Highland Coffees for Hogmanay

Highland Coffees for Hogmanay

“Eleven-fifty,” Brianna declared, popping into the surgery after me, her own cloak over her arm.  “I just checked Mr. Guthrie’s watch.”

“Plenty of time.  Are ye coming with me, then?”  Roger grinned at Bree, seeing her cloak.

“Are you kidding?  I haven’t been out after midnight in years.”  She grinned back at him, swirling the cloak around her shoulders.  “Got everything?”

“All but the salt.”  Roger nodded toward a canvas bag on the counter.  A firstfoot was to bring gifts to the house:  an egg, a faggot of wood, a bit of salt — and a bit of whisky, thus insuring that the household would not lack for necessities during the coming year.

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 35)

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Claire’s Tortellini Portofino from Dragonfly in Amber For New Year’s Eve

Claire’s Tortellini Portofino from Dragonfly in Amber For New Year’s Eve

When Geillis Duncan had been condemned as a witch, Jamie had said to me, “Dinna grieve for her, Sassenach; she’s a wicked woman.”  And whether she had been wicked or mad, it had made little difference at the time.  Should I not have left well enough alone, and left her to find her own fate?  Still, I thought, she had once saved my life.  In spite of what she was — would be — did I owe it to her to try to save her life?  And thus perhaps doom Roger?  What right did I have to meddle any further?

It isna a matter of right, Sassenach, I heard Jamie’s voice saying, with a tinge of impatience.  It’s a question of duty.  Of honor.

“Honor, is it?” I said aloud.  “And what’s that?” The waiter with my plate of tortellini Portofino looked startled.

“Eh?” he said.

“Never mind,” I said, too distracted to care much what he thought of me.  “Perhaps you’d better bring the rest of the bottle.”

I finished my meal surrounded by ghosts.  Finally, fortified by food and wine, I pushed my empty plate aside, and opened Gillian Edgar’s gray notebook.

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 48)

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Fiona’s Cinnamon Scones from Voyager for Christmas Morning

Fiona’s Cinnamon Scones from Voyager for Christmas Morning

“A pound of best butter — that’s what you told me to ask for, and I did, but I kept wondering whether there was such a thing as second-best butter, or worst butter –” Brianna was handing over wrapped packages to Fiona, laughing and talking at once.

“Well, and if ye got it from that auld rascal Wicklow, worst is what it’s likely to be, no matter what he says,” Fiona interrupted. “Oh, and ye’ve got the cinnamon, that’s grand! I’ll make cinnamon scones, then; d’ye want to come and watch me do it?”

“Yes, but first I want supper.  I’m starved!”  Brianna stood on tiptoe, sniffing hopefully in the direction of the kitchen.  “What are we having — haggis?”

“Haggis!  Gracious, ye silly Sassenach — ye dinna have haggis in the spring!  Ye have it in the autumn when the sheep are killed.”

“Am I a Sassenach?” Brianna seemed delighted at the name.

“Of course ye are, gowk.  But I like ye fine, anyway.”

Diana Gabaldon, Voyager, Chap 3

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The Outlander Kitchen Christmas Wish List

The Outlander Kitchen Christmas Wish List

“The hell with Christmas!”

“What?” He stopped, breeks half-buttoned.  It was winter dusk, and dark in the room, but even by candlelight, he could see the color rising in her face.

“The hell with Christmas, the hell with Cross Creek — and the fucking hell with you, too!”  She punctuated this last with a wooden soap dish from the washstand, which whizzed past his left ear and smacked into the wall behind him.

“Now just a fucking minute!”

“Don’t you use language like that to me!”

“But you –”

“You and your ‘important things!’ Her hand tightened on the big china ewer and he tensed, ready to duck, but she thought better of it and her hand relaxed.

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chap 33)

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Molasses Toffees for Christmas from The Fiery Cross

Molasses Toffees for Christmas from The Fiery Cross

With a certain amount of forethought, Mrs. Bug, Brianna, Marsali, Lizzie and I had made up and enormous quantity of molasses toffee, which we had distributed as a Christmas treat to all the children within earshot.  Whatever it might do to their teeth, it had the beneficial effect of gluing their mouths shut for long periods, and in consequence, the adults had enjoyed a peaceful Christmas.  Even Germain had been reduced to a sort of tuneful gargle.

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross, Chap 34

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