And now, Scary-Crayon presents...
The Experimental Oyster Loaf 2
by: Wes

Ah, the experimental OYSTER LOAF. A Google search for the term yields numerous results concerning a delectable oyster sandwich that was apparently referred to as "La Médiatrice" (the peacemaker) -- but that's not what I'm talking about here. If you recall our last foray into oyster loaf experimentation, the oyster loaf of which I speak is based on a nonexistent Hooters menu item...

However, still enthralled by her description, I pressed her for more information about this oyster roast, this oyster loaf -- whether it had been a previous menu item, whether they still served it at select Hooters locations, whether I could obtain it from another restaurant in the city, exactly what ingredients it contained, etc. -- until finally, and possibly annoyed, though hiding it well with her feigned flirtatiousness, she pointedly said, "Forget I said anything about that." But I couldn't forget about it. I haven't forgotten about it. I could never forget about it. The fabled Oyster Loaf... We have to have it.

Last time, on Scary-Crayon...

Is it possible that this mistaken Hooters girl was actually speaking of the oyster loaf that 19th century men once used to pacify their jealous wives? ("Yeah, honey, I've been out all night and reek of booze and that imported perfume all the girls at the brothel wear... but hey, have an OYSTER LOAF!") Indeed -- but upon hearing her explanation, thoughts of a giant, oysterrific mound of goodness rose to my mind. Our first experiment, seen above, saw the creation of an oyster loaf utilizing canned oysters and a mixture of corn muffin mix and flour. It wasn't a total failure, but I did take notes for possible methods of improving the recipe, should I undertake to create an oyster loaf again. For example, after using roughly neighborhood of 60-70% flour and 40-30% corn muffin mix to create the batter utilized in the first experiment, I wrote:

While, per the prevalence of flour in the mixture, the sweetness didn't come through as well as I'd hoped, it's definitely noticeable, and the cornmeal texture is a pleasant addition to the already crispy loaf. In future oyster loaf experiments, then, I'd either increase the amount of corn muffin mix in the batter or...

Because that is the very adjustment I made to the ingredients in this particular outing, the other alternatives are not necessary to explore at this time. That said, read on to see how The Experimental Oyster Loaf 2 fared...

The Experimental Oyster Loaf... ROUND 2!Things change.

Like last time, the first step in the creation of the batter was to stir flour and corn muffin mix together in a bowl. Per the intended modification to the properties of this loaf, the ratio of ingredients in the mix was about 1:1, with roughly 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup corn muffin mix. In addition to that change, I also made another even more major change regarding the ingredients of the oyster loaf -- whereas the first experiment utilized canned oysters, I decided to try using fresh ones for the second experiment. Fresh oysters look (and feel) kinda gross.

We've come for your organs!Almost finished...

The second step of the experiment, then, involved adding water to the flourmeal mixture in order to realize its full battery potential. (Battery? At this stage of the game, to add a little extra flavor, you might also want to add some assault! That is, salt. Get it? Assault and battery! Oh ho ho! But seriously, I generally wait until the stuff gets on the pan to add salt and other seasonings.) By the way, if you're following along at home (why?), PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE BEFORE CONTINUING. Good. Regarding the addition of water to the batter mix, you could do as we did last time and utilize the oyster water in its creation, thereby potentially increasing the oyster flavor in the finished product. However, this water kinda scared me, given that the oysters' appearance made me think of spleens and kidneys and other organs strewn about by Chris Kattan in Monkeybone, so I dumped it and instead opted to go with good ol' trusty tap. After stirring the water into the mixture, or the mixture into the water, as it were, I submerged the oysters in the bowl and thoroughly covered them with the batter. And then...

Mmmm... *gag*Do the greasy fried bread dance!
Brundlefly's not interested.

And now you see the reason for that boldfaced warning above -- apparently, additional corn muffin mix in the batter results in an oyster loaf that doesn't hold together terribly well when the contents of the bowl are relocated to the frying pan. Granted, that could also have something to do with the amount of water I used, but I don't think I used much more than I normally would, so I'm blaming the muffin mix. Also, as you may or may not be able to tell from the photos, increasing that ingredient also made for a very sticky situation -- the thing literally adhered to the spatula when I tried to flip it, thus further compounding the inability of keeping the "loaf" together during the cooking process. Unlike last time's experiment, we can't really call this an oyster loaf by any stretch of the word. On the contrary, this is an oyster mess. In order to give the dish some semblance of consistency, however, I fried two slices of bread alongside it in the hopes of containing the amorphous oyster creation within a greasy, sticky, crispy sandwich thingy. Alas, Brundlefly was not impressed -- though the final result does bear a striking resemblance to that dog in The Fly II after they ran it through the teleporter.

The final result.Um... yum?

And here we see the results of The Experimental Oyster Loaf 2 -- which, in all honesty, didn't turn out quite as well as the first outing. However, as with any good experiment, we've disproved our hypothesis: increasing the amount of corn muffin mix in the batter does not, in fact, make for a better oyster loaf. In addition to practically falling apart in the frying pan, it was also frustratingly sticky, such that I had a difficult time prying it from the paper towel I used to drain the oil! Furthermore, we learned that perhaps fresh, raw oysters aren't the best choice for the creation of oyster loafs. Whereas the canned oysters have already been cooked and contain that oysterrific flavor that I like so much, raw oysters are largely tasteless -- and apparently the frying process fails to cook them sufficiently to bring out the desired flavor. Or maybe I'm just used to canned oysters. Anyway, in order to add a little more flavor to the final greasy product, I added a piece of cheese and some cocktail sauce to the oyster mess sandwich, which, despite the relative flavorlessness of the fresh oysters and the gooey, slightly slimy texture, didn't taste all that bad -- or at least it tasted better than it looked. Nevertheless, this second oyster loaf experiment failed to replicate or improve upon the initial recipe, and I think that if a husband suspected of adultery were to bring this dish home to his wife... well, you all remember what happened with the Bobbitts. So while today's culinary outing probably wouldn't salvage any rocky marriages or convince a jealous wife to ignore her husband's infidelities, the information learned here will prove invaluable in subsequent attempts to create the perfect experimental oyster loaf. And I promise -- mark my words -- that the experiments shall continue.

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