Here at the Robinson household, my wife has begun drawing up a list. Which got me to thinking: If I offer my favorite Thanksgiving recipe, I bet a lot of Ricochetians will offer theirs, too.
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 cupboard)
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 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.
And that, as I say, is my favorite Thanksgiving dish.