Beat the cold, help school with stew order

Published 2:03 pm Wednesday, February 3, 2016

By Kim Roy | Special to the Advertiser

During the winter months, one way to take the bite out of the cold is to curl up on the couch with some good ol’ Southern comfort food.

You can do that and help a good cause as well with a bowl of camp stew being sold as an Isabella High School fundraiser.

Former Isabella agriculture teacher James Pierce’s camp stew has been a favorite for many years.

It all started one night at a parent-teacher meeting when Pierce asked if anybody liked camp stew, but no one was familiar with the dish.

Pierce made a batch.

“They just went wild over it and have every year since,” Pierce said.

Former student Lanis Robinson, who is now a science teacher, summarized people’s feelings about the stew: “It’s real good!”

Teacher Miriam Ratliff said several school staff members worked together to help Pierce.

“I remember seeing him roll bread into balls so he would have just the right texture,” Ratliff said. “We would sell tickets and seat people.”

Pre-orders for the stew, which costs $9 per quart, are being taken by the school. Call (205) 280-2770 or (205) 294-1379 Thursday or Friday to place an order.

Orders can be picked up at noon on Saturday at the school.

Money raised will benefit the school’s track team.

Pierce and coach Littleton shared the recipe but said they would have to leave out a few ingredients.

“I can’t tell you everything because then I would have to kill you,” Littleton said.

Pierce emphasized that you should cook the potatoes first so that they do not become mushy.

The recipe makes two gallons:

1 large fryer

4 pounds pork roast

5 pounds dice potatoes

1 large onion

64 ounces can tomato juice

1 small bottle of ketchup

4 ounces of mustard

20 ounces of lemon juice

Cook three to four hours.