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It's fall!  Here in southern California, a glance out the window won't remind us of that fact, so we have to work on it a little.  Indian corn and pumpkin props work well, as does the sound of football coming from the TV in the den.  Even Juli has become a football fan, probably as a matter of survival.  She's a big UCLA fan (her future college, she hopes) and she yells at the TV and hugs her stuffed bear who plays the fight song when you squeeze his paw and suffers and understands why I rant at the Gators even when they win.  Chris puts up with both of us and wonders why we can't all just become Seminole fans and make our lives a lot easier.  I explain to him that we have too much invested in blue and orange knick-knacks, and besides, I still love Steve Spurrier, for no reason that I can understand.

 So what does all of this have to do with Brunswick stew?  Nothing, really, unless you grew up in Virginia, where everything about fall has to do with Brunswick stew.


(This recipe was given to me by my friend Catherine Morton, of Grandfather Mountain website fame.  It's the best one I've found.  I add a ham hock when I'm feeling particularly homesick and/or not dieting.)


No one can agree on the history of Brunswick Stew.  I'm from Virginia, so I believe the version that says it started in Brunswick, Virginia as opposed to Brunswick County, Georgia.  Everyone agrees that it was originally made as a hunting stew and the meat used was squirrel and/or rabbit.  These days people almost always use chicken.  Since all meats you'd only eat on a dare are said to taste like chicken anyway, this seems to be a sensible trade-off.  And it's darned hard to find squirrel on the market shelf these days.

If you're intested, here are some of the versions of the history of Brunswick Stew:

From the Charlotte Observer:  "Side Dish has a Long History No One Knows"

From Mrs. Fearnow's website:  "Brunswick Stew History: The Virginia Version"

A Short History of Mrs. Fearnow's Brunswick Stew

Order Mrs. Fearnow's Brunswick Stew

This is really good Brunswick stew, considering the fact that it will come to your house in cans and sit on your shelf to wait for a cold day.  I'd buy it in the grocery store when I lived in the southeast; now I order it from the Mrs. Fearnow page.  Highly recommended!


About.Com Brunswick Stew Page

1948 Brunswick Stew Recipe (Including directions for cleaning a squirrel.)

Crockpot Brunswick Stew

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