Oyster stew is a traditional Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve supper in my mother’s family, but only she and I like it. Mr. Isbell doesn’t care for it either, but since he was at band practice last night, I made some for a week-before-Christmas-eve dinner for myself. (And Toby. Toby, I discovered, is a big fan of oyster stew.)

I’ve started reading some M.F.K. Fisher again, to compare her with Laurie Colwin, and in Consider The Oyster I found this about oyster stew: “mildly potent, quietly sustaining, warm as love and welcomer in the winter.”

And also very popular with spoiled housecats.