For the oyster soup, take two quarts of prime oysters. Turn them into a colander and place over a stew pan large enough at the top to catch all the liquor that drops from the colander.
Lift out the oysters, one by one, with a spoon, never with a fork, and see that all pieces of shell are detached. Rinse the colander, put the oysters in again and dash over them about a quart of boiling water. Then instantly throw over them about the same quantity of ice cold water. This is called “plumping” them.
Put the liquor on the stove and remove the scum as it gathers. Now add to the liquor two quarts of new milk and let come to the boil. Protect the kettle in such a way that the contents cannot scorch. Add two tablespoons of fresh butter, turn in the oysters and remove the moment their edges begin to ruffle.
Have the soup tureen warm and put in it two tablespoonfuls of homemade cracker meal. Now pour in the soup, season to taste with suit and pepper, and add a tablespoonful of lemon juice. Have the soup plates well-warmed and serve without delay.
Oyster soup made after this recipe is more troublesome than with the oidinary method, but one should never think of this when the result is a superior soup with the oysters in it plump, tender and just done enough.
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Publication: Pittsburg Dispatch
Publication date: 18 December 1892
Original title: A Christmas Dinner, by Ellice Serena