Jenny’s Hare Pie from Voyager

Jenny’s Hare Pie from Voyager

“If ye’ve brought meat, we’ll have it.  If not, it’s brose and hough.”

He made a face at this; the thought of boiled barley and shin-beef, the last remnants of the salted beef carcass they’d bought two months before, was unappealing.

“Just as well I had luck, then,” he said.  He upended his game bag and let the three rabbits fall onto the table in a limp tumble of gray fur and crumpled ears.  “And blackthorn berries,” he added, tipping out the contents of the dun bonnet, now stained inside with the rich red juice.

Jenny’s eyes brightened at the sight.  “Hare pie,” she declared.  “There’s no currants, but the berries will do even better, and there’s enough butter, thank God.”  Catching a tiny blink of movement among the gray fur, she slapped her hand down on the table, neatly obliterating the minuscule intruder.

“Take them out and skin ‘em, Jamie, or the kitchen will be hopping wi’ fleas.”

Diana Gabaldon, Voyager (Chapter 5)

Read More

Brianna’s Matchstick (Cold Oil) French Fries

Brianna’s Matchstick (Cold Oil) French Fries

“I would love to find some dye plant that gives a true purple,” she said wistfully.  “I miss the bright colors.  Remember the dress I wore to the man-on-the-moon party?  The black one, with the bands of Day-Glo pink and lime green?”

“That was pretty memorable, aye.”  Privately, he thought the muted colors of homespun suited her much better; in skirts of rust and brown, jackets of gray and green, she looked like some exotic, lovely lichen.

Seized by the sudden desire to see her, he reached out, fumbling on the table by the bed.  The little box was where she’d thrown it when they came back.  She’d designed it to be used in the dark, after all; a turn of the lid dispensed one of the small, waxy sticks, and the tiny strip of roughened metal glued to the side was cool to his hand.  A skritch! that made his heart leap with its simple familiarity, and the tiny flame appeared with a whiff of sulfur — magic.

“Don’t waste them,” she said, but smiled in spite of the protest, delighted at the sight as she’d been when she first showed him what she’d done.

Her hair was loose and clean, just washed; shimmering over the pale round of her shoulder, clouds of it lying soft over his chest, cinnamon and amber and roan and gold, sparked by the flame.

Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Chapter 21)

Read More

Claire’s Spoon Bread from Drums of Autumn

Claire’s Spoon Bread from Drums of Autumn

“That’s a fine wee book, Uncle Jamie,” Ian said, with approval.  “Does it say more about the snakes?”  He looked hungrily over the expanse of table, in search of more food.  Without comment, I reached into the hutch and brought out a plate of spoonbread, which I set before him.  He sighed happily and waded in, as Jamie turned the page.

“Well, here’s a bit about how the rattlesnakes charm squirrels and rabbits.”  Jamie touched his plate, but encountered nothing save bare surface.  I pushed the muffins toward him.

” ‘It is surprizing to observe how these Snakes will allure and charm Squirrel, Hedge-Conneys, Partridges and many other small Beasts and Birds to them, which they quickly devour.  The Sympathy is so strong between these, that you shall see the Squirrel or Partridge (as they have espied this Snake) leap or fly from Bough to Bough, until at last they run or leap directly into its Mouth, not having power to avoid their enemy, who never stirs out of the Posture or Quoil until he obtains his Prey.’ “

His hand, blindly groping after sustenance, encountered the muffins.  He picked one up and glanced up at me.  “Damned if I’ve ever seen that, myself.  D’ye think it likely?”

“No,” I said, pushing the curls back off my forehead.  “Does that book have any helpful suggestions for dealing with vicious pigs?”

He waved absently at me with the remnants of his muffin.

“Dinna fash,” he murmured.  “I’ll manage the pig.”  He took his eyes off the book long enough to glance over the table at the empty dishes.  “Are there no more eggs?”

Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (Chapter 25)

Read More

Mr. Willoughby’s Coral Knob (Cheese Ball)

Mr. Willoughby’s Coral Knob (Cheese Ball)

The Chinaman nodded, satisfied, and sat back.  The moon was full up by now, three-quarters full, and bright enough to show the little Mandarin’s face as he talked.

“Yes,” he said, through Jamie, “I thought much of women; their grace and beauty, blooming like lotus flowers, floating like milkweed on the wind.  And the myriad sounds of them, sometimes like the chatter of ricebirds, or the song of nightingales; sometimes the cawing of crows,” he added with a smile that creased his eyes to slits and brought his hearers to laughter, “but even then I loved them.

“I wrote all my poems to Woman — sometimes they were addressed to one lady or another, but most often to Woman alone.  To the taste of breasts like apricots, the warm scent of a woman’s navel when she wakens in the winter, the warmth or a mound that fills your hand like a peach, split with ripeness.”

Fergus, scandalized, put his hands over Marsali’s ears, but the rest of his hearers were most receptive.

“No wonder the wee fellow was an esteemed poet,” Raeburn said with approval.  “It’s verra heathen, but I like it!”

“Worth a red knob on your hat, anyday,” Maitland agreed.

“Almost worth learning a bit of Chinee for,” the master’s mate chimed in, eyeing Mr. Willoughby with fresh interest.  “Does he have a lot of those poems?”

Diana Gabaldon, Voyager (Chapter 46)

Read More

Roger & Bree’s Homemade Pizza from TFC for Valentine’s Day

Roger & Bree’s Homemade Pizza from TFC for Valentine’s Day

“Pizza,” he said.

She blinked, then laughed.  It was one of their games; taking turns to think of things they missed from the other time, the time before — or after, depending on how you looked at it.

“Coke,” she said promptly.  “I think I could maybe do pizza — but what good is pizza without Coca-Cola?”

“Pizza with beer is perfectly fine,” he assured her.  “And we can have beer — not that Lizzie’s homemade hell-brew is quite on par with MacEwan’s Lager, yet.  But you really think you could make pizza?”

“Don’t see why not.”  She nibbled at the cheese, frowning.  “this wouldn’t do” — she brandished the yellowish remnant, then popped it in her mouth — “too strong-flavoured.  But I think…” she paused to chew and swallow, then washed it down with a long drink of rough cider.

“Come to think of it, this would go pretty well with pizza.” She lowered the leather bottle and licked the last sweet, semi-alcoholic drops from her lips.  “But the cheese — I think maybe sheep’s cheese would do.  Da brought some from Salem last time he went there.  I’ll ask him to get some more and see how it melts.”

She squinted against the bright, pale sun, calculating.

“Mama’s got plenty of dried tomatoes, and tons of garlic.  I know she has basil don’t know about the oregano, but I could do without that. And crust — ”  She waved a dismissive hand.  “Flour, water, and lard, nothing to it.”

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 20) Read More

« Older Entries