Well this was to be a brief update after the hiatus of
November and time away (it got longish) … I’ve been trickling along at a
snail’s pace … with ‘interruptions’ of a funeral to help arrange and …
|Top half of issue Nov 1982 - this is the Great Blizzard of 1891|
(link below) sent to me in South Africa by my mother
… taking over the organisation of a monthly dinner for
+/- sixty - seventy … but with us both having incompatible software – ne’er
mind … next year we start afresh: or rather I do … and I think we’re almost
I’ve got used to having ‘meetings’ or get-togethers in
buses, or for some reason charity shops … I’m donating or friends and I are
just quickly looking for a missing item – that we might find which won’t cost
us a fortune. Free buses are a boon, for
those without a car …
|Escargots served in their shells|
Snails came up via the Beeb … but then the muddled grey
cells also came into play … I thought I’d spotted a snail article in that November 1982 Western Morning News Souvenir compilation –mostly photos …
|Frogcatchers (1930s) ... on sale|
out of a Sunlight soap box!
… but it was about frogcatchers in the 1930s in
western Cornwall – they were, I hate to say it, used in medical research –
which frankly after the Depression was a useful evil for those who were able to
earn a few pennies to feed their families.
Back to the American snails – ne’er a story to be
missed … one of those ‘believe it or not’ slithery tales … Taylor Knapp, a chef,
who after spending time in Europe realised there was an opening to put fresh
(cooked and rather than tinned) escargots on the menu …
… but he couldn’t bring in live products for reproductive purposes … however he found some little grey snails in California –
which with regulatory approval could be bred.
These slow moving slippery critters had been around
since the 1850s … they’d got past the US Customs Service, which had been in
existence since 1789 and were happily breeding in California.
George Washington, (and I have something to
tell you about him too,) signed the Tariff Act of July 4, 1789 – appropriate
|Escargots in a snail dish with herby bread|
Taylor fund-raised, worked to set their living
quarters up – a greenhouse – Alcatraz style – passing the USDA’s strictures and
hey presto – fresh French escargots could be on the menu.
The farm is in Washington state … so heliculture is
rife on both coasts … and Taylor is aiming to expand his sales beyond the
saturated market of New York.
I don’t want to bedazzle you with a new word at the
end of 2019 – but perhaps heliculture could be brought into posts in 2020?
It is the science and occupation of growing
snails for food. (Blend of New Latin
Helix, genus of spiral-shelled molluscs from Greek helix, and culture.)
I thought I’d found more information on frog-catching
in Cornwall … but no – it was ‘the crowning event’, at a Rolls-Royce picnic in
Canada, when live frog-catching in a pond of very rich in muddy clay was the
last children’s game … after the sack race, three-legged race et al … their
enthusiasm brought results: the frogs being released after the count.
|Frog Larva about to metamorphose|
What the Rolls Royces look like afterwards isn’t told
… but relating back to that era – the maidservants, chauffeurs and retainers
presumably would have had to deal with the mess … while the family carried on
with their lives.
My life at my snail’s pace is comfortable – a few
things get done – then an interlude while I deal with things … and so it goes –
I am sorting my Ma’s and my own papers out – clearing the decks and am finding
all sorts …
|The bottom half of the Souvenir - this shows|
coach and horses pulling out of
Okehampton, West Devon
… but once done – then that’s it and makes life easier
for me, or should something happen – then ‘things be sorted’ … a number of things going to charity or appropriate
friends/family … it takes time.
I have been out and about a bit … on a number of
tours, to museums and to my goddaughter’s family near Milton Keynes – which
proved a very interesting informative long weekend – where George Washington
came in …
Now to think about the WEP/IWSG challenge about
‘Footprints’ … Christmas and the New Year … after which more posts will be forthcoming …
|My wellie boot imprint in|
... interesting ideas for snail recipes too …
sausages, smoked snails with goats’ cheese and fig, snails with Roquefort and
walnut butter in a wafer case, “tikka masala snails” are all loved by the
locals and expanding clientele …
Take care my footprints are on their way …
... and last but not least - of course I could have had frogs legs as an appetiser ... forgot that!
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