Three Secrets to Having a Brunswick Stew Kind of Day

It takes nearly a lifetime to learn certain things. For instance, everything I say isn’t pure gold.

Last Saturday, my husband and I were having our morning PORCH PARTY. The Georgia humidity had miraculously lifted during the night. As I wrapped my red fleece blanket around me, he said, “I think it’s a Brunswick stew kind of day.”

Brunswick Stew Days are new to our nearly 35-year-old marriage.

(I blogged about making stew last year here, TRUE LOVE AND BRUNSWICK STEW, but there’s a new recipe and a life lesson below.)

Later that morning at the grocery store, Rick grabbed a package of kielbasa sausage. Standing in the meat department, I thought…

You don’t put sausage in Brunswick stew. Should I remind him?

Or keep my mouth shut.

I nearly chewed my lips off, but I didn’t say anything.

Way too many times, I’ve offered helpful hints.

Because I wanted to be right. To prove a point.

Being quiet is new for me.

Back home in the kitchen, I stopped chopping onions to watch him cut up the sausage.

I smiled. He was so happy.


 We grilled the pork chops and chicken.

Browned the ground beef, onions, and celery…

Our son Thomas and I waited…anticipated…:)

Even Clyde knew it was a special day.

The stew was amaaaaaaazing.

He was right about the kielbasa sausage. 🙂

Sometimes the simplest things take forever to learn.

Three secrets to having a Brunswick Stew Kind of Day:

1. Be flexible. Forget the recipe.

2. Slow down and smile.

3. Some things (most things?) aren’t worth arguing over.

Live in harmony with one another.” Romans 12:6

Do you have secrets for having a Brunswick Stew Kind of Day? Please share them!

Recipe for gluten-free Brunswick Stew–you can play with this–hard to mess it up

The recipe called for one 3-pound fryer chicken. We used 4 boneless chicken breasts.

1 package kielbasa sausage, which wasn’t in the recipe (We used JOHNSONVILLE, it’s GF.)

4 cooked pork chops (We grilled them with the chicken breasts.)

1 pound ground beef

Chopped onion (about 2 cups)

Chopped celery (about 2 cups)

2 cans 15-0z chopped tomatoes (We used frozen tomatoes from our garden–see how flexible this recipe is!)

1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (We used SWEET BABY RAYS, it’s GF)

1 (give or take) teaspoon pepper

salt to taste

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (If making it GF, use LEA AND PERRINS)

4 cups GF chicken broth

About 1/2 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon (or more) of hot sauce (We used TEXAS PETE)

4 ears fresh corn, cut off cob (You can use canned)

* * *

Brown ground beef with onions and celery. Drain.

Bring chicken broth to a boil.

Add everything together, including the already grilled pork chops and grilled chicken. The sausage, we didn’t grill–just added the chopped pieces to the pot.

Let it simmer all day.

If you used canned corn, wait until the last hour of cooking to add it.

Add more liquids if you want it soupier. Measurements don’t have to be exact.








  1. Anna Haney says:

    Honey, you are so wise. Keeping quiet is hard for me. I used to excel at it, but somewhere in my 30s, I became vocal. With Don, both of us priding ourselves on trivia knowledge, we both used to HAVE to be the right one. Last night, we were wondering if Paul Newman or Kirk Douglas had been in a movie. I knew it was Newman. In the past, I would have checked in the internet. But this time, I let it go. And such peace filled me. Hope you have a wonderful day! Love you

    • I’m smiling at you calling me, “Honey,” Anna. So very Southern!

      You let it go!!!! A+!!! And I didn’t say, “No need to put kielbasa sausage in Brunswick stew!!!!

      With God’s help, we’re getting there.

      Love you too!

  2. Kim says:

    Hmm, offering those “helpful” hints, really-wanting to be right. Yes, been there, done that. Guilty! 🙂

    You know, I mentioned the word Listen speaking to me a few weeks ago. Since then I have encountered several other sources with that same theme and conviction. This sort of goes along with that. I guess Listen can also translate to being quiet.

    Thanks Julie!

    • Whew, I’m so relieved Kim–not to be the only one with lots of….”helpful” hints. 🙂

      Listen–I just love your word. I’m writing in my prayer journal, asking Him to show me mine for next year. Wonder if He’s talking to me through YOU, my friend.

      Yep, I’d say listen equals being quiet, for sure!


  3. We have a similar dish we make occasionally. When I cook, I usually make a serving or 2 more–a habit I acquired when I used to cook for my invalid MIL. We call it Mustgo, or Stoup, depending on the liquid content.
    Mustgo is the stuff in the fridge that ‘must go’, & Stoup is a dish that’s too thick for soup, but not as thick as stew.
    My 27 year old son says these were some of his fav meals while growing up!

    • Cyn, I’ve never heard of Mustgo, but I love that title! THat’s the beauty of this–really, you can’t mess it up.

      So sweet–your grown-up boy remembers those meals. Nothing like ’em. Good times. Thank You, Lord.

      And thank you, Cyn for your comment.

  4. I made your Brunswick Stew recipe last year after you shared it on your blog. We loved it, but I might just have to try this one! Loved the photos, too. Love those kinds of days, but I can’t remember the last time we had one. 🙁

    I’m glad I’m not the only only one who struggles with keeping my mouth shut. I certainly am better about it than I used to be, but my goodness, girl, I still have so far to go!

    And Cyn, I actually wrote an article years ago about freezing left overs for soup later. I do that often. Saves money AND time!

    • I know–too much time slips by w/out having a Brunswick Stew Kind of Day. And it’s just as much about the atmosphere and JOY as the food.

      I just love you, Vonda. Thanks for telling me you understand the mouth part. Yep, I’m better, but dang, it took a while to even realize I was doing it.

      Yes, forgot to put it in the blog. We had enough for several meals–even have some in the freezer now.


  5. One of the hardest things is learning to be quiet. I’m still working on that one. 🙂

    • Ha! It’s a struggling, isn’t it Ane–especially when we have so many good things to say.

      Love you much!

  6. Yummy! And so are your porch parties for bringing out the (bite-your-lip, silence is golden) best moments ever!
    Love & hugs!

  7. Oh, boy, this keep quiet thing is hard for me! I’m opinionated about how things should be done, not so much outside the home, but here in the home where I apparently see myself as queen bee! Thanks for the gentle correction.
    Also, I’ve always heard of Brunswick stew, but never realized it’s nothing like beef stew.

    • I can’t tell you how it makes me smile to know other women struggle with this too, Elizabeth.

      You’re right–especially in the home where we’re Queen Bees. But now the King Bee is getting into cooking. That shakes things up a bit.

      I did some research on Brunswick stew–internet said it might have originated in Brunswick, VA. We also have a Brunswick, GA. No, nothing like beef stew at all. It has a smoky, woodsy flavor. Let me know if you try it.


  8. Sounds Delicious! Can’t wait to try your recipe and I think I’ll try harder to let Jeff be right- instead of me 🙂 thanks for the recipe and the lesson! hugs

    • Let me know how it turns out–both your stew and the other part. 🙂 🙂

      Some stuff just takes us a while, right, Cindy?!

  9. Brenda Greene says:

    I’m chucking Julie Girl!! “Listen” has been my word this year and I keep “stumbling” over it constantly!! At 65 I sure wish I had realized the value of it sooner…as you are doing now. Certainly would have saved a lot of “steam” around here!!

    Just this week, Hubby (who has been cooking a lot lately-says it gives him something to do) pulled out some chicken to fry – at 10:00 a.m!! Asked if we were having it for breakfast…said no, he knew I was giving a piano lesson later that day and had Bible Study that evening (so sweet). I’ve learned to keep my mouth closed when he wants to cook…finally!! So we had an early lunch – 11:15, fried chicken, rice/gravy, turnip greens and black-eyed peas. Awesome meal! However he decided after cooking he didn’t want to eat, (he suffers from severe back pain and had stood a tad too long), so he lay down to rest and got up hungry. He starts rambling in the freezer and refrig (again!) and comes out with ingredients for beef stew…can you see my eyes rolling?! Told him I had not planned to eat dinner following the large lunch. But I didn’t discourage him from cooking. He later suggested I fix our firstborn a plate of lunch leftovers that she could eat at her “lunch break” at 2:00 a.m. I did and she loved it…said it was awesome comfort food and as an E.R. Charge Nurse…comfort is hard to come by some nights.

    Anyway…thanks for reminding me why I’m supposed to “listen” twice as much as I speak…isn’t that why God gave us two ears and only one mouth?!! Oh and “as I speak” he’s downstairs cleaning the kitchen from cooking two pecan pies! The first one was too soupy so he decided to try a second one!!!

    Thanks Sweet Julie for reminding us the importance of silence….

    • Oh, Brenda. That’s my kind of cooking! I made a huge pot of kale this week–have eaten it almost daily for lunch. And see how he’s giving your daughter-nurse energy to keep going! 🙂

      Gotta love a man who cooks. Can’t believe he makes pecan pies. Wowowowow!

      You’re so welcome, Dear Brenda. Thanks for letting me know you’re reading. And that you understand.

  10. Julie, as we get older and have been married for years and years, it’s so tempting to bicker. You know what I mean. If we can remember this, your recipe for having a Brunswick Stew kind of day, then my would be ever so much sweeter!
    Thank you for reminding us xo
    (I’ve gotta try this recipe, I’m gonna see if Ricky’s BFF will make it for us!)

    • And ANY day can be a Brunswick Stew kind of day, Rob. Don’t ‘cha love it!

      I’ll tell Ricky his BFF would love to come over, hang out, and eat stew. They need to catch up, I’m sure!

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