Reporters' Cookbook

We invited Monitor writers, editors, and staff around the world to send in their favorite, it-wouldn't-be-a-holiday-without-it recipes. Give us the time-tested, family dishes to share with readers, we said--and say a little about what they mean to you. Here is a selection. A Holiday Recipe Dispatch

GUESTS invited to holiday dinners at my home often ask if my wife is going to be making "those oysters." Since I like them as much as anyone, and I have some influence on the menu, she always does. She has long claimed it was an old family dish first served on the eve of the Battle of Colloden by Countess Fickett, a distant ancestor who left her native Gascony to fight for Scotland with her true love, Bonnie Prince Al. My mother-in-law says it really comes from a cookbook whose name she can't recall.1/2 cup stale bread crumbs (2 slices) 1 cup common cracker crumbs 1/2 cup melted butter 1 pint oysters - drain and reserve 1/4 cup oyster juice 1/4 cup cream salt and pepper to taste Mix crumbs into melted butter. Spread thin layer of these crumbs on the bottom of a small, buttered casserole. Spread over this half the oysters, half of the cream, half of the juice, salt and pepper. Repeat layers, and top with rest of the crumbs. Bake in pre-heated 425-degree F. oven for 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

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