*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
 
                             “Arsters” She-Stew
 
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Seafood/Fish
 
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    8                    oysters (per person)
                         oyster liquor
                         milk
                         flour
                         celery
                         salt
                         pepper
 
 From James A. Michener’s “Chesapeake”, Copyrighted in
 1978 by Random House, Inc., Chapter 22, “The Waterman”:
 (An excerpted conversation between the cook, Big Jimbo
 and the crew aboard the Skipjack, Jessie T. as she prepared for
 her maiden trip to dredge for “arsters” in Maryland’s Choptank River).
 eaters.'
 the galley.
 A She-Stew is the traditional one: Eight oysters per
 person boiled slightly in their own liquor, then in milk
 thickened with flour, flavored with celery, salt and pepper. A
 great opening course, but not a meal for a working man.
 A He-Stew is quite different, as Big Jimbo prepared his
 version. First he took a mess a bacon and fried it crisp. As
 it sizzled he chopped eight large onions and two hefty stalks
 of celery. Deftly he wisked the bacon out, tossing the vegetables 
 into the hot oil to saute. Soon he withdrew them, placing
 them with the bacon. Then he tossed the forty eight oysters
 into the pan, browning them just enough to implant the flavor,
 then he quickly poured in the liquor from the oysters and
 allowed them to cook until their gills wrinkled.
 Next Big Jimbo did two things that made his stew unforgettable. 
 Taking a small pinch of tapioca powder, he tossed it
 into the oysters and liquor and in a few minutes the finely
 ground tapioca powder had expanded it into a large translucent,
 gelatinous mass. When he was satisfied he poured the oysters
 into the milk, which he had already brought to a simmer, tossed
 in the vegetables, then crumbled the bacon between his fingers,
 throwing it on top.
 The sturdy dish was almost ready. Finally, Big Jimbo
 dusted the top of the stew with Saffron, giving it a golden
 richness, which he augmented with a half-pound of butter at the
 last moment. When the crew dug in, they found one of the
 richest, tastiest “Arster” stews a marine cook had ever devised.
 'Do we eat this good every day?' and Big Jimbo replied.
 'You brings me the materials, and I brings you the dishes.'
 
 
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