The Last Rays of Summer

I’m not quite ready to let go of Summer yet, but I must acknowledge that we’re hurtling towards Autumn at an unprecedented pace. I was at J. Crew yesterday – it was 101° outside – and they were already rolling out their beautiful, albeit thick and warm, fall collection. Here in North Texas, we’ll still be feeling the heat for another month or two at least! I suppose I’ll have to face the inevitable… Bring on the Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

For dinner, to bring the two worlds together, with deliciously simple Oyster Stew from my edition of the classic Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook: Bridal Edition. Oysters to me just smack of Summer! Their unctuous and delicate meatiness in this stew remind me of raviolis in a way. The delicate edges when cooked, curl up in little frills like ravioli edges. If not overcooked, the centers are tender and reminiscent of ricotta. Stew is what connects it to fond memories of Fall.

With butter-cooked shallot, this recipe uses the juices from the container of oysters in which they’re packed for the base of the broth. The oysters are cooked just until curly around the edges and then fresh milk and cream (among other seasonings) are introduced to the pot to conjugate thoroughly. (I cooked the stew a couple minutes longer and a touch hotter to thicken the broth a bit more). After a few minutes, what develops is a lovely thinner-than-average stew perfect for a Summer evening.

The lovely mild-yet-briny stew felt satisfying without being heavy. We enjoyed the stew with a little pat of butter on top and fresh-from-the-oven Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits from the Red Lobster’s new Gluten Free Mix to sop up the remaining broth at the bottom of the bowl! What are some of your favorite ways to bridge Summer and Fall?

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