Stuffed Oysters

1 qt. oysters
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp shortening
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf, crushed
1/2 tsp. thyme
2 thin sliced lemons, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cup oyster liquor
4 to 6 slices bread

Drain oysters and save liquor. Free oysters from all bits of shell and chop fine. Melt butter in skillet and add celery and garlic. Simmer but do not allow to brown. Add bay leaf and all seasonings. Meanwhile the bread should have been soaked in cold water, squeezed dry and broken up with a fork. Add it to the seasonings and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring and mixing until well blended. Add the chopped oysters and reserve liquor and simmer a few minutes, stirring and mixing. When well mixed stir in the slight beaten egg and stir briskly for two minutes over a very low flame. Fill oyster shells and ramekins with the mixture, cover with buttered crumbs and bake about 20 minutes with the oven at 350F.

This will fill 8 or 10 shells.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana