Oysters Johnny Reb 
Having been born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi for 16 years before moving to Florida by way of Georgia, I feel I have been blessed with a practical education in culinary delights that few others - unless they are from the Deep South as well - can match.
Oysters Johnny Reb
One of my favorite recipes was a standard item on the menu at a restaurant in Vicksburg called "The Old Southern Tea Room". I don’t know if it is still in business - I haven’t been back since 1966 - but here is my version of "Oysters Johnny Reb" from the Old Southern Tea Room in Vicksburg, Miss.

You will need a casserole dish, fresh raw oysters, saltines, butter, Tabasco sauce, chopped scallions ("green onions" to you Yankees), plenty of fresh chopped parsley, a little milk, and Lea and Perrins sauce. (I can’t spell Worcestershire).

Butter the casserole dish and crush up a package of saltines. Spread a layer of saltines in the bottom of the casserole as a crust. On top of the saltines, lay in a layer of the fresh oysters (no shells please). I did have someone ask me once when I was describing this dish if they could leave the oysters in the shell, since they were hard to open. They were astounded when I told them that you could buy oysters by the pint, already shucked. Place one drop each of Tabasco sauce and Lea and Perrins sauce on each oyster (more is better). Sprinkle the entire layer with the chopped fresh parsley and the chopped scallions, and then cover that layer with another layer of saltines. On top of this layer of saltines add a few dollops (don’t anyone dare ask me what a dollop is unless you truly want to start another war) of butter and another layer of oysters. Continue layering in the same order until you have filled your casserole dish or run out of ingredients, whichever comes first.

You should make the top layer a layer of saltines with butter on top and then poke a few holes in the casserole. Add a little milk and oyster liquor (juice) to make it moist. Put it in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees and bake for forty- five minutes or until it is as done as you like. If the top starts getting too dark, cover it with Reynolds wrap. If you’ve cooked this dish right, it should come out with the consistency of dressing out of your Thanksgiving turkey. If it is too runny, you added too much milk and oyster liquor. Don’t fret, you’ll do better next time. If it’s too dry, you can always add some oyster liquor, as long as you didn’t drink it all. If you did drink it all, you can add a little milk.

This is truly food for the gods and you shouldn’t share this recipe with too many of your friends since oysters are getting a little scarce these days. I wouldn’t want them to be added to the endangered species list just because too many of you folks told all your friends how great they were.

Capt. Charlie

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