Post CD 12 GOP Debate Lunch

Pretty Good Vegatable StewPictured to the left is a mighty fine bowl of vegetable stew.  It was a gift from 12th district GOP high muckety-mucks Lawton Sack and Ric Stewart.  Lawton played project manager and Ric apparently did the heavy lifting of acquiring said stew and delivering to the debate.  A grateful pundit thanks them for their service.

The stew is from regional favorite Vandy’s Barbecue of Statesboro and is the subject of an ongoing Peach Pundit world wide debate:  Should English peas, or any green vegetable, be allowed in Brunswick stew?

Upon close visual and edible inspection, Vandy’s stew not only contains peas, but butter beans and green beans.  I think there may have even been a bit of celery.  What I had no idea that was even up for debate was the inclusion of carrots.  Carrots.  In “Brunswick” stew.  Just chew on that for a moment.  I did.

It ain’t right.

It’s good.  Perhaps the best vegetable stew I’ve ever had. But the debate continues on.

There may be a review of the onion mustard relish pictured in the background at a later time.  I suppose Lawton will tell me it’s great on ice-cream.  Not pictured is the 25 pound bag of onions I procured on the way in to town at a roadside stand.  Contrary to earlier news reports, I did not have to pick them myself.

All in all, thanks for the hospitality from Jim Collins, Lawton Sack, Ric Stewart, and the rest of the Toombs-Montgomery GOP.  It was a well attended and well organized event.

22 comments

  1. SallyForth says:

    I’m sure I’d probably like some of this vegetable stew too, but everybody knows that REAL Brunswick Stew does not have peas and carrots in it. Like you say Charlie, “It ain’t right!”

    Oh, for the good old days and Sweat’s BBQ down near Soperton. It’s a good thing Lewis Grizzard passed away before they went out of business; otherwise that would have laid him out.

  2. Three Jack says:

    No offense directed toward anybody, but our old family recipe is as good as any I’ve ever tasted (especially when it was prepared by my grandmother years ago). It never included vegetables other than a couple of cans of creamed corn. Kind of like ruining chili with beans…why do it when the meat and sauce should be stars of the dish.

    • SallyForth says:

      TJ, sounds pretty much like my grandmother’s recipe. She finely chopped her own fresh corn off the cob (whew! too much work for me) so that it was tiny bits. Of course tomatoes were part of her recipe too – cooked to pieces too. Then the meat and sauce, so when you took a spoonful it looked mostly meat and thick broth with bits of corn and tomato. Yum! 🙂

      Having eaten Brunswick stew north, south, east and west Georgia, plus my own grandmother’s, I gotta stick with Charlie – putting in peas and carrots “ain’t right.” Heck, I’ve gotten to where I grade a BBQ joint by what kind of B stew they brew up.

      And John, you’re right about throwing healthy diet out the window for a bowl of really good stew.

      • Three Jack says:

        John, my grandmother passed away long before any of us ever heard of cholesterol. But she made it to 70 eating what she liked…of course she also had to shoot up insulin a few times a day for her diabetes…surely not a byproduct of a truly southern diet 😉

        SallyForth – I modified the recipe to include smoked corn on the cob…it’s worth the extra effort. I also smoke pork and beef for hours instead of boiling or baking as most do it. It’s at least a day long job but the flavor is so good, it justifies the extra work.

  3. Brunswick Stew says:

    We should refer to the Conscience of the South on a topic as crucial as this.

    THE SAD DECLINE OF SOUTHERN ART
    by Ralph McGill

    “A lady in Brunswick, Ga. appealed to me by telegraph the other day to settle an argument relating to Brunswick stew, ‘Should the meat be shredded or ground?’ asked Miss May Greer, via Western Union. The controversy was raging.
    I was pleased to answer. Any interest in southern cooking, especially the cooking of southern dishes, interests me. It is next to impossible today to obtain real barbecue, fried chicken, Brunswick stew, or even a simple thing like pine bark stew. They are heavily advertised as southern, and especially Georgia, dishes and this has been a source of sorrow to me, because our cooking arts have declined. The visitors to our domain come to us with their gastric juices flowing like spring brooks in anticipation. They can hardly wait. They are lured into one of our roadside dens, where the ghosts of murdered meats and vegetables mew in the air, and have a try at what is set before them.
    If it is chicken it tastes, nine times out of ten, as if fried in old crankcase oil. The tourist is an unsuspecting soul and if it is barbecue he seeks he is pretty sure to stray into a Bar-B-Q place where some slattern slices of a piece of half-done pork, covers it hastily with a vile, hot sauce, and calls it barbecue. It isn’t. In fact, it is very difficult to find real barbecue. I have never once found it, or ‘Bar-Bee-Cue.’ Of course, they do not claim to sell barbecue. They are selling Bar-B-Q and it is awful.

    SAD FATE– As to Brunswick stew, there is a noble dish that has suffered as sad a fate as barbecue. Only here and there may one find it. It usually comes forth as a barely-warm, glutinous mess which tastes loudly of canned corn.
    I can understand why many tourists go back home and write that southern cooking is barbaric. Much of it is.
    Meat for Brunswick stew should be shredded, of course. The stew can be made in a kitchen so that it is almost as good as if made out-of-doors. I would eat unhesitatingly of Miss Greer’s Brunswick stew because I can tell from her wire that she has a soul for cooking.
    Nevertheless, Brunswick stew should be made in a large iron pot, or cauldron, set on rocks beneath the shade of pine trees. Part of the recipe of Brunswick stew is pine-scented air. Unless that ingredient is in the stew it is not complete. The balm of the pine-perfumed air gets into a stew when it is cooked with loving care least 14 hours. Twenty-four are better. It should be cooked with pine wood and the flames should never rage. Just as pine bark stew picks up some flavor from the pine bark and cones that burn beneath the iron pot, so does the Brunswick stew take on from air and pine a delicate but necessary flavor.
    In these days of hurry there are not enough persons who know how to cook such a stew. And too few of those who know how will take the time. The result is that a boiled hen, a few cans of tomatoes and corn too often are served up as Brunswick stew. This sort of stew always contains ground meat.
    Do they think that those great pioneer artists who made the first Brunswick stew had neat little kitchen food choppers in their crude but heroic log cabins through which they ran their meat?
    The answer is, certainly not. A proper Brunswick stew, especially one made in the open, should contain a number of good fat hens, pork and lamb in the proper amounts. The meat should not be ground. It should be shredded and a few of the bones should be added for flavor. This business of adding a handful of ground hamburger meat to a few cans of vegetables and serving it as Brunswick stew should be prohibited by law. Putting ground meat in Brunswick stew is evidence of decadence; a weakening of the moral fiber of the people; a tear in the fabric if civilization.

    LEGISLATION– I always have made it a point to stay away from the places of government. I do not suppose in 16 years I have been in the capitol 16 times. I usually try to be present when the legislature meets every two years just to pay my respects. I have never been interested in putting through any one piece of legislation.
    Nevertheless, I think I shall spend some the autumn months in preparing a bill for the January session. As the legislature sensibly protects the medical profession from the quacks, charletans, and others who would be called “doctor” and allowed to practice upon the human body, the law requires pharmacists, lawyers, and others to pass an examination before they may practice. I would require the same of cooks. Any cook would have to pass an examination and receive certificate before being allowed to cook. Any cook intending to practice on the public would be required to pass a rigid examination in frying chicken, making a chicken pie, barbecuing meat, and making a Brunswick stew. It would be illegal to cook barbecue save over a pit. A cook can do more harm to the physical man than a poor doctor.
    What’s wrong with that bill?
    So, I think proper a bit of legislation which would restore noble southern dishes to a proper place of honor and require of a cook that he be a cook, not merely a grease ball.
    Also, I think I will have a sleeper in the bill. It would read, ‘Be it enacted and same hereby is enacted, that every restaurant providing breakfast shall serve a dish of hominy grits, and that all waiters or waitresses serving same to tables shall inform the strangers within our gates that same shall be eater with butter, or with chicken, or ham gravy. And not with cream and sugar.’”

    – The Atlanta Constitution
    October 4, 1944

    And the congregation said Amen.

  4. SallyForth says:

    Amen!

    Yep, I thought everybody knew the pork and chicken had to be shredded, but I’ve never come across any with lamb in it (which I probably wouldn’t like anyway). I find it pretty funny that this article was written long before most of us were even born, and it seems there was already a lively discussion on what constituted authentic Brunswick stew. I’m grateful for grandparents, great-grandparents, lots of aunts, uncles, greats of both, plus plenty of country cousins, all to indoctrinate me on authentic B stew and create a lifelong love for the stuff!
    It’s one of those things that I’d hate to have do all the work and time to produce, but I sure do know and appreciate it when I see/eat the real deal and the effort that went into it. Yummy.

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