BONUS BLOG - SEPTEMBER 6, 2010 "Mama's Stew"

Mama’s Brunswick Stew

5 pounds potatoes

6 Vidalia onions

3 cans tomato soup

3 cans vegetable soup

2 cans lima beans

2 cans creamed corn

6 large chicken breasts

Stew chicken and 2 Vidalias in large pot for  2 hours.  Salt and heavy pepper. Remove chicken to cool.  Use broth for boiling potatoes. (Begin to stew the chicken in mid-afternoon when your young, at-home family is outside playing with friends.  They’ll come inside eventually.  Probably say, “What is that odor?”  But deep down, they will love it.)

Cut potatoes in 1 to 2 inch chunks.  Boil with four chopped Vidalias in chicken broth.  Boil until chunks can be easily mashed with a fork.  Drain.  Do not mash.    (This is the boring part.  There is no distinguishable aroma here.  Just do it and finish it maybe 60 minutes before the traveling loved one is due to arrive.)

Combine cans of soup and vegetables in large pot.  Add potatoes.  Stir until mixed well.  (This step is easy – just throw away the cans quickly.  Everyone will think you used fresh vegatables.)

Pull chicken from bones.  Mash between fingers as you pull.  Add chicken to soups and vegatbles.  Stir.  (This should be done about 30-minutes before your traveler arrives home.  When they arrive and smell the aroma, they will know they are home.)

Simmer for an hour or so.  Stir frequently to avoid sticking to bottom of pot.  (Let your at-home family as well as your traveler watch you stir the stew.  The sight and the aroma and the anticipation will endear you to them for a lifetime.  Stop stirring long enough to kiss your spouse or lover a time or two.  That’s important.  To everyone.)

Garnish.  Hush puppies would be nice.  Crackers will do.  But for the love of God, make sure the meal is surrounded by everyone who shared the aroma all afternoon.  They are truly your finest ingredients.  (Cherish this last step.  You never know when you will do something stupid and throw away more than soup cans.  Trust me on this one.)


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