Currently, I am reading Franklin and Eleanor by Hazel Rowley. I am enjoying it, not only because I didn't know that much about the Roosevelts (which means "field of roses") before, but also because they were such extraordinary people. The Roosevelts were definitely ahead of their time in their thinking about many social issues, and also in their relationship with each other and their extended "family", which would even be regarded as unusual today.
Being a foodie, I immediately seized on a throw-away sentence that stated that one of Franklin's favourite meals was Brunswick Stew, a Georgian speciality. FDR spent a lot of time in Warm Springs, Georgia, to undertake therapeutic swimming for his polio-stricken lower limbs, and it was there that he discovered Brunswick Stew. In Franklin and Eleanor, Brunswick Stew is described as a "chicken and pork dish". Accordingly, in honour of FDR, I decided to make a version of Brunswick Stew containing chicken and pork.
I made half of this recipe for Brunswick Stew taken from a Daring Cooks challenge, but substituted the rabbit for pork chops. Despite only making half, I still ended up with a lot of stew, so thank goodness I like it! I used cannellini beans instead of butterbeans, and substituted pancetta for bacon, but otherwise followed the recipe. (My carrots have black skins because I froze them - don't ask, and please don't try it at home.)
Although the end product is delicious and a meal in itself, I liked even better how the dish tasted at the half way point, before you fish out the celery and bacon, and before adding the vinegar and cooking it some more. When Penny says in her post that it tastes like the best chicken soup ever at that mid-stage, she is absolutely right - if I made this stew again, I think I'd leave it right there, because it is salty and rich and wonderful at that stage. The addition of vinegar and lemon adds an acidity which takes away from the simple saltiness, and although the end product still tastes good, I like the mid-point better.
You could easily get away with quartering this recipe, but to give myself an easy life, I just halved it. I also recommend setting aside a lazy Sunday afternoon like I did to make it, as there are numerous steps and cooking times, which are rather time consuming.
If you have a historical interest in what FDR liked for dinner or are curious as to what Brunswick stew is, give this recipe a burl - you won't be disappointed.