The rule already given for oyster soup is an excellent one, omitting the thickening. A simpler one is to strain the juice from a quart of oysters, and add an equal amount of water. Bring it to boiling-point; skim carefully; season with salt to taste, this depending on the saltness of the oysters, half a teaspoonful being probably enough. Add a saltspoonful of pepper, a tablespoonful of butter, and a cup of milk. The milk may be omitted, if preferred. Add the oysters. Boil till the edges curl, and no longer. Serve at once, as they toughen by standing.
Choose large oysters, and drain thoroughly in a colander. Dry in a towel. Dip first in sifted cracker-crumbs; then in egg, one egg beaten with a large spoonful of cold water, half a teaspoonful of salt, and a saltspoonful of pepper, being enough for two dozen oysters. Roll again in crumbs, and drop into boiling lard. If a wire frying-basket is used, lay them in this. Fry to a light brown. Lay them on brown paper a moment to drain, and serve at once on a hot platter. As they require hardly more than a minute to cook, it is better to wait till all are at the table before beginning to fry. Oysters are very good, merely fried in a little hot butter; but the first method preserves their flavor best.
One quart of oysters; one large breakfast cup of cracker or bread crumbs, the crackers being nicer if freshly toasted and rolled hot; two large spoonfuls of butter; one teaspoonful of salt; half a teaspoonful of pepper; one saltspoonful of mace. Mix the salt, pepper, and mace together. Butter a pudding-dish; heat the juice with the seasoning and butter, adding a teacup of milk or cream if it can be had, though water will answer. Put alternate layers of crumbs and oysters, filling the dish in this way. Pour the juice over, and bake in a quick oven twenty minutes. If not well browned, heat a shovel red-hot, and brown the top with that; longer baking toughening the oysters.
OYSTERS FOR PIE OR PATTIES.
One quart of oysters put on to boil in their own liquor. Turn them while boiling into a colander to drain. Melt a piece of butter the size of an egg in the saucepan, add a tablespoonful of sifted flour, and stir one minute. Pour in the oyster liquor slowly, which must be not less than a large cupful. Beat the yolks of two eggs thoroughly with a saltspoonful of salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and one of mace. Add to the boiling liquor, but do not let it boil. Put in the oysters, and either use them to fill a pie, the form for which is already baked, for patties for dinner, or serve them on thin slices of buttered toast for breakfast or tea.