Stew is a funny name for my grandpa's traditional Christmas Eve soup, since it's just whole milk, flavored with chopped fresh oysters, plus butter, pepper, and celery salt swirling across the top. It's a bit like an oyster pan roast or chowder, but barer in bones. There's no room to hide—so the better and fresher your oysters, the better it all will taste. Adapted slightly from my parents' website, The Online Cookbook. —Kristen Miglore
2 to 3
8-ounce jars of fresh oysters (24 to 36 oysters, shucked)
I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."