Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happy Anniversary!
Almost a year since I posted here. No jokes about snail's pace, I've been involved in the ocean work of Living Sea Sculptures and allowing this blog to go fallow. BUT, yesterday Celeste Weber sent this to me and it felt like such a perfect spring email to share:

Greetings, Colleen! I hope all is well and exciting with your world in NYC!

I've had success in breeding some snails and am wanting to move forward in eating them. Can you remind me of the precise process to purge them? I have soil, lettuce, corn meal and shells in their aquariums. I'm sort-of wanting to make sure there's none of the soil in their systems (I've seen mites).

Would you suggest just putting the ones I'm going to eat into a clean cage with only corn meal? Or maybe no food? For how long? And then, when I'm ready, I just boil them for a few minutes and then rinse with white vinegar, right?

Thanks so much. My best to you, Celeste
photo courtesy Celeste Weber

I know Celeste from Portland, OR. Right before moving east, we got together to talk snails and now in a little over a year, she is farming!

For purging, I'd recommend putting them in a container with no soil for a couple days and mist them in the evening so they excrete any stuff in their guts. You could put a little bowl of water with them in case they are thirsty. And then let them have a dry night to stay sealed up in their shells.

For boiling. I light a candle to thank them for feeding me. I'm just new agey old agey like that. Once water is boiling, I give snails a quick rinse in a strainer if they have any crap on their shells to remove, but not necessary. One swift tilt of the strainer into 4 minutes at a rolling boil. In a bowl or glass container with mostly water and small splash to 1/4 cup white vinegar, I add the snails once I've plucked them from their shells with a needle or pin.

Place the pin point into the foot and with a curling pull to mimic the curve of the spiral, they slip nicely from their homes. If you have intact shells and aren't using them for your garden or a project, I could make escarglows®, perhaps escargrows, from them.  Fond of the little candles and tiny tiny planters.

Please let me know what culinary creation you make and how it turns out. Would be fun to share your recipe, and if you take a photo, here on MSP's blog.

Happy trails~ MSP