Behind The Butter

A Slimy Tale

Tonight I almost ate a snail.

I’m almost hesitant to share this story because there’s a very strong possibility all of you, my lovely readers, will become incredibly disgusted by me and choose never to read my blog again. Such is a chance I’m willing to take though. This story must be told.

Remember my veggie bag? Everything comes incredibly fresh because its straight from the farm, you know, and they don’t use any icky pesticides or anything to ward off the critters. I’m thankful for this of course. Very thankful. However, one needs to remember that when said vegetables come straight from the farm in their natural and naked state, they also might come with a little extra baggage. Tonight’s extra baggage was a snail part. I say “part” because I think it was the leg. Don’t tell me snails don’t have legs because I don’t want to hear it. I call that slimy thing a leg and that’s what I’m sticking to.

Anyways, I was running my hand down my heirloom lettuce with great care and love this evening in my new kitchen. I could almost taste the crispness of it and knew all the manatees out there would be especially proud.

But then my middle finger brushed down on something slimy.

Something foreign.


Ever being Laura Ingalls Wilder, I quickly asked myself what should I do in this situation. Laura would not waste vegetables meant to feed and nourish the body because of one little escape critter that happened to latch himself on to a lettuce leaf. No, Laura would be strong and courageous in a moment like this. I took a deep breathe. And then, with exuberant glory, I used my brand new garbage disposal to puree the snail leg.

I then washed the lettuce and ate it. Every last leaf.

I also had soup and a grilled cheese made with an Arnold’s whole wheat sandwich thin and swiss cheese. I wish I could photoshop my old wood floor into this photo but….alas….carpet it is.
Actually I’m lying. I ate at my desk while writing an article on my love affair with cheese.

Midway through my dinner I had forgotten all about the snail leg episode and was able to move on with my life.
I was still pretty hungry after eating so I ate some more.

Millet bread on a map! With peanut butter and jelly. Mmmmm
Thank you all so much for your continued support and enthusiasm for the bike auction!! Keep those bids coming and don’t forget Miss Bobbi’s blogger bake sale, which also benefits cancer research! You have until Thursday to buy a ticket for the bike…….and we’ve already raised over $1500 just in one day—let’s keep it goin’!!!!!!

You Might Also Like

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    May 17, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    That’s what happens when your produce is straight from a garden! A bug or two won’t hurt ya 🙂

  • Ellie
    May 17, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I grew up on a farm- nothing about this post is gross! I think it’s actually very normal!!

  • Nora@LiveLifeEatRight
    May 17, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I love that you have a cheese love affair! I do too…I even bought books and begged to work in the cheese department in my grocery store. Honestly, is there anything better than bread, cheese and wine? Maybe if you throw some chocolate in there…but still.

  • Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches
    May 17, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    I thought you were going to write about trying escargot for the first time when I started to read your post! Definitely not! I think you mustered far more of your inner Laura Ingalls Wilder than I ever could have managed in that situation. Slimy things on food give me the willies!

  • allison @ livingoneday
    May 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    ummmmmm im thinkin a leech? EEK but whatevaa at least you didn’t bite into it!!

  • Sarah for Real
    May 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Just some extra protein? Haha, good for you! I might’ve tossed it all down the disposal myself. Something about it being just a piece of a snail that gets me…

  • Sarah
    May 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I found a neon green worm in my lettuce last summer. It survived for a week in the refrigerator before I found it… still very much alive and on my fork!

  • runnerforever
    May 17, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Haha, I think it is called the “foot” but you can call it a leg. 🙂

  • Christine
    May 17, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    We joined a CSA last year and have had a few similar experiences . . . part of getting it directly from the farm 🙂 I wash everything and look carefully now !

  • Caz
    May 17, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    This happened to me on Sunday! We also get local, seasonal, organic veggies and while eating a salad on Sunday, I happened to notice a teeny green inch-worm madly trying to escape my fork!!! Thank goodness I saw him. Of course, this was after I washed the lettuce thoroughly and it had sat in the fridge for almost a week. That’s one long-living inchy!

  • meagan
    May 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Your story is similar to what we’ve been experiencing. This is my first year to grow veggies, and this spring I’ve been harvesting lettuce. Well…cleaning lettuce is an art form that I have previously not appreciated. The first three salads from the garden had some sort of critter before I figured out the washing technique of soak, swish, swish, swish and then inspect. Time consuming, but fresh salads are worth it. 🙂

  • Jennu
    May 17, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    You were brave to keep eating the lettuce!

  • Clare
    May 17, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I would bet it was a baby slug. Snails don’t come apart very easily. I almost swallowed a pinscher bug one time-so you’re in good company!

  • Maria @ A Healthier Maria
    May 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I think that is more than okay & probably very normal! I probably would have thrown away the part of the leaf I found it on, but I have had an aversion to slugs & snails ever since my roommate & I discovered a HUGE one living in my soap bottle in our shower last year (actually when I was in Charleston… & that creepily returned twice & multiplied after we threw it out b/c we couldn’t bring ourselves to kill it. ew.ew.ew.)

  • Annie (Delicious Wellness)
    May 17, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Jenna, You are hilarious! I love how in every post there is at least one line that makes me laugh out loud. Glad you felt the snail leg on your finger instead of your tongue! Icky!

  • The Cilantropist
    May 17, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    So they were trying to give you a little protein with your veggies? 😉 I suppose it might be better to get your protein elsewhere…! I love when you compare your self to Laura Ingalls, this was such a cute post.

  • Lauren @ louisianagrown
    May 17, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    I totally would have just washed and eaten that lettuce, too! Bugs crawled all over it when it was in a field somewhere; it’s not like that one that made it to your kitchen made that big of a difference.

  • bobbi
    May 17, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks for the shot out girly 🙂

    May 17, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    omg this happened to me!! my neighbor (bless his soul) brought me some of his fresh lettuce over which IS HUGE bigger than me.. lol! and he doesnt use any fertilizer..very eco … so i was washing up the leaves but realized (omg, ew theres like 10,000 slugs in here) and i hestitated eating it but was very careful to watch each leaf… all was good… except the next night my mom made a big salad for dinner and i started eating it when i looked down and noticed the fattest baby slug on my fork. i almost hurled and wondered if i had swallowed one before without noticing (turns red because im pretty sure i did)… and my mom was like “oh.. i guess i didnt wash the lettuce very well” !!! lol

  • Claire
    May 17, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I have definitely found some little creatures in my organic farmers market veggies but washed them well and ate them. It is reassuring to know that they aren’t pesticide covered!

  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards)
    May 17, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Dude I’ll raise you one. My roommate and I were separating the lettuce that we bought from our market the other day before we washed it, and out of the middle of a pile jumps a FROG. Right onto our kitchen table!

  • Jenna
    May 17, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Haha… I would have done the same thing, after I ran and hid from the possible creature hiding in my produce. Some things are too good to let a critter ruin them…

    Congrats on the fundraising so far!! I’m in Canada so I can’t win the bike, but I’m gonna try and donate before Thursday anyways!

  • Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle
    May 17, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    At least you found it BEFORE biting into it- eeek!! Great news about the fundraising… I am just catching up on weekend blog reading and oh my gosh, what a mess. The whole point of an event for charity is well, the charity, and you are obviously committed to that! I hope people eventually see the good and realize blog does not equal life.

  • Lisa @ bakebikeblog
    May 17, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    HAHAHAHA OH NO!!! Snails are not good dinner food – well unless they are cooked french-style with lots of butter and garlic 😉

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    May 17, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Congrats on the fundraising–and the white & grey backgrounds are a very nice backdrop for your photos!

    I haven’t spied bug-body parts in my greens. But did have a giant grasshopper fly in the door I’d just opened for a repairman and down the top of my sun-dress. I was 9-months PG and started screaming, jumping up and down, and shaking my dress to evict the creepy-crawler. The repairman stood there bug-eyed until the gigantic creature flew down–and then back out the open front door. Only then did he understand that I hadn’t gone into labor or something.

  • Camille
    May 17, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Hahaha, oh my gosh! Great story 🙂

  • Mastering Public Health
    May 17, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    When they say “organic,” they ain’t kiddin’! Good job not wasting the greens.

  • lacey
    May 18, 2010 at 12:26 am

    ha ha how funny. I would have never of thought to put the bugger in the garbage disposal. What a funny story.

  • Kait
    May 18, 2010 at 3:05 am

    eh, you washed the lettuce off…no harm, no foul!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    May 18, 2010 at 3:30 am

    I once found a dead fly in my bagged lettuce. I always wash that stuff!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    May 18, 2010 at 3:38 am

    You’re a stronger woman than I am. I’d have trashed that piece. I don’t do well with bugs, though. 🙂

  • Katie
    May 18, 2010 at 4:42 am

    So glad you decided to raffle off the bike. Definitely a mea culpa to your readers! Hope you reach your $5k goal.

  • Ashley
    May 18, 2010 at 4:44 am

    Haha this reminds me of when I was little and used to live in England. There were tons of snails in our backyard all the time. One time my sister was annoying me so I picked one up, threw it at her and it suctioned to her leg. Random story!

  • Therese
    May 18, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Ick! That reminds me when, many years ago I was eating with my family and went to shovel a fork full of corn into my mouth when I noticed a dead grub in it! YUCK!

    Of course, I just picked it out, shuddered, and continued eating…

  • Dorothy
    May 18, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Haha. Be STRONG Laura Ingles Wilder! 🙂

  • Kristen @ Change of Pace
    May 18, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Ehhhh bugs are protein aren’t they….? Too funny 🙂

  • Katherine
    May 18, 2010 at 5:23 am

    I just got a salad spinner and cannot wait to test it out: sans slime salad.
    Do you rememeber nickalodean when they used to “slime” people? why was that so entertaining?

    ((if you’re anywhere near a Haagen-Daz, they have having free scoop day; check out my post for details- I won’t put the title name here, it’s too adult…))

  • Erin
    May 18, 2010 at 5:24 am

    As long as you didn’t eat the snail leg… The one time I ate escargot, I was too nervous to just put it in my mouth so I put it on a piece of baguette and ate it like a sandwich.

  • eatmovelove
    May 18, 2010 at 5:34 am

    I eat cheese by the block…so just try to beat me 😉
    Ewww…do you just eat the lettuce on its own? I’m not a big lettuce person – in salads yes – but even then i prefer tons of veget’s and cheese 🙂 and …2 slices of bread overlapping it …

  • Abby
    May 18, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Better bugs than drugs!

  • Katalina @ GreenLivingNewYork
    May 18, 2010 at 5:43 am

    LOL that was funny, you don’t have to be disgusted in Spain they it snails everyday, my father lives in Barcelona now, so evrytmie I sleak to him and I am askinghey dad how are you, he answers, I am good, girl, having another beer with grilled snails!! 🙂 yeah, so I suppose they are not so bad! 🙂

  • Helen
    May 18, 2010 at 5:52 am

    lol such a funny story! At least you kept the lettuce. I would have so thought it was contaminated and chucked it away. Good use of the garbage disposal though! Congrats on the bike raffle. I so hope it reached the $5000 mark.

  • Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary
    May 18, 2010 at 6:04 am

    You had me LOLing ;P

    I’m with you… wash the lettuce and eat it !! I mean, it does come out of the ground… there may be a bug or two hehe

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    May 18, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Eh– it happens! Lucky you to get the produce straight from the farm, slugs and all!

  • mary ann
    May 18, 2010 at 6:19 am

    PS: I didnt mean to write all of that in caps but didnt look up at the screen until i had written 3/4s. apologies for the obnoxious looking tone-to you and all readers.

  • Kelly
    May 18, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Oh yuck! I probably would have screamed and dropped all the lettuce in the garbage disposal!

  • Becca
    May 18, 2010 at 6:32 am

    A little slime won’t hurt ya. We have a veggie garden, and it never fails that a little visitor or two shows up at some point when I’m washing the goods.

  • Chrissy {The New Me}
    May 18, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Whenever I get corn from my CSA, I remove the husks while wearing dish washing gloves because there are always caterpillars hiding underneath. A little corn for me, a little for the critters. 🙂

  • Barbara(Blood, Sweat and Heels)
    May 18, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Surprised you didn’t heat up some butter sauce and go to it:)

  • RhodeyGirl
    May 18, 2010 at 6:40 am

    We got a fruit tart from our favorite bakery years ago, and a worm crawled out of the raspberry. It was all good though because it just shows how natural the fruit was- at the time it was the only bakery we knew that went straight to the farm to get their fruits!

    Snail part? No big deal! 🙂

  • cara
    May 18, 2010 at 6:58 am

    you were very brave to continue eating. hahah. at least you know it was very fresh. ahha

  • Scott
    May 18, 2010 at 7:04 am

    For what its worth, I love snails. Well, the escargot kind. I first had them in London at this great gastro pub, and then again at this great little French bistro in Park Slope, Brooklyn called AOC Bistro. MMMmmm snails with lots of garlic, parsley and butter, so so so good! I’m going to be dreaming about them all day now!

  • Shelly
    May 18, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Hahaha I made some amazing roast broccoli with some fresh broccoli I picked up at the Farmer’s market last week. I ate half of it for dinner, then had the other half at lunch the next day. Yeah, literally after I finish my last piece of broccoli, I looked and realize that there was a tiny roasted caterpillar/grub type critter at the bottom of the container.
    I guess it’s the trade off, you don’t eat chemicals, but you do eat a few bugs!

  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    May 18, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Well – you know it’s fresh when…. 🙂

  • amanda
    May 18, 2010 at 7:19 am

    wow. that’s pretty fucked up. why not just put it outside instead of putting it in the disposal?? and if it was just a “leg”, it was probably a slug. not a snail.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    May 18, 2010 at 7:20 am

    you are much braver than i am…i would have thrown the whole thing out. kinda makes me shiver thinking about it…

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    May 18, 2010 at 7:22 am

    You are very brave Jenna! I think I would have screamed and thrown the lettuce out the window 🙂

  • Jodi
    May 18, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Lol! I have had several instances like that with our farmer’s market produce. Would rather have bugs to wash off rather than chemicals, for sure!
    Hope we still get that tour of the new place! (Hint, hint…)

  • Julie @ Wearing Mascara
    May 18, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I love this post. We complain all the time (for good reason) about pesticides, etc. Then, if something natural gets on our food, it would be wrong to panic. Cheers to you and I’m glad you ate it 🙂 Have a great day!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    May 18, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Wow Jenna, I’m not sure I could’ve stomached the lettuce after that! But go you!

  • Tali
    May 18, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I just wish I wasn’t eating when I read that post.

  • amanda
    May 18, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Ugghg that sucks…now if it was snails in a French place than it would have been no biggie lol

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    May 18, 2010 at 7:53 am

    On other big reason to wash your produce. I will remember the slimy leg as I process my produce from now on.

  • Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life
    May 18, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Your post totally made me laugh! Too funny! 😀
    No worries…I would have done the same thing with the lettuce…too good to let it go to waste!

  • Kate Z.
    May 18, 2010 at 8:01 am

    So quick question: I noticed a lot of people seem to be eating millet bread. Now, millet is delicious and I’m sure it tastes great, but I was just wondering- are there other nutritional benefits? Is it better for you than, say, whole wheat bread or Ezekiel bread?
    Just curious…

    • jenna
      May 18, 2010 at 8:57 am

      Honestly, I eat it because it tastes amazing! Its a bit more dense and sweet than regular bread and it is absolutely perfect toasted with peanut butter. Its also gluten free–not that I need to eat gluten free food–but for some this comes in very handy.

  • Stacie @ Imperfectly Healthy
    May 18, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Ha! Didn’t gross me out! But when I was in high school, my then-boyfriend and his mom went to Europe for a summer trip. She freaked out when they were eating at a cafe because she had gotten a salad and there was a living snail in it. THAT would freak me out a little, I must say! But, hey, at least she knew that the salad was super fresh! 🙂

  • Jules
    May 18, 2010 at 9:08 am

    lol, hilarious! I’m glad you were able to stay strong and power through the evening 🙂 I, on the other hand, don’t know if I would’ve been so strong hehe. But alas, I’d rather see insect parts than dirty nasty chemicals I guess.

  • Julie
    May 18, 2010 at 10:14 am

    When I lived in San Diego, I used to pick up these *amazing* organic strawberries from this one farmer. I swear I’ve never had strawberries so good in my life. A deep red all the way through and super sweet. So sweet it was like 3 strawberries in one. Anyway, sometimes they’d come home with an ant or a cricket or something and I didn’t think it was *too* big of a deal because, they were organic, nature has some bugs, right?

    But one day I got them home, excited as always and I cut into the first one and it had WORMS! Tiny white wiggly worms. Grossed out, I tossed it and cut into the next one- also full of worms!!!! They were all full of worms. I tossed the whole pint and never bought from that farmer again. Bleh.

  • Sarah (Oc2Seattle)
    May 18, 2010 at 11:03 am

    The only place I want to see snails is when served escargot. Kudos to you for soldiering through and eating the offended lettuce anyway 😉

  • Morgan
    May 18, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Nice pic of you and the Boyfriend in the background! Adam is a cutie! 🙂

  • Carol
    May 18, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Your very brave to still eat the salad.
    Why is commentor #55 using foul language in their post?

  • Rachael
    May 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Way to go beyond our oft overly-sanitized culture. Nothing gross about bugs- in Malawi, lake fly pie is a pretty good source of protein – when clouds of lake flies come to shore, kids will run up and smoosh ’em together to make “pie”.
    Impossible to gross me out – dumpsters are a mainstay in my food foraging world.

  • Kath
    May 18, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    I miss the wood floor too 🙁 Always will. But I can’t wait to see more of the new place!

  • Alex
    May 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I’ve gotten a few lady bugs and alligator looking caterpillars in my veggies. It happens, but just shows you how get those veggies really are. Who could blame such a critter for wanting to call them home?