One of my favorite food memories from Christmas is, believe it or not, not chocolate, but oyster stew! Every year my mom would make the most wonderful Oyster Stew and I never knew why or how the tradition got started. So this year, I asked my dad why we ate oyster stew every Christmas Eve. Apparently my great-grandmother went to California one year when she was young and tasted oysters for the first time in her life. She loved them! Oyster beds are quite limited in Utah and fresh or canned oysters were quite hard to find in the stores, not to mention very expensive. So as a special treat, they would splurge on Christmas Eve and make Oyster Stew.
We ate Oyster Stew every Christmas Eve until I was in my late teens when one year my brother and sister, who didn’t appreciate the subtle tones of Oyster Stew as much as I did, protested and voted to change the tradition. That year we had pizza – it wasn’t the same. Silly teenagers.
Don’t get frustrated with this recipe just because it doesn’t have specific measurements. I can’t help it – this is a recipe that has been handed down for generations and it isn’t going to change anytime soon. Trust me on this, it tastes wonderful.
Depending on the amount of people that you are feeding:
1 or 2 cans of oysters and its juices (We prefer the Cove Oysters)
A big glob of butter (The more you like butter, the bigger the glob – per my father)
Milk – Whole (preferably) or 2%
Pour the oyster and juices into a pan, and on a medium heat, add the butter and pour in enough milk to taste and/or to feed however many people are staying for dinner. Add salt and pepper to taste. My mom prefers to have it thinner and more soup like, but my dad prefers it to have it a little thicker. If you would prefer it a little thicker, add a little bit of cornstarch or flour to thicken it up.
This is so much better than pizza!
Consider having one or two cans of oysters in your food storage (or more if you love Oyster Stew like I do). Then, this is an easy recipe to fix for a special Christmas meal because you already have the oysters on hand!