|Photo by Skippy3E of sxc.hu|
I have been doing a bit of research and feel like sharing this delightful seventeenth-century recipe with you...
Take a peck of garden shell snails, wash them well in small beer, and put them in a hot Oven till they have done making a noise, then take them out, and wipe them well from the green froth that is upon them, and bruise them shells and all in a stone Mortar, then take a quart of earth worms, scower them with salt, slit them & wash them well with water from their filth, and in a stone Mortar beat them to pieces, then lay in the bottom of your distilled pot Angelica two handfuls, and two handfuls of Celandine upon them, to which put two quarts of Rosemary flowers, Bears foot, Agrimony, red Dock Roots, Bark of Barberries, Betony, Wood sorrel, of each two handfuls, Rue one handful; then lay the Snails and worms on the top of the Herbs and Flowers, then pour on three Gallons of the strongest Ale, and let it stand all night, in the morning put in three ounces of Cloves beaten, six penniworth of beaten Saffron and on the top of them six ounces of shaved Harts-horn, then set on the Limbeck, and close it with paste, and so receive the water by pints, which will be nine in all, the first is the strongest, whereof take in the morning two spoonfuls in four spoonfuls of small Beer, and the like in the afternoon; you must keep a good Diet and use moderate exercise to warm the blood.
This Water is good against all Obstructions whatsoever. It cureth a Consumption and Dropsie, the stopping of the Stomach and Liver. It may be distilled with milk for weak people and children, with Harts-tongue and Elecampance.
A tiny but awful racket, no doubt.