Now almost 10 years ago I put together a “cookbook” for my family made up of recipes from old notes, handwritten letters, recipe cards, photos and stories that had been collected from my grandmothers, my Aunt Lorraine, my mother, and a number of other family members. With most of them now having passed, it’s a real treasure for me to take a few minutes and read their handwriting, remember the photos, and recall the delicious meals that we as a family had shared together. It’s amazing to read old letters, one notably from my paternal grandmother (“MaMa”) that recounts her trip home after coming to visit my parents on the birth of yours truly!! While it included a recipe for “Damson Plum Jelly” (we will keep that one for a future essay), the letter recounts the details of her train trip from Cleveland Ohio to White Sulphur Springs in the fall of 1961. A glimpse of a time gone by for sure!
As I picked up the cookbook today, my eye was caught by the recipe for “Corn Oysters” and the stories that Mama used to tell about them on a holiday table. My father (recently passed), and his father Loche Andrew Livesay (yes, that’s not a mis-spelling of the last name, again a topic for a future essay) loved this dish, and Mama would describe how my grandfather would silently dive into a plate of “Corn Oysters” with such fervor and intensity that he would break out into a sweat right there at the dining room table. While I can “neither confirm nor deny” that I have followed in my grandfather’s footprints over a delicious meal, my grandmother’s story still rings in my ears now over 15 years since her passing.
Give the recipe a try; I plan to as part of a Christmas meal featuring a baked Ham and Mama’s “One Hour Buttermilk Rolls”. The holidays are a special time to enjoy with families and friends, and to remember those who have passed and celebrate their lives with memories, stories and maybe a few recipes! I hope you and your family will enjoy these “Corn Oysters” as much as my family has over the years, and I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!