Thursday, March 23Welcome

At the table: the annual oyster stew is a tradition |

It’s the first time I’ve heard of stewed oysters.

In my head, I envisioned rice and rich brown gravy. It contained butter and cream, which surprised me.

Giglio welcomed me into her home. A few days before Christmas, her tidy kitchen was decorated with her Advent calendar and friendly pets. Only one Dutch oven was placed on the gas stove and it was boiling.

stewed oysters 4

Third Circuit Court of Appeals attorney Peggy Perry Giglio learned how to make oyster stew from her mother, whose name is Peggy Perry. She Perry is of Irish descent. She found the recipe for her oyster stew in the original New York Times cookbook published in 1961, when she was looking for what the Irish traditionally ate on her Eve at Christmas.

An attorney on the Third Circuit, Giglio was born in Virginia and raised in Pennsylvania. In 1987 her family moved to Louisiana.

Her mother, who also has the name Peggy Perry, is of Irish descent. Perry found her oyster stew recipe in the original New York Times cookbook published in 1961 when she was looking for what Irish people traditionally ate on her eve on Christmas Eve. rice field.

Since the mid-1800s, many Irish immigrant holiday menus have included oysters cooked in milk and butter and seasoned with black pepper.

Perry doesn’t eat oyster stew, but started making it to compete with her husband’s Italian family’s holiday cooking. . In 1978, the meal became a Christmas Eve family tradition for her family.

oyster stew

Oyster stew is an annual tradition at Peggy Perry Giglio’s house.

Braised oysters are an easy meal, but Giglio recommends eating them no more than once a year.

“If you eat this dish on a regular basis, it’s all butter and cream and you could go into cardiopulmonary arrest,” Giglio said as he stirred the stew. .”

It’s hard to find a more decadent meal than stewed oysters.

The process of stirring the oyster stew is a big event at Giglio’s house. The oysters have to move, so everyone has to take turns. When Giglio explained her tradition, she showed me a picture of her family churning oyster stew on Christmas Eve 1995.

As the stew bubbled over the Giglio stove, it stirred me too. I found it to be a fairly relaxing chore and an overall inclusive event.

Giglio began taste testing when some of the oysters began to float. Oysters may already be salty and need no further seasoning. Giglio prefers his stew to have no black specks, so he modified his mother’s recipe to use white pepper instead of black.

According to Giglio, the stew is a matter of personal choice. Perry prefers more butter, while Giglio opts for a lighter approach.

When everything was almost ready, we went out into her garden to collect some parsley for garnish. After chopping her herbs, she gently sprinkled them into the bright yellow soup, giving her stews a burst of green.

stewed oysters 3

Peggy Giglio prefers Old Cape Cod oyster crackers above all else to serve with the oyster stew she prepares.

For the holidays, especially Christmas, Giglio doubles or triples the recipe. She hosts various festivals every year. As she cooks the stew, her neighbors eagerly await the bowls they know she will deliver. Giglio said her personal favorite time to eat the stew is the day after it’s prepared.On winter break, whenever she receives a new book for Christmas, she enjoys stew and prosecco. I like.

Giglio and I sat at the kitchen table with a fancy plate, a bowl of oyster crackers (she prefers Old Cape Cod oyster crackers) and two glasses of prosecco. Her daughter Kellen, 12, was joined by Giglio, but she wasn’t ready to dive into the oysters. Instead, she ate only delicious soup and crackers.

Unexpectedly, I found the oyster stew to be a delicious dish. The seafood flavor was pleasant and not overpowering. Smaller than usual oysters made the stew easier to scoop with a spoon. The soup was both buttery and light.

With each bite, I experienced the crunchy outer texture of the crackers and the comforting creaminess of the broth soaked inside. We laughed together when we heard

I made a toast in gratitude for this experience. Sharing a meaningful tradition with others is a true gift.

I am obsessed with families who continue to carry on their traditions no matter how much life gets in the way.

Though Irish in origin, this simple meal is bursting with rich, delicious Louisiana flavor and is a worthy addition to any festive menu.

mom’s oyster stew

It can be used by 4 to 6 people.Recipe by Peggy Perry

1/4 cup butter

1 pint of oysters and sake

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup light cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Place butter, oysters, milk, fresh cream, salt and pepper in a double pot and add to boiling water. Cook slowly.

2. When the oysters float, melt the butter and warm the milk and fresh cream. Adjust flavors and season to personal taste.

3. Add parsley.

4. Serve hot.

*For a more decadent version, increase the cream to 1 cup and change the milk to 1/2 cup.

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