This section is from the book "Philadelphia Cook Book: A Manual Of Home Economies", by Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Philadelphia Cook Book.
"Blessed if I don't think that ven a maris werry poor he rushes out of his lodgings and eats oysters in regular desperation" - PICKWICK Papers.
Blue Points are nicest for serving raw, as they are small and fat and are considered the finest in the market. The Cape Shores, Maurice River Coves, and the Western Shores are all very good. They are in season from September until May and, like other shell-fish, are not good when dead.
Dr. Kitchener says, "Those who wish to enjoy this delicious restorative in its utmost perfection, must eat it the moment it is opened, with its own gravy in the under shell; if not eaten while absolutely alive, its flavor and spirit are lost."
Allow six oysters to each person. Wash the shells well; open them carefully; take off the upper shell, detach the oyster from the under shell, but leave it there. Put six on an oyster or round plate, and serve with a piece of lemon in the centre of the dish.
Take a perfectly clear block of ice, weighing about ten pounds. Heat a flat-iron, and with it mark out the space to be melted, leaving a wall about an inch and a half thick. Reheat the iron and with it melt the ice in the centre of the block; heat again, and continue the operation until you have a perfectly square cavity, leaving the bottom and sides about one and a half inches thick. Empty all the water carefully out, fill the cavity with freshly-opened oysters. Fold a napkin and place it on a large flat dish; stand the ice on this, and garnish the dish with smilax and nasturtium flowers; here and there, among the smilax, lemon quarters may be placed.
1 large tablespoonful of butter
1 large tablespoonful of flour 1/2 pint of milk
Yolks of two eggs
1 tablespoonful of chopped parsley
Salt and cayenne to taste
Boil the oysters in their own liquor; drain. Put the butter in a frying-pan, and, when melted, add the flour; mix until smooth; now add the milk, stir until it boils; add the oysters and a half-cup of the liquor, salt and cayenne, and stir again until it boils. Take from the fire, add the yolks of the eggs lightly beaten, and the parsley; serve at once.
1 pint of cream
1 tablespoonful of butter
1 tablespoonful of corn-starch or flour 1 blade of mace
Salt and pepper to taste
Put the oysters on to boil in their own liquor; as soon as they come to a boil, drain through a colander. Put the cream on to boil in a farina boiler. Rub the butter and corn-starch, or flour, together, and add to the cream when boiling; add the mace, and stir constantly until it thickens; then add the oysters, salt and pepper; stir until thoroughly heated, and serve.