Oysters must be fresh and fat to be good. They are in season from September to May.
The small ones, such as are sold by the quart, are good for pies, fritters, or stews; the largest of this sort are nice for frying or pickling for family use.
Take large oysers from their own liquor into a thickly folded napkin to dry them; then make hot an ounce each of butter and lard in a thick-bottomed frying pan. Season the oysters with pepper and salt, then dip each one into egg and cracker crumbs rolled fine, until it will take up no more. Place them in the hot grease and fry them a delicate brown, turning them on both sides by sliding a broad-bladed knife under them. Serve them crisp and hot.
Boston Oyster House,
Some prefer to roll oysters in corn meal and others use flour, but they are much more crisp with egg and cracker crumbs.
One-half pint of oysters, two eggs, one-half pint of milk, sufficient flour to make the batter; pepper and salt to taste; when liked, a little nutmeg; hot lard.
Scald the oysters in their own liquor, beard them, and lay them on a cloth to drain thoroughly. Break the eggs into a basin, mix the flour with them, add the milk gradually, with nutmeg and seasoning, and put the oysters in a batter. Make some lard hot in a deep frying pan; put in the oysters one at a time; when done, take them up with a sharp pointed skewer and dish them on a napkin. Fried oysters are frequently used for garnishing boiled fish, and then a few bread crumbs should be added to the flour.
Drain the liquor from two quarts of oysters; mix with it a small teacupful of hot water, add a little salt and pepper and set it over the fire in a saucepan. Let it boil up once, put in the oysters, let them come to a boil, and when they "ruffle" add two tablespoonfuls of butter. The instant it is melted and well stirred in, put in a pint of boiling milk and take the saucepan from the fire. Serve with oyster or cream crackers. Serve while hot.
If thickening is preferred, stir in a little flour or two tablespoonfuls of cracker crumbs.
Same as milk or cream stew, using only oyster liquor and water instead of milk or cream, adding more butter after taking up.
For oyster soup, see Soups.
Take six to twelve large oysters and cook them in half a pint of their own liquor; season with butter and white pepper; cook for five minutes, stirring constantly. Serve in hot soup plates or bowls.
Fulton Market, New York.
Prepare the oysters in egg batter and fine cracker meal; fry in butter over a slow fire for about ten minutes; cover the hollow of a hot platter with tomato sauce; place the oysters in it, but not covering; garnished with chopped parsley sprinkled over the oysters.
Boston Oyster House.