Ring the bells, ring the bells, let the whole world know, we were married on Christmas Eve day, many long years ago. The year was 1960; the day was the 24th, and the time was 12:03 am. The place was at Verna and Carl Living’s, beside a cold fireplace and before a bright, sparkling Christmas tree. Those in attendance were my parents, my soon to be husband, his young aunt, his grandmother, and his grandfather who was in the bedroom sleeping.
Grandma Lieving, my new husband’s grandmother, a minister, performed the ceremony. The newlyweds then drove off into the black of night to find a place to pillow their heads until morning. We discussed where we would spend the rest of the morning and our unusual time for getting married. Back in those days, the law required couples, to wait three days after their blood was tested before they could get married. Three minutes after midnight on the 24th made our third day.
Early the next morning, he went off to work and in the afternoon, I played the piano for a funeral. That night, I was in a Christmas play at church.
The next day, mother always served oyster soup on Christmas evening. I didn’t know until a few years later that my new husband did not like those oysters in his soup. He said, “I didn’t want to say anything, so I salted my soup down enough to where I couldn’t taste those slimy things.” Poor thing. Needless-to-say, I have not carried on that tradition.
However, if you like oyster soup, or stew as some call it, here is a recipe from Mother’s Heritage Cook Book.
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cold water
1 – ½ teaspoon salt (according to taste, ha)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of bottled hot pepper sauce
1 pint shucked oysters
1/4 cup of butter
4 cups of milk, scalded
In a saucepan blend flour, water, salt, Worcestershire, and hot pepper sauce.
Stir in undrained oysters and butter.
Simmer over very low heat, stirring gently, till edges of oysters curl, 3-4 minutes.
Add hot milk; remove from heat and cover.
Let stand 15 minutes. Reheat briefly.
Floats pats of butter and (optional-oyster crackers on top).
Makes 4 or 5 servings.
Patrecia Gray is a member of the Point Pleasant Writers Guild.
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