Clayton and Helen Harris belonged for years to Bethel United Church in Monro, Ont. Just a speck on the map, Monro and its red brick-church attracted hundreds of people every winter when the congregation put on its oyster suppers. This is the recipe the Harris family used at the suppers. You might think an oyster stew odd for Ontario, but oysters — shucked and unshucked — have enjoyed great popularity here since railway days. Oyster stew was typical but special-occasion winter fare.
- Portion size 6 servings
- 5 cups milk
- 1/4 cup fine soda cracker crumb
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash pepper
- 1 dash nutmeg
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 pint (500 ml) shucked oyster (and their liquor)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
In medium-size saucepan, scald milk over low heat (milk is ready when it forms bubbles all around side of pot). Add cracker crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and butter. Drain oysters, adding liquor to milk mixture.
When butter has melted, add oysters. Simmer gently, uncovered, until oysters plump up and begin to curl around edges. (This will take about 3 minutes. Be careful: If oysters are cooked too long, they will be tough.)
Serve immediately, sprinkled with the chopped chives or parsley.