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January 26, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Like oysters? Shirley Furst can help

NEW CASTLE — The first line in the letter from Shirley Furst, after “Hi Lugene,” was that oysters are in season.

And then I remembered the “oyster rule.”

Oysters are in season during months, which have an “r” in them. So if this particular shellfish is to your liking, you’re in luck during January, February, March and April, and then will have to wait until September rolls around.

I’m guessing two kinds of people occupy the world — oyster lovers and oyster haters.

I fall into the former category. So did my dad. But my mother and brother did not.

Even after I had moved from the house I grew up in, my dad would still call and say, “Guess what we’re having for dinner tonight?”

And out I would go to partake of the broth filled with oysters. It was almost a camaraderie thing with my father who would often toss a few extras into my bowl while my mother sipped plain broth, nibbled a few oyster crackers and watched us enjoy.

When Shirley’s letter arrived, I was reminded again of how much I miss those nights with dad. It’s been a long time since I had oyster stew and will probably be even longer since the man I married doesn’t like them, either.

But Shirley obviously loves them. She is this week’s guest contributor to Culinary Conversation and submitted a recipe for baked oysters.

The Neshannock Township resident said the recipe goes great with rice and a green salad.

“If you like oysters, you will love this dish,” Shirley wrote.

For extra measure, I threw in a recipe for crab cakes because those are another favorite of mine. I’m only assuming that Shirley likes them, too.

Baked Oysters

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pint oysters, drained
  • 1/2 cup Italian panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 tbsps. Parmesan cheese.

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