Here's an article you will want to read if you are interested in Romanov or Russian History
Preparing Raw Oysters and Clams on Shells or in Cocktails
Scrub the shells thoroughly, using a brush, rinse, and wipe dry. Now, if there be a "handy" man around the house, induce him to open the shells for you; in an emergency you can do it yourself. Push a thin flat knife under the flat upper shell, cut the adductor muscle that holds the shells together, and take off the upper shell; with a soft bit of clean cloth wipe off any sand on the edge of the shell; clean the upper shells if needed, and put them back in place, or set the oysters in a pan, and cover this, to keep the oysters from drying off on top. Let them chill on ice. Make ready shaved ice to fill the requisite number of plates. Just before announcing dinner, put ice on the oyster plates, fit five or six of the deep shells on each plate of ice, and put a quarter of a lemon or a cocktail glass with cocktail liquid in the centre of the plate. Set in place and announce the dinner. Or, set the oysters in place after the guests are seated. If the waitress be serving the dinner without assistants, the oysters should be in place when dinner is announced, or some of the guests will have to wait too long for the brown-bread sandwiches and pepper and salt to complete the dish. Little-neck clams are prepared in the same way.
Above: Oyster Cocktail and Oyster Cocktail Set
COCKTAIL MIXTURE FOR RAW OYSTERS OR CLAMS
Mix one teaspoonful of grated horseradish, six or eight drops of tabasco sauce, half a table-spoonful of Worcestershire sauce] a tablespoonfal of tomato catsup, one fourth a teaspoonful of salt, and the juice of half a lemon. This mixture may be poured over the oysters in the cocktail glass, or the oysters on the deep shell may be taken up with the fork and dipped into the mixture turned into cocktail glasses set in the centre of the oyster plate. In the illustration two styles of cocktail sets are shown; in one the outer dish holds the sandwiches, the middle dish, crushed ice and the cocktail cup itself.
Either of these sets are used with propriety for fruit cocktails. The quantity of mixture given above is for four cocktails or services. The proportions of the various ingredients are subject to variations, to suit different tastes.
FRESH MUSHROOM COCKTAIL
Allow six fresh mushroom caps (about an inch and a quarter in diameter) for each service. Peel the caps and let simmer in boiling broth about fifteen minutes.Season and chill.Set cocktail glasses, each containing three or four tablespoonfuls of choice tomato catsup, on small plate; on each dispose three or four heart leaves of lettuce, a mushroom on each leaf, and one on the catsup.Serve as an appetizer at luncheon or dinner. Three or four crackers or small bread-and-butter sandwiches, on a separate plate, should be set at the upper right hand of each cover. Salt, paprika, horseradish or lemon juice may be added to the catsup.With an oyster fork the mushrooms and lettuce are dipped in the catsup and eaten.Choice pieces of fish, lobster, crabflakes, or shrimp may replace the mushrooms.