The Corner

The Weekend Is Young: Thanksgiving Oysters

Alice Robinson’s Scalloped Oysters

At any Thanksgiving dinner table, in my experience, no more than half

those present will truly like oysters. Coupled with this recipe, that

strange constant is very good news for those of us who do. At least my

mother, my brother, and I always thought so. Year after year, we got

this simple but delicious oyster dish almost entirely to ourselves.


One pint of oysters

One-and-a-half cups of cracker crumbs (Saltines, if you have any in the


Half a cup of butter

A third of a cup of cream

One teaspoon of salt

A quarter teaspoon of pepper

Two tablespoons of parsley


Drain the oysters, saving about a third of the oyster juice. Add the

oyster juice to the cream. (My sister-in-law, the authority on this

recipe now that my mother is gone, tells me that she sometimes adds a

little extra oyster juice.)

Grease a baking dish. Layer half the cracker crumbs on the bottom of

the dish and half the oysters on top of the cracker crumbs. Mash the

butter with a fork, then sprinkle half over the oysters. Layer the

remaining crackers and oysters into the dish. Sprinkle them with the

rest of the butter. Pour the mixture of oyster juice and cream on top,

doing your best to cover the oysters, crackers, and butter completely,

then dust the mixture of oyster juice and cream with the salt, pepper,

and parsley.

Place the dish in an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees. Bake for about 30

minutes. (My sister-in-law starts checking on the dish after 20

minutes, but she’s convinced the temperature in her oven runs high.)

Serve hot for Thanksgiving dinner, then refrigerate the leftovers. And

if you can say which tastes better—the the hot, fresh dish on

Thanskgiving Day, or the cold leftovers the day after—be sure to let me

know. In our family we’ve never been able to decide.


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