Having on this day, December 25, 1998, once again succeeded in making the renowned Redmann family oyster dressing, half from memory and half from scribbled down notes, I am therefore, being of reasonably sound mind, setting down in writing, to the best of my ability, the secrets of the dressing.
Bread Crumbs – about two of the supermarket canisters. 2/3’s one canister
5-6 big white onions 2 big white onions
3 bunches of green onions 1 bunch green onions
8-10 green peppers 3 green peppers
3 bunches of celery 1 bunch celery
3 bunches of fresh parsley 1 bunch parsly
2 quart containers of oysters (original notes—two big oyster things) 1 qt. oysters
6-7 lemons 3 lemons
salt (if desired, I left it out this time)
Chop up everything. Put it in a big pot. Cook the veggies (onions, green onions, peppers, celery, parsley) in the big pot for about an hour, until they’re soft and that sort of army green color. Throw in the spices, about 5-7 crumbled up bay leaves, probably about a teaspoon or two of all the rest (except salt, go sparingly, there is probably enough salt in the bread crumbs). Mix it up well. While the veggies are cooking, chop up the oysters, squeeze the lemons (if you want to hew to the family traditions, grate some lemon zest, but I’ve found that the juice works just as well and is less messy).
Add the chopped oysters, the oyster liquid (check for shell bits, it’s not nice to crunch at Thanksgiving or X-mas) to the mix. Add the bread crumbs and the lemon juice (and zest and hope that someone will wash the grater for you). Mix it all together. It should have just a bit of tang in the taste, but not really taste lemony. Let it simmer for a bit, stirring between sips on your beer, wine, diet Pepsi or whatever it takes to get you through the holidays. It shouldn’t be soupy, but you still should be able to easily stir it.
At this point, you can stuff it where ever you would like to (assuming either consent or being dead, as in dead turkey or chicken, on the part of the stuffee). It can simmer happily along for a while until dinner is ready, unless dinner is more than twenty-four hours away.
The J.M. Redmann version of the recipe.