In purchasing the oysters always be careful to make the vendor add the Oyster liquor when intended for Soup. In making good Oyster Soup the Creoles never use any water, but the liquor from the Oysters. Drain the Oysters through a colander and set them over the ice box to keep fresh and cold. Strain the liquor, and put it into a soup kettle, adding the chopped parsley and the peppercorns. Let it come to a boil. In the meantime, boil the milk separately in a saucepan, as boiling the milk and Oyster liquor together is likely to curdle the milk. When the milk comes to a boil, add to the Oyster liquor and put in the tablespoonful of butter. Some thicken the Soup by adding a tablespoonful of corn starch, rubbing it into the tablespoonful of butter before putting it in the Soup; but this is a matter of taste. If the milk is rich and good, the Soup will require no thickening, and is far daintier without it. Stir the Soup constantly at this point, throwing in the Oysters and continuing to stir till it comes to a boil again. Under no circumstances allow the Oysters to boil, as that destroys their flavor and makes them tough and indigestible. But one must be also careful to see that they are steamed through and through, and then they are delightful and palatable. The ruffling of the edges indicates the right condition; at this point the Soup must be served immediately. Serve with sliced lemon and Oyster or water crackers. Some add a little nutmeg and mace, and still again, some Creoles placed chopped celery in exceedingly small quantities, and an herb bouquet into the Oyster juice, being careful to allow it to give just the desired flavor, and taking it out before adding the milk. But this, too, is a matter of taste. Made according to the above formula, Oyster Soup is a most delightful dish and can be eaten and relished by the most delicate stomachs.