Old-time Oyster Fritters Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, December 3, 1912:  Nothing much to write.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share an old recipe for Oyster Fritters with you.

Oysters were a very popular late fall food in central Pennsylvania years ago.  Even though the area is about 150 miles from the Chesapeake Bay—it is within a day’s train trip from the Bay; and shellfish, even a hundred years ago, were regularly transported into the area.

I have wonderful memories of eating Oyster Fritters when I was a child—and still make them once or twice each year whenever I’m able to find oysters for sale in my local supermarket.

Oyster Fritters

1 pint oysters, drained and coarsely chopped

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup shortening or lard

Mix all ingredients except shortening together. Melt shortening in a skillet. Drop oyster mixture by tablespoonfuls into the hot shortening. Fry until lightly browned; flip and cook other side. Drain on paper towels.

7 thoughts on “Old-time Oyster Fritters Recipe

  1. I am not a big Oyster fan, but it is interesting to think how the availability of fresh ingredients has changed over the years. Today we can get almost any ingredient we want whenever we want.

    1. I’m constantly amazed how we can get almost all types of fruits and vegetables year-round now. Sometimes, I think people enjoyed fresh fruits and vegetables more when each type of produce was only available for a short period of time each year–and people looked forward to strawberries in June, corn on the cob in August, and so on.

  2. I definitely have to try the oyster fritters! And what a great idea for the granddaughter 100 years later to share this recipe. Think what it will mean 100 years from now. 🙂

  3. Many in my grandmother’s family always had oyster stew on Christmas Eve. I am not sure why it was a Christmas thing for them, and it wasn’t for the branch of the family in Wisconsin as far as I know. Fritters sound pretty good, although I am not an oyster fan either.

  4. In doing genealogical research, I found a notation in an old Vermont newspaper dated 15Dec1897 stating my great grandparents “gave an oyster supper to a number of their friends on Thursday evening.” Does anyone know how the oysters were prepared for an “oyster supper” in that era?

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