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Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea
By Marion Harland [Mary Virginia Terhune] (1875)



    • 1 pint good broth-veal or chicken--well strained.
    • 1 slice of ham--corned is better than smoked.
    • 3 pints oysters.
    • 1 small onion.
    • 2 table-spoonfuls of butter.
    • 1/2 cup of milk.
    • 1 table-spoonful of corn-starch.
    • 1 egg beaten light.
    • A little chopped parsley and sweet marjoram.
    • Pepper to taste and juice of a lemon.


If the ham be raw, soak in boiling water for half an hour before cutting it into very small slices, and putting it into the saucepan with the broth, the oyster liquor, the onion minced very fine, the herbs and pepper.

Let these simmer for fifteen minutes, and boil fast for five, then skim and put in the oysters.

Boil up once briskly, keeping the contents of the saucepan well stirred.

Have ready the corn-starch, rubbed smoothly into the milk.

Stir this in and heat carefully, using the spoon constantly until it boils and begins to thicken, when the butter should go in. So soon as this is melted take out the oysters with a skimmer; put into a hot covered dish, heat the broth again to a boil, remove the saucepan from the fire, and stir in cautiously the beaten egg.

A better way is to cook the latter gradually by beating in with it a few tablespoonfuls of the scalding liquor, before putting the egg into the saucepan.

Turn the gravy over the oysters, and serve at once. Squeeze in the lemon-juice after the tureen is on the table, as it is apt to curdle the mixture if left to stand.

Send around cream crackers, and green pickles or olives with this savory dish.

The complete 'Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea' may be found on the Michigan State University website:
'Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project'



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