1 family. friendly food. » The slugs, the beer, and the squirrel: Part 2

pasta chard kale

No, no beer-braised squirrel in that pasta dish. Don’t worry.

I told you about my snail, beer, and a beer stealing squirrel problem. And I have received some advice. Thanks!

Crystal commented that what I have are slugs and not snails and suggested “A tried and true method I have used to make a beer trap is to get a used margarine or butter tub. Cut slug-sized holes on the side of the container near the top around the perimeter of the container. Fill it with beer and snap the lid back on. Then take it to your vegetable bed and bury it so that the soil comes up to where the holes are. The slugs will smell the beer and slither right on in to meet their drunken deaths! The lid will keep the neighborhood animals out. Good luck – the beer really works! We would grow pristine strawberries year after year using this method.”

Lo wrote “Oh, gosh! We’ve totally used the beer trick with our slugs (usually shallow lids filled with beer work nicely — though I love the butter tub concept), and it really does work! But, we’ve never had squirrels pilfering our beer supply :)

Tamar had another problem and solution “We don’t have slugs but we have caterpillars eating our tomato leaves. Supposedly mint water irritates them out of the pot. We shall see…” In an e-mail she sent me later she reported back “… we boiled the water and added mint.  I don’t think it works.  We ended up buying caterpillar killer spray and 5 of them dropped off dead.  5!!! That’s so many!”

Lara added “… a length of copper around the whole thing will keep new ones out.”

Snails or slugs, they are snacking on my leafy greens!


So…with a new and improved trap, I went out again; I dug a little dent and placed the beer trap in the veggie bed right under the slugs’ nose!


Man, it was so hot that day; the second I took the beer container out, I could smell its sweet aroma. That made me very optimistic about achieving some serious results!

37.5 hours (or so…) have passed.

This is what I found this morning.


Someone is messing with the beer and it ain’t no slugs…

I took a pick inside. Found only a few dead gnats(?) Someone has been trying to steal the beer.

To save what’s left until I get rid of the pesky, slimy slugs, I harvested me some greens. That’ll show ‘em!


I picked green kale, red kale, and chard


Soaked them in water and rinsed them well a few times. Pulled the leaves off the stems, torn them to pieces and put it all in a big bowl.


How lovely is that?!


The leaves are so much tender compared to the bunches I buy at the grocery store. And much sweeter.


I blanched them in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes, cooled them in icy cold water and then squeezed them dry.

The big bowl was reduced to only two handfuls of cooked green stuff. (Twice the amount you see below.)


I used one handful to make an omelet and the other handful to cook a simpler variation to my wild mushroom ravioli with kale and cream recipe.


Creamy orecchiette with leafy greens

1/2 box orecchiette
1 handful blanched leafy greens, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
extra virgin olive oil
grated parmesan
a handful toasted pine nuts (Toast in 350 F oven for a few minutes)

Cook the pasta according to the instruction on the package. Drain.

Return it to the pot with the blanched greens, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix and heat over medium heat until it is warm.

Serve with grated parmesan and pine nuts.


Next we’re going to have peas… I see some good looking ones on the vines. Those are Suburban Cowboy’s babies. He is cultivating them very gently and lovingly.


In the meantime, can someone tell me what do you do with so much lettuce?


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Categories : Main dishes/entrées, Party Food/Potluck, Pasta, Recipes, Side dishes and Vegetables, Spring and Summer, Urban garden

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