Line a buttered saucepan with 2 tablespoons of chopped shallot. Add one or two sprigs of parsley, a sprig of thyme and a quarter of a bay leaf. Put in 2 quarts of mussels, trimmed, scraped and washed. Add 2 tablespoons of butter cut into very small pieces. Moisten with 1 cup of dry white wine. Cook, covered, over a very high flame. As soon as the mussels are fully open, drain them. Remove one shell from each, and put them in a bowl. Keep hot. Take the parsley, thyme and bay leaf out of the saucepan. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the stock. Mix well and pour over the mussels. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with lovely crunchy french bread, or the french way with a big bowl of chips.