Americans are fortunate that their early colonial history is preserved by the Williamsburg Foundation in the world’s largest living history museum in beautiful Virginia.
This restored city area was original the 18th-century capital of Britain’s largest, wealthiest, and most populous outpost of English power in the New World.
Today the restored colonial area actively interprets the origins of America, conceived decades before the American Revolution. The Colonial Williamsburg enables modern visitors to stroll through the pre-revolutionary city and experience how diverse peoples, having different and sometimes conflicting ambitions, evolved into a society that valued liberty and equality.
Within Colonial Williamsburg’s 301-acre Historic Area hundreds of restored, reconstructed, and historically furnished buildings are open to the public.
Historical interpreters in costumes, include cooks, reenact the daily lives of the men and women who once inhabited this restored 18th-century city—black, white, and native American, slave, indentured, and free.
Key to this unique museum experience is the outstanding Department of Historic Foodways, a program created in 1893, that researches and shares over 300 of colonial recipes once enjoyed in the British capital of Virginia – including many featuring oysters. A shellfish favorite of colonial Founding Fathers and Mothers was the savory and very popular Oysters on Skewers.
OYSTERS ON SKEWERS
- 1 pint of Taylor Pacific Oysters
- 1 lb. package of whole mushrooms, white or baby portabellas
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- ¼ tsp Pepper
- A pinch of ground cloves
- 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. basil, chopped
- 1 tsp thyme, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- Salt to taste
- Oil (olive or canola)
- 1 Cup breadcrumbs, dried or fresh
- 1 Cup good quality beef gravy mix with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Metal or bamboo skewers
- BBQ grill
- Remove oysters from package, rinse and drain. Place oysters in a large bowl.
- Remove dirt from mushrooms (wash or rub with a cloth).
- If they are very large, cut them in half.
- Place mushrooms in the bowl with the oysters.
- Add the pepper, salt, cloves, parsley, basil, thyme, flour and butter into bowl with the oysters and mushrooms.
- Toss gently with your hands for about 30 seconds until everything is coated
- Slide the oysters onto a skewer followed by a mushroom.
- Continue to alternate oyster with mushrooms onto the skewers until all used.
- Remember to leave about 2 inches of skewer unfilled at the bottom so that you can pick them up easily.
- Heat your BBQ grill to medium to high heat.
- Brush the grates with some oil so that the oysters do not stick while cooking.
- Gently roll each skewer into the bread crumbs and place them on the grill.
- One can use fresh breadcrumbs if preferred instead of dried.
- Simply place a large roll or four slices of bread in your food processor to create the soft crumbs.
- Cook skewers on one side for 3-4 minutes.
- Flip them over gently and cook on the other side another 3-4 minutes.
- The oysters should feel soft, but also firm to the touch.
- How long you cook the oysters depends upon how large they are and how well done you want them.
- If they are large oysters, increase the time to 5 minutes on each side.
- Heat beef gravy and add lemon juice.
- Pour into bottom of large platter.
- Place skewers on top and serve.