This is one of those recipes whose origin is shrouded in mystery. Man, I love that phrase, don't you? Anyway, it's something my mom probably learned to make from my dad's mother -- this is definitely not an east Texas kinda thing! The copy in her hand-written recipe book doesn't give proportions, or amounts. Just wing it. Be brave, be daring, be different!
What you need, basically:
An unsliced loaf of bread. You can use white or wheat. I'd avoid French bread -- too shallow, and strong-flavored breads like rye.... Cut a section, lengthwise, from the top of the loaf, and scoop out most of the insides. What you do with the loaf-guts is up to you, cuz they're not needed for the rest of this.
Oysters. I usually just use a can, not smoked, just regular oysters. If you're lucky enough to live near a decent fresh-fish market, hell, use fresh. Whatever.
Crackers. I use saltines. Crush 'em well.
Dip the oysters in beaten egg, then into the cracker dust. Pan fry them until they're cooked. Set aside on paper towels to drain.
Root around in the fridge, pull out the bottle of ketchup, and that jar of pickle relish. It's back behind the grape jelly.
Now, start with a single layer of oysters, carefully and decoratively arranged in the bottom of the hollowed-out bread. Plop in some relish, squirt in some ketchup. Another layer of oysters, more red and green stuff, until you've used all the oysters.
Put the bread lid back on. Put the whole construction into the oven, probably around 325* (the book doesn't say) until it's heated through.
Slice as if it were a normal loaf of bread. It'll probably fall apart, but what the hell. Gather up the bits and bobs, pop them into your mouth, and get on with things.
As always, if you have a recipe you want to share, Email me!