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Food, Wine, Love, and God...and Some Escargot #FoodieReads


My Grape Wedding by Laura Bradbury continues the love story between Laura and Franck. In this book, after the spontaneous proposal in Nepal, they are planning their wedding in Burgundy while she struggles with her law degree at Oxford. Not only are they overcoming time constraints in planning the wedding, but they have obstacles in the form of requiring Catholicism classes for Laura, losing their venue, losing their priest, and so much more. If you have ever planned a wedding, I am sure you can relate. I certainly did! But, as with my wedding, all works out in the end for Laura and Franck. Spoiler alert, I know.

This passage made me laugh aloud. When Franck admitted that the point of the wedding to celebrate...
"'Of course,' Franck continued, pointedly ignoring my foot digging into his calf. 'To celebrate our love with our friends and our family in Burgundy. With lots of wonderful wine and food. Escargots, boeuf bourguignon, une pièce monteé, jambon persillé—' I had to admit my mouth was watering. The food served at the big parties that are traditional rites of passage in Burgundian life—baptisms, Communions, confirmations, weddings, funerals—was always delicious. Father Strawbridge frowned for the first time. 'But that’s not really what’s important, is it? The food and the wine?' Franck frowned at the priest. 'Of course the food and wine are important. They are two of the most important things in life.' 'But not as important as getting married in the House of God,' the priest said, with special emphasis on these last three words. Answer 'No, of course not,' I telepathed to Franck. No. Of course not."

Franck didn't get the telepathic pleading. Instead, he solidified the connection between food, wine, and God. "'God gave us all the heavenly food and wine we have in Burgundy,' he explained. 'So, we can’t really separate food and wine and God, can we? It’s all the same thing, really. So is love.' The priest leaned forward. 'You believe food and wine and love and God are all the same thing?' 'Of course.' Franck didn’t hesitate. 'Is this what they taught you in Burgundy?' 'Yes. Also, it’s just obvious.'"

I was inspired to make escargots after Laura details their opening course of their wedding feast. "First, we would each start off with a dozen piping hot escargots de Bourgogne with fresh baguette slices to soak up the garlic and parsley butter, bien sûr. Then, after a respectable interval, there would be coq au vin with a gratin dauphinois. Then would come a trou normand—pear sorbet liberally doused with local Pear Williams liquor." One dozen escargot?!? I usually serve just one or two per person. And, when I made them in school with the kids, I think they each just got one! On the week that I was making them in class, I knew it would be an adventures, but I didn't know how much of an adventure it was going to be. 

First, I remember seeing escargot in many stores - Safeway, Cost Plus, the commissary - the last time I bought them. But that week, they were nowhere to be found. The checker at Safeway told me that they hadn't carried them in a long time. Boo. But a friend finally located a can at a grocery store in Pacific Grove. Merci beaucoup.

Second, my mom couldn't find her shells. So, I found escargot dishes and put a couple on hold at Sur La Table. But a friend offered me hers. Sweet. I love my little village. All set...

Escargot, French for 'snail', is a cooked land snail. Escargots are usually served as a starter in Portugal, Spain, and France. May 24th has been designated "National Escargot Day" in the United States. I might have to make these again in a few months because my household love them.

However, the verdict, from my students: meh. I was able to get ten out of twelve of my students to try durian. But I was only able to get four out of ten to try the snails!

Ingredients serves 12
  • 1 can escargot
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature (we made our own butter!)
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons herbs, minced (we used a mixture of parsley, cilantro, and rosemary)
  • 4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Rinse the escargot under warm water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the butter, shallots, garlic, herbs, and lemon juice. Mix all ingredients well with a small spoon. Lightly season butter with salt and pepper.

Scoop a small amount of herb butter in hollow of the escargot dish. Place the escargot on top and put another dollop of butter on top. Cook snails for 12 to 15 minutes. Top with more butter, if desired. You can never have enough butter with snails, I think!

Serve snails with toasted pieces of baguette or crackers.

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  1. I did order up this series but haven't started it yet. I haven't had escargot in a coon's age. Now I'm hungry for some.

  2. I have only ever had escargot once and I didn't dislike it!


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