't be possible without a supportive community. The readers, the commenters, the people who email to tell me that the like/love/adore the blog make it all worth it. So, thanks friends. clementine grits 1 clementine grits 2 Through some chain of mutual friends (real and internet) I met the lovely Carrie from Plums in the Icebox on twitter. She's a Baltimore native and we became friends on the internet and in real life.  She's great- sweet, intelligent, witty, talented, and a Jill of all trades. Professionally she writes for Bliss Tree and recently she reached out to me about contributing to a "Brunch Off" series she has in the works. The concept is simple- two food bloggers create a brunch menu using the same seasonal ingredient and readers vote on which one they prefer. The ingredient was clementines (something I've been buying in bulk for a few months) and I love a good challenge, so count me in! clementine grits 3 clementine grits 4 My goals with this challenge were to create something fun, tasty, and unique to my niche, Southern food. Surprise to no one I chose grits as a foundation ingredients (are you getting sick of grits?). Sweet grits made with cinnamon, ginger, and almond milk formed into cakes and lightly fried. Topped with fresh clementines that had been tossed in local raw honey. Something light, full of flavor, and designed for brunch. That is to say, complimentary to mimosas and bacon. clementine grits 5 Dan and I tried some this morning and I'm happy with how they turned out. The grits were the perfect base- not overwhelmingly sweet with a good crunch thanks to the slivered almonds and a richness thanks to the almond milk. The clementines in honey were so simple and amazingly delicious, the perfect tribute to two of nature's most wonderful ingredients. I like that it isn't anything audacious (like fried chicken eggs benedict) or overdone (like french toast), just an unassuming combination of complimentary flavors and textures. Head over to Bliss Tree to see the Brunch Off, make both recipes, and tell me what you think! clementine grits 6   Almond Grits Cakes with Clementines & Honey Serves 4-6 grits: 2 cups almond milk 1/2 cup stone ground grits 1 tbsp honey 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp powdered ginger 1/2 cup corn flour 1/4 cup slivered almonds Dash of cinnamon/ginger topping: 3-4 clementines 2 tbsp honey Pinch of salt (optional) The grits cakes need to be formed at least an hour before being fried, though the night before is ideal. In a medium saucepan combine grits, almond milk, honey, and spices. Cook over medium heat unti the grits are thick but still creamy. Pour into cupcake pans and chill for 1 hour or overnight. Chop clementines in half or thirds and toss in honey. Let sit. Combine corn flour, almonds, and spices and heat 1/4" of oil in a heavy pan. Carefully (I used a fork so my hands didn't warm the grits) coat the grits cakes in the flour mixture and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until crispy. Top with clementine mixture and a sprinkle of salt.

Winter Chili

winter chili 5 I'm the first one to admit that over the course of the past year or so I've gotten obsessed with running. I really love the act of running (most of the time) but I also have found myself voraciously hungry for running related reading. I've subscribed to Runner's World and Running Times, I've read Born to Run twice in recent memory, along with Running on Empty and most recently Scott Jurek's Eat and Run. This morning I downloaded Ultramarathon Man, which I'm excited to jump into. Something about these books and magazines motivate me and make me more interested in the sport. Which is helpful when it's freezing and you've got a cold (that you've had for a month) but you have to run because you're training for a marathon and you think you might be crazy because 26.2 is a lot of miles but also you're considering your next step which could be 30, 40, or 50 miles. Or more! The world is you oyster as long as you religiously stretch your IT band and stop falling all the damn time! IMG_6205me finishing the neusiok trail race. my sister gen ran the last 1/4 mile with me. Despite all my enthusiasm for running-related reads and how intrigued I was by his role in Born to Run, I was hesitant to read Eat and Run. The book chronicles Jurek's career and trajectory from rural Minnesotan to world famous ultramarathoner and vegan. I think it's great and as a former vegetarian of many years and an advocate of eating whole, complex foods, I understand. What put me off was the tone of the snippet I read in Runner's World. And that tone was "eat clean or you're doing it wrong." Now, I have a MAJOR problem with the phrase "clean eating" in reference to plant-based diets. Bully for you that you don't eat animal products but the implication that those of us who do are eating DIRTY is incredibly condescending. So anytime someone calls it clean eating I immediately want to walk away. And I've considered veganism (a lot, especially lately) so it's not as though I'm all don't-understand-damned-sissy-vegans-in-'Merica-we-eat-fried-chicken. Because of this I was not interested in the book, assuming it would just rile me up. Then my sister in law Megan, someone whose opinion I value highly, recommended it and I thought well hell, I have a plane ride to kill let's read a book. winter chili 4 I really enjoyed a lot of the book. The story of his running career and putting himself and everything he had into a passion for pushing himself was amazing and inspiring. Nobody can argue that he's had an astonishing career. And I found the story of how he became vegan, how he evolved from a four-times-a-week McDonalds eater to someone who makes his own rice milk to be very interesting. I also empathized with his desire to run to find clarity, to push your body beyond what you think your body can do, and to see what is on the other side. I'm not a very fast runner so what intrigues me about the sport is the idea of finding my limits, physical and mental, and pushing them. What I did not like about the book was that he paints a very black and white picture. In his eyes (or at least in the way it is portrayed in the book) it's either "clean" eating or "dirty eating"- 100% vegan or fast food junkie. I take major issue with that. Dan and I eat very well. We make as much as possible from scratch, we don't buy much processed food, we aim to eat locally and organically with a focus on whole foods. But we also eat meat. Only a few times a week but we eat it. And dairy. Not much milk but plenty of cheese and yogurt. And whipped cream. I love me some whipped cream. And butter. And cheese, can we talk about how delicious CHEESE is? We focus on eating responsibly- both for our health and for the environment. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that. But Scott Jurek does. Maybe he would say that he doesn't, but the impression that I got from Eat and Run is that he would have contempt for the way that we eat. Which frustrated me and made the book inaccessible. winter chili 3 On a more book-club side of things I thought the writing was at times difficult to read, too casual, a little forced. And there were moments when he included offensive or off-putting stories that weren't essential to the plot line, like his friend Dusty (to whom this book is an homage) coining the phrase "getting chicked" (getting passed by a girl. The fear of getting "chicked" was apparently a great motivator for Jurek to run faster) at one of his races. That line alone almost ruined the whole book for me. But the overall message was interesting and some of the recipes look great. I'm excited to try his chocolate and bean brownies and I love the idea of taking simple refried bean burritos on long runs. I also really enjoyed this recipe, his Minnesota Winter Chili. Since I'm not a big fan of meaty chilis the omission of meat was fine with me, but Dan loves traditional chili and still enjoyed this. I made a few adaptations but the core recipe is a strong one, something I'll definitely repeat in winter months. In summary (tl;dr), I had a lot of issues with Eat and Run, both as a book and Jurek's point of view and opinion on plant-based eating. But it was a compelling story and a lot of the recipes have value, so came out pretty even. Can't say I'd recommend it, but I wouldn't slap it out of your hand if you were interested. winter chili 1 Scott Jurek's Winter Chili Adapted from Eat and Run 2 tbsp olive oil 4 garlic cloves 1 yellow onion 15-20 cremini mushrooms 1 green bell pepper 1 red bell pepper 4 carrots 1 jalapeno 1 cup frozen corn kernels 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp chipotle 1 tsp red pepper flakes 2 tbsp chili powder 2 tsp sea salt 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes 1 can adzuki beans 1 can black eyed peas 1 can red beans 1/2 cup dry bulgar wheat 1 cup water Roughly chop onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, and carrots. Mince garlic and jalapenos. Heat oil in a large pot. Add garlic first, followed by onions. Once the onions have softened add remaining vegetables and spices. Simmer 20 minutes. Stir in bulgar wheat and water and simmer and additional 30-45 minutes. Serve topped with cilantro and Greek yogurt or sour cream.  

Vegan Grits & Stewed Vegetables

20130111-203741.jpg 2012 was a year of big changes for me, especially in the eating/activity departments. While some of those changes were chronicled here, most of it happened outside of the blog. Dan and I drastically cut down the amount of meat, dairy, sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods that we eat. We were already focused on homemade whole foods and real foods, and this year pushed is further in what we think is the right direction. Now, I don't plan on going vegan (or vegetarian) anytime soon, but cutting down on these foods has forced us to get creative with our cooking and eating. This recipe, which was a response to cooking dinner for a vegan family, got me thinking about how we could adapt some of our favorites to fit our "weekday" eating plan (weekends are for sometimes foods, like chips and queso or chicken biscuits). Last week I ran a 21 mile trail race through the Croatan National Forest, which was amazing and excruciating and taught me so much about myself. This weekend I'm at Disney with the Turcottes watching the nieces while Megan and John race the half marathon, which is incredible. I have had many moments of reflection and amazing conversations with family and friends during the past months about nourishing our bodies, spirits, and community. I think we're on the right path. Vegan Grits & Stewed Vegetables 4 cups almond milk 1 cup grits 1 small sweet potato 1 cup soaked black eyed peas 2 cups whole peeled tomatoes 1 onion 3 cloves garlic Salt Pinch of red pepper flakes Pinch of chipotle Olive oil Bunch of collard greens In a medium bowl heat drizzle of olive oil. Toss in chopped garlic. Add chopped onion. Peel and chop sweet potato, add it to the pot. Add tomatoes and peas. Stir in spices. Let simmer until peas and sweet potatoes are softened. Break up tomatoes with a spoon as they cook down. Heat almond milk. Add a dash of salt. Stir in grits and stir over low heat until thickened. Chop and sauté collards in olive oil with a clove of diced garlic. Sauté until wilted. Serve with collards and vegetables on top of grits. Enjoy a delicious vegan meal high in calcium, fiber, and protein.

Grits Bowl

grits bowl 1 This past Sunday, on our way out of Durham, we stopped in to Watt's Grocery for brunch with my friend Julia. I'd not been to Watt's (cue long list of amazing Durham restaurants we can start trying now that we're back in NC) but my Mom had given us some of their coffee for Christmas and it was delicious, so I felt confident about the decision. Good coffee is a staple of any brunch. Followed closely by good bloody marys and good breakfast meat. grits bowl 5Dan ordered their breakfast tacos and Julia and I each ordered the grits bowl. Basic premise- bowl of grits and a list of toppings to choose from. I ended up with salsa, cheese, avocado, sausage, and a fried egg. It was delicious. The frothy cheesy grits and all the toppings came together into a filling brunch that left nothing to be desired. I just kept thinking this would be great for a dinner party. grits bowl 4 My favorite kind of dinner party to throw is a make-your-own style party. Whether it's personal pizzas, grilled cheese, or tacos this easy method of throwing together a base and then providing a ton of toppings makes for a fun AND simple party. And grits bowls definitely fit the mold. grits bowl 2 Last night (and again today for breakfast) Dan and I tried it for ourselves. I made a big pot of spicy cheese grits and then put out salsa (fresh from the market), chicken sausage, cheese, avocado, and fried eggs. Perfection. Grits are an awesome base but for some reason I always think of them as a dish- shrimp and grits, chicken and grits, grits squares, what have you. This got me thinking about all the possibilities for all the things you could put on top of grits- black beans, corn, barbeque, roasted sweet potatoes, anything! I see this becoming a regular dinner option as well as a party in the new kitchen. Once we make friends in Wilmington, of course. grits bowl 3Cheese Grits 3 parts milk 1 parts grits 1 parts cheddar cheese Juice of 1 lemon Salt Red pepper flakes White pepper Heat milk. Stir in grits and spices, slowly. When the grits have thickened add in cheese and lemon juice. Continue to stir until they've reached your desired thickness.

Roasted Tomato Shrimp & Grits

We've met some really wonderful people in Baltimore, people who have become our friends and made this city feel like home. We met Bill and Jen, and their daughter Finley, through Dan's work, and we've loved getting to know them. Jen also has southern roots, which means we can gush over grits and biscuits and collards and all the things our Yankee husbands never understood about vegetables before meeting us. I love having friends that I can gush with about collards. Last night they came over for dinner and I made shrimp and grits, but deviated a bit from my usual recipe. I wanted to make a dish that highlighted the beauty of the last of the summer tomato, I thought it fitting to serve something featuring the giant, beautiful, bursting with flavor tomatoes that will soon disappear from the market on the first day of fall. So the tomatoes were slow roasted in a brown butter brown sugar base for about an hour. And then they were mixed into onions that had been caramelized in bacon drippings, just a hint of hot sauce, and plump shrimp. All of that got scooped over creamy cheesy grits, the perfectly salty pair to the slightly sweet slightly spicy tomato sauce. They were pretty delicious.  We ended the meal with pumpkin bread pudding, vanilla ice cream, and a serving of Pumking. It was the perfect combination of late summer and early fall, a meal I feel very  lucky to have shared with such wonderful friends. Roasted Tomato Shrimp & Grits grits: 2 cups coarse grits 3 cups water 2 cups heavy cream 2 cups milk 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese 1/2 tbsp white pepper 1/2 tbsp kosher salt Juice of 1 lemon tomato sauce: 2-3 large heirloom tomatoes 3 tbsp salted butter 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 white onion 4-6 strips bacon 1 tbsp hot sauce (I used a habanero sauce) Dash of salt Dash of red pepper flakes Dash of smoked paprika Dash of pepper 1 pound of fresh, raw, shrimp In a heavy pan melt butter and brown sugar over VERY low heat. When the butter has browned add in tomatoes, and stir well. Simmer on countertop for 15-20 minutes, and then roast in a 300 degree oven for an additional 20. In another, larger, pan (this is where having a cast iron collection comes in handy) cook bacon. Set aside. Dice onions and cook in bacon drippings over low heat. When the onions are caramelized add in the crumbled bacon, hot sauce, and tomato mixture. Add in seasoning. Continue to simmer. Clean and peel shrimp. Boil until just barely pink, and then strain and add to the tomato sauce. Simmer all together for an additional 20-30 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, bring heavy cream and water to a slow boil. Stir in grits and continue stirring as the grits thicken. Once the grits are thick remove from heat and stir in milk, cheese, spices, and lemon juice. Mix together well, cover, and let sit. Serve a healthy amount of grits topped with a few big scoops of the sauce to your patiently waiting, hungry and excited, dinner guests.

Sybil’s Brunswick Stew

Sybil was my great-grandmother.  This is her cauldron and her recipe for Brunswick Stew.  On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we made brunswick stew in the backyard.  It was an experience I've been looking forward to for a long time, and it was wonderful to get to share it with my family. Brunswick stew, for those unfamiliar, is a traditional Southern dish, whose origins are disputed.  As with all Southern dishes the stew itself ranges in ingredients depending on where you are.  The fundamental stew includes tomatoes, lima beans, corn, and meat.  Sybil preferred chicken and pork, though squirrel, rabbit, and beef can all be found in different variations.  Not unlike many recipes developed by those with limited resources, Brunswick stew is very much a cook-what's-available meal. The addition of potatoes, however, is apparently unique to North Carolina. The day before we arrived in NC my father started processing the meat in what he began calling the "real kitchen."  Also known as the garage.  He cooked 6 chickens and two pork shoulders, and then he boiled the bones for a while to great a sturdy broth.  According to my Great Uncle Everett (Sybil's son), the broth is crucial. The night before the stewing my brothers peeled twenty pounds of potatoes.  The recipe begins with boiling the quartered potatoes in water until everything gets hot.  This is the foundation of the stew.  After about half an hour of boiling potatoes the chopped onions go in. The day before my dad also began soaking the lima beans.  This was the first time using dried beans in the stew, so it was an experiment.  The beans and tomato sauce get added at the same time, which is when this finally starts looking like Brunswick stew (the tomato color is crucial). The adding of the meat was, well, disturbing.  My dad had stored the shredded meat in its broth for two days in the fridge in this 5 gallon bucket.  It was (and I apologize for those with sensitive stomachs) meat jelly.  And we added it in one jiggly scoop at a time.  Not for the weak of heart. After the meat was added, the tomatoes and corn started to go in, pretty slowly. The stew level reached critical heights so after each addition we waited a while for the stew to cook down.  Then, more went in.  This pattern went on for about two hours. You may have noticed that the stew is being stirred with a hockey stick.  After lamenting for days about what to use to stir the stew (we kept mentioning a stew oar), my dad had what he described as a "Pulp Fiction" moment in the garage, where he discovered the hockey stick a la Bruce Willis picking the samurai sword.  While some of us were skeptical at first, after it was cleaned it served as the perfect stirring tool.  Each of us had different stirring techniques, Dan likes a circular motion with the end of the stick while I prefer to paddle as though I'm Huckleberry Finn riding down a river of stew. All in all the process took about three days, with about seven hours of cooking on Friday.  After it cooked it sat and rested, and then we served some up for dinner that night (and put the rest in an epic amount of tupperware (about half of which is pictured below)).  I thought it was excellent.  My dad, however, was very disappointed because the beans never fully softened.  In fact, his disappointment lead to my new favorite world view: "In life, you work really hard, but that doesn't always matter. Sometimes you just get hard beans." Preach it Paps. Overall, this was exactly the memory I was hoping for.  I love my family and learning traditions like this is really special to me.  I can't wait to make brunswick stew again- but not for a year or two.   Ed note: Looking for all the flavor of Sybil's stew with a smaller time & cauldron commitment? Try our 8 hour Stovetop Brunswick Stew. Brunswick Stew, Three Ways My Uncle Everett sent two recipes from his mom, Sybil, which I've included.  I also included my dad and his cousin Michael's recipe that they created based off of their memories of brunswick stew.  As Everett said, there are probably as many brunswick stew recipes as there are Southern mothers. Sybil's Stew #1, Makes 45 quarts: 1 1/2 lbs dried lima beans 2 quarts green lima beans 25 lbs potatoes 6 lbs onions 4 quarts of corn 4 gallons tomatoes 4 Five to 6 lb hens 20 lbs pork (all stock)   Sybil's Stew #2, Makes 40 quarts:
23 lbs pork (2 shoulders) 6 medium hens 25 lbs potatoes 5 lbs onions 2 lbs dried butter beans 2 quarts green butter beans 6 quarts corn 4 gal tomatoes Everett's memories: What I remember of the method was that everything was cooked in the previous broth. No seasonings were mentioned in either of mother's recipes; I guess she salted as she went along.  I remember that we would add Worcestershire sauce at the table but not in the cooking process.   Dad & Cousin Mike's Stew: 24 lbs Roaster Chickens (4 six pounders) 5 lbs Beef Roast 10 lbs Pork Butt 12 lbs Corn (3 gallon size cans) 18 lbs Potatoes (4 gallon size cans) 12 lbs Lima Beans (3 gallon size cans) 7 large Onions One Garlic bulb 120 oz Tomato Sauce (8 15oz cans) 18 lbs Whole tomatoes (4 gallon size cans) 1/8 cup Garlic Powder 12 oz Texas Pete ½ cup Black pepper 1/8 cup Chili powder 0ne cup Salt (too much..start off with 1/2 cup sea salt) 15oz Worcestershire Sauce 50 oz Merlot The Making Of: Day One- Boil quartered chickens (liver and gizzards included) in water that has about a cup of coarse salt in it.  Boil until well done.  Remove and let cool.  Boil, in the same water, pork.  Shred meat and set aside, then boil the bones in the water.  Pour that broth over the meat and refrigerate. Day Two- Peel potatoes and soak in water.  Cover lima beans in water, soak. Day Three - Quarter potatoes.  Add them to the pot, over low heat with enough water to cover the potatoes.  Chop the onions and add them in.  Add lima beans.  Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often so that nothing sticks to the bottom.  Add in tomato sauce. Scoop the congealed fat off of the meat bucket (let's save some Southern hearts, okay?) and add the meat (and its jellied broth) to the pot, stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil.  From there, add tomatoes and corn as there is room in the pot (make sure to drain them). In the kitchen boil garlic in a small pot until soft.  Smash the garlic and add that, and the water, to the stew. Add in salt, pepper, hot sauce, and worcestershire sauce.  Cook, stirring constantly, for about five more hours.  Let rest 1 hour. It's important to taste as you go.  We ended up with a stew that was well salted (undersalted to our Rosemond tongues but good for the normal person) and just a bit spicy.  Allow people to doctor it to their own tastes with salt and hot sauce.  When we reheated the first batch at home in our crock pot I added about a tablespoon of siracha and a sprinkle of sea salt.  It was perfection (and after 8 hours in the crockpot my beans were perfect).

Chicken Noodle Soup

The thing about chicken soup is, it isn't pretty. And, frankly, the longer it sits, the uglier it gets.  But it's delicious.  And nourishing.  And when you have a cold (as I did most of this week), it's exactly what the doctor ordered. Last Sunday we spent most of the dreary, chilly, rainy day making soups and chilis.  By the end of the day our house had that smell- garlicky, comforting, like autumn.  I love that smell.  I love the change of seasons.  Don't get me wrong, I'm mourning summer and dreading winter, but for the next few weeks it will be wonderful, glorious, beautiful, crisp, fall.  I'll wear fuzzy socks and eat soup and drink pumpkin coffee and love every second of it. Chicken Noodle Soup 3 quarts of chicken stock 1 medium chicken 10 garlic cloves 2 large carrots 1 bunch of celery 1 onion 1 lb noodles (I used spinach noodles and, yum!) Salt Pepper Red pepper Olive oil Start by making your stock.  I really recommend making a pot of stock and then using that as the base for your soup.  It's so flavorful and you have control over how it tastes and what goes into it.  Once the stock is ready, roast your chicken. 1 hour before you’re ready to cook your chicken, take your chicken out of the fridge.  Remove the innards, rinse with cold water, and allow to come to room temperature.  Begin by rubbing your chicken down with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook at 475 for 20 minutes and then lower the temperature to 400.  Cook an additional 45 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.  Baste with juices. Once the chicken has cooled, peel the meat and skin off the bone and put into the pot.  Save the bones for the next time! Chop carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and add to the pot.  Pull out 2 cups of broth and cook the noodles, until semi-soft.  Add them back into the pot.  Salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste.  Cook for 2-3 hours.