*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                             “Arsters” He-Stew
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Seafood/Fish
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
                         Mess of bacon
    8      Large         onions
    2                    hefty stalks of celery
   48                    oysters
                         oyster liquor
                         tapioca powder
      1/2  Lb.           butter
 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).
 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 whisked 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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