Chop Wood Carry Water Plant Seeds is a blog about Self-Sufficient Homesteading. How can we live by creating a sustainable bio-diverse world, instead of by consuming and destroying the only one we have? What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Escargot Nettle Soup

The first thing I do when I get up each morning is to get out with my dear dog Bailey, release the Hens, open the greenhouse and collect all the snails in the garden and throw them over the fence far away into the tall grass. The garden is protected with chicken wire fence which is 60cm tall. The fence has big enough holes so the Roman Snail can pass with its big shell. These snails ate our Beetroots two years ago and I'm making sure to stay on top of this issue this year collecting them twice a day. Of course most of them are out after the rain or in early morning. So far they are not an issue but I'm not sure how they will behave when crops start growing. The Brassicas are protected by fleece and so are the Carrots.

After I collected all of the snails and threw them far away from the garden I realised that people actually eat these critters! So I took a pot and went back into the tall grass and started collecting the Roman Snails intending to make dinner with them tonight. This is also a Nettle season so I planned to make a Escargot Nettle Soup :) I looked up on the net how to prepare the snails so to get rid of the snail slime and found one good web page in Croatian.
Collecting snails in this pesticide free environment
Boiling the snails in salty water with some apple vinegar to get rid of the slime
I boiled them for 50 minutes
After the boiling I pulled the snails out of their shells with a fork and cut off the intestines,
head and the end of the tail. The dish to the right is the final product (not much). 
Cleaned snail meet. Mostly the foot muscle.
Gathered Nettles and washed them. Cut 2 Onions and some Garlic too.
I fried the snails and onions in olive oil and butter, seasoned with salt and Thyme.
I mixed the Garlic with the Nettle soup and seasoned it with a few drops of Tabasco Sauce,
Black Pepper, Salt, Thyme, Bay Leaf and mixed the fried content into the soup. I also added Chickpeas to it.
On the side 2 slices of dark danish bread with butter. I did like this soup. The snails were tender
and a bit like eating Muscles. I just made one small mistake; I put too much salt but still it was edible.