Strain off all the oyster liquor, and then add half as much water as you have oysters. Some of the best housekeepers say this is better than using the liquor. Add a salt-spoonful of salt for each pint of oysters, and half as much pepper; and when they begin to simmer, add half a small tea-cup of milk for each pint of oysters. When the edges begin to "ruffle," add some butter, and do not let them stand, but serve immediately. Oysters should not simmer more than five minutes in the whole. When cooked too long, they become hard, dark, and tasteless.
Lay them on a cloth to absorb the liquor; then dip first in beaten egg, and afterward in powdered cracker, and fry in hot lard or butter to a light brown. If fresh lard is used, put in a little salt. Cook quickly in very hot fat, or they will absorb too much grease.
Drain off the liquor, and to each pint of oysters take a pint of milk, a salt-spoonful of salt, half as much pepper, and flour enough for a thin batter. Chop the oysters and stir in, and then fry in hot lard, a little salted, or in butter. Drop in one spoonful at a time. Some make the batter thicker, so as to put in one oyster at a time surrounded by the batter.
Make alternate layers of oysters and crashed crackers wet with oyster liquor, and milk warmed. Sprinkle each layer with salt and pepper, (some add a very little nutmeg or cloves;) let the top and bottom layer be crackers. Put bits of butter on the top, pour on some milk with a beaten egg in it, and bake half an hour.
Dip in fine cracker crumbs, broil very quick, and put a small bit of butter on each when ready to serve.
Oyster Omelet, (very fine.) - Take twelve large oysters chopped fine. Mix the beaten yelks of six eggs into a tea-cupful of milk, and add the oysters. Then put in a spoonful of melted butter, and lastly add the whites of the eggs beaten to a stiff froth. Fry this in hot butter or salted lard, and do not stir it while cooking. Slip a knife around the edges while cooking, that the centre may cook equally, and turn it out so that the brown side be uppermost.
Take for fifty large oysters half a pint of vinegar, six blades of mace, twelve black pepper-corns, and twelve whole cloves. Heat the oysters with the liquor, but not to boil; take out the oysters, and then put the vinegar and spices into the liquor, boil it, and when the oysters are nearly cold, pour on the mixture scalding hot. Next day cork the oysters tight in glass jars, and keep them in a dark and cool place. Vinegar is sometimes made of sulphuric or pyroligneous acid, and this destroys the pickles. Use cider or wine vinegar.
Put oysters in the shell, after washing them, upon the coals so that the flat side is uppermost, to save the liquor; and take them up when they begin to gape a little.
Dip them in beaten egg and cracker crumbs, and fry or stew them like oysters.
Make alternate layers of crackers wet in milk, and clams with their liquor, and thin slices of fried salt pork. Season with black pepper and salt. Boil three quarters of an hour. Put this into a tureen, having drained off some liquor which is to be thickened with flour or pounded crackers, seasoned with catsup and wine, and then poured into the tureen. Serve with pickles.
Wrap in a cloth wet with vinegar, floured inside. Boil in cold salted water till the bones will slip out easily; drain and serve with egg sauce, or drawn butter, or a sauce of milk, butter, and egg. Try boiling fish with a fork, and if that goes in easily, it probably is done.
Split so that the backbone is in the middle; sprinkle with salt; lay the inside down at first till it begins to brown, then turn and broil the other side. Dress with butter, pepper, and salt. It is best to take out the backbone.
Wash and wipe, and rub with salt and pepper outside and inside. Set it on a grate over a baking-pan, and baste with butter and the drippings; if it browns too fast, cover with white paper. Thicken the gravy, and season to the taste, using lemon-juice or tomato catsup. Some put in wine.
To two quarts of vinegar add a pint of the liquor in which the fish was boiled, a dozen black pepper-corns, a dozen cloves, three sticks of cinnamon, and a tea-spoonful of mustard. Let them boil up, and then skim so as not to take out the spice.
Cut the fish into inch squares, and when the liquor boils, put them into it till just heated through. Pack tight in a glass jar, and then pour on the pickle; cook it till air-tight. This will keep a long time. It is a great convenience for a supper relish.