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Appetizers, Fish and Shellfish

James A. Garfield's pickled oysters, 1881

James A. Garfield's pickled oysters, 1881
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Barack Obama will be sworn into office on Tuesday -- just weeks before the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Obama's inaugural theme, "A New Birth of Freedom," has, fittingly, been drawn from his fellow Illinoisan's Gettysburg Address, and he's supposed ... Read more

Total time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time | Serves 8 to 10
  • 1 quart of oysters in their liquor
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon mace
  • 10 cloves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Step 1In a medium saucepan, cook the oysters in their liquor over high heat until plump, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2Strain and reserve the oysters, keeping the liquor in the pan.

Step 3Stir the vinegar, salt, mace, cloves, peppercorns, allspice berries and cayenne into the liquor and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil the mixture for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

Step 4Pour the mixture over the oysters and refrigerate, uncovered, until cold. Seal and refrigerate. The oysters will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.


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