I'm back from the James Beard weekend extravaganza in NYC and am completely invigorated and inspired. We noshed on an incredible array of goodies after the Monday night awards, and it got me thinking about how to push the envelope on what we produce in the test garden.

Could we? Should we? Am I nuts?Esquire took on this question last summer and it seems entirely possible to turn regular garden snails into fancy escargot so long as you purge them for several weeks to get whatever nastiness they've eaten out of their systems.

It seems like something fun to try, especially considering that they usually end up looking like this:

Yes, I know I can feed them to the chickens. Sometimes the sole of my boot just gets the best of me.

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