‘The oysters have been very, very popular’
Henry’s Seafood celebrated its 20th year of business by serving up an oyster feast for more than 1,000 people on Sunday.
That event was another moment in York countians’ love affair with the very edible mollusk.
Among other things, Henry’s supplied the oyster treats for the York County Heritage Trust’s annual Oyster Festival.
So, that raised the question. What was the recipe for, say, the oyster stew in such demand on that October afternoon?
We posed that question to Susan Hosier from the York County-based Henry’s, and she readily delivered the following recipe (no secrets here):
1 pint oysters
4 cups scalded milk
1/4 cup butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean oysters by placing in a colander and rinsing them with cold water
Carefully pick over oysters, reserve liquor, and heat it to boiling
point; strain through cheese cloth, add oysters, and cook until oysters
are plump and edges begin to curl.
Remove oysters with skimmer, and put in tureen with butter, salt, and
Add oyster liquor and milk. Serve with oyster crackers.
(One area church offers hog maw alongside its oysters. To that hog maw recipe, see: How about a little hog maw with your oyster stew?)
A York Daily Record account from that afternoon follows:
Andrew Grube held a copy of the U.S. Constitution as he named foods – including oyster stew and apple fritters – he had tasted. The 10-year-old was intrigued by the colonial lifestyle that played out before him, said his mom, York Township resident Ellen Wagner.
Andrew, Wagner, her daughter, Katharine, and a friend, Jimmy Herrold, attended the York County Heritage Trust’s Oyster Festival Sunday at the Colonial Complex.
“He is absolutely fascinated with the muskets. He is in heaven … I can’t get him to go home,” Ellen Wagner said of Andrew, who asked colonial re-enactors many questions about life during the period. She was pleased her son took such an interest in the history at the outdoor event. “Today is a perfect day for it.”
Today’s mild weather helped draw more than 1,000 people to the 33rd annual festival, which was sponsored by M&T Bank, said York County Heritage Trust President and CEO Joan Mummert.
Most people raved about the food, she said.
“The oysters have been very, very popular,” she said. “And the apple fritters, you can’t make them fast enough. That’s the longest line.”
Sarah Selvaggio, events manager for the Trust, said more than 100 volunteers, including members of the York Jaycees, helped at the festival.
One of the volunteers, Hopewell Township resident Emma Davis, 14, wore a colonial-style dress while using a wooden bucket and a pottery container to water green onions in the four-square garden at the complex.
“It’s the colonial version of a watering can,” she said.
Nearby, Hallam resident Craig Kindig, 48, and his dad, Curvin, 82, of Shiloh, studied a hops flower. The men are home brewers, Craig Kindig said.
They came to the festival for the oysters, however.
“I was here when this was in its infancy,” Curvin Kindig said as he looked at all the people at the event. “It used to be held just in the yard, so that’s how much it has grown.”