Sunset

I’m the kind of person who follows through with what I sayI’m going to do. I take it very seriously and see keeping your word as a matterof integrity. However, when it comes to this escargot project, I need to screama big fat UNCLE!

I mean, this has gone from mildly gross to straight updis-gusting!

I read a few antique cookbooks, some French, others not. Ialso took the advice that some our dear readers (thanks Hank and Terri) left inthe comments section. And I looked at a story about snails previously publishedby Sunset. Overall, I felt ready. Definitely more calculated than the lasttime.

I purged the snails as before, and when the time came totake the next step, I had all the ingredients on hand. I had made a gorgeouscompound herb butter and had extra herbs and garlic on hand to make sure it wasa full-flavored success. I even bought a fresh loaf of crusty bread.

Then I dropped the escargot into a pot of lightly saltedboiling water.

This is where I need to inject a disclaimer: If you have aneasy gag reflex or a weak stomach or any form of queasiness at all, stopreading this post, because it’s about to get nasty.

After about 30 seconds, the flesh of the snails started toturn green. I’m talking green like a bad sinus infection. The water turnedgreen, everything turned green. And as if that isn’t gross enough, I waitedanother minute or so and started to spoon them out of the water only to havethem dripping slime.

Do you see that? I realize the photo isn’t in focus, butlook under the spoon at the large viscous snot-like drip hanging down about 3inches.

Horrifying. And you want me to put it in my mouth?

Then I transferred them to a plate and the green slime keepspreading.

I tried to go to the next step. Really I tried. I even gotout a toothpick to pluck their green slimed bodies out of the shells. But theshells kept crushing and then hot green slimy guts, or whatever they were, justpoured out onto my fingers. How am I supposed to “re-stuff” the shells if theyall disintegrated?

That’s when I called it quits. Done. No mas. Nada. Not onyour life under any circumstances.

Now, I need to just clarify something about myself at thispoint. I am not exactly a pansy when it comes to icky business or gross animalparts. My father and most members of my family are avid hunters and anglers. Soas a child, being around the slaughter and processing of various animals wasquite normal for me. In fact, I consider myself a damn fine butcher if I do sayso myself.

Need someone to gut, skin, and breakdown a fresh deer, giveme a call. Got a cooler full of day-old sea urchins that need to have theirstomachs emptied and scraped? I’m your girl. No problem.

But this whole snail business? The French can have it.

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