Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oyster Stew Tradition

Five years ago, I gathered many of the family favorite recipes together into a cookbook, Cooking Up Memories, that I gave to my extended family for Christmas. I included a recipe for oyster stew, which was a favorite of my father (Harold McPherson). The sidebar for the recipe was:
“There was probably nothing unusual about Daddy's Oyster Stew, except that I didn't know anyone else who liked it except for the two of us. Then I found out that it was a favorite of My McPherson Grandpa and Uncles."

A few months ago, I posted to a family website about my McPherson family's fondness for this dish. I immediately heard from distant McPherson relatives in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arizona, and even in my home state of Oregon. They told me of their McPherson family's fondness for Oyster Stew, especially as a Christmas Eve tradition. Some of these extended family members related how they counted out the oysters out into each dish, and if there were extra, only the adults got extra oysters in their bowl.

Now on Christmas Eve, I enjoy my bowl of oyster stew and smile to myself over this new/old tradition of my McPhersons.

Harold McPherson, 1951

Daddy's Oyster Stew
(serves 1 adult and 1 child)

Daddy heated a small pan of milk (about 1 ½ to 2 c milk) to scalding. Then added a can of oysters and simmered until the oysters were thoroughly warmed. He then seasoned it with 1-2 TBS butter, then added salt and pepper as desired. He served it with crackers. We enjoyed it immensely.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! Sounds much the same as in my family. We're from MN and my mom has made oyster stew on Christmas Eve (I think even that exact recipe) for as long as I can remember.