Fiona’s Ginger Nut Biscuits from Drums of Autumn

Fiona’s Ginger Nut Biscuits from Drums of Autumn

He turned over a page, and stopped, feeling as though he’d been punched in the stomach.

May 1, 1945.  Craigh na Dun, Inverness-shire, Scotland.  Claire Randall, age 27, housewife.  Seen last in early morning, having declared intention to visit the circle in search of unusual plant specimens, did not return by dark.  Car found parked at foot of hill.  No traces in circle, no signs of foul play.

He turned the page gingerly, as though expecting it to blow up in his hand.  So Claire had inadvertently given Gillian Edgars part of the evidence that had led to her own experiment.  Had Geilie found the reports of Claire’s return, three years later?

No, evidently not, he concluded, after flipping back and forth through those pages — or if she had, she hadn’t recorded it here.

Fiona had brought him more tea and a plate of fresh ginger-nut biscuits, which had sat untouched since he had begun reading.  A sense of obligation rather than hunger made him pick up a biscuit and take a bite, but the sharp-flavored crumbs caught in his throat and made him cough.

Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (Chapter 32 – Grimoire)

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An Afternoon with The 78th Fraser Highlanders

An Afternoon with The 78th Fraser Highlanders

The Minister’s cat had nearly jumped out of her skin when they’d walked through the performers’ entrance and come face-to-face with the 78th Fraser Highlanders’ pipe-band from Canada, practicing at full blast behind the dressing rooms.  She’d actually gone pale when he’d introduced her to the pipe major, an old acquaintance.  Not that Bill Livingstone was intimidating on his own; it was the Fraser clan badge on his chest that had done it.

Je suis prest, it said.  I am ready.  Not nearly ready enough, Roger thought, and wanted to kick himself for bringing her.

Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (Chapter 4 – A Blast from the Past)

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Steamed Mussels with Butter from DIA

Steamed Mussels with Butter from DIA

I sat on a chest against the taffrail, enjoying the salty breeze and the tarry, fishy smells of ships and harbor.  It was still cold, but with my cloak pulled tight around me, I was warm enough.  The ship rocked slowly, rising on the incoming tide; I could see the beards of algae on nearby dock pilings lifting and swirling, obscuring the shiny black patches of mussels between them.

The thought of mussels reminded me of the steamed mussels with butter I had had for dinner the night before, and I was suddenly starving.  The absurd contrasts of pregnancy seemed to keep me always conscious of my digestion; if I wasn’t vomiting, I was ravenously hungry.  The thought of food led me to the thought of menus, which led back to a contemplation of the entertaining Jared had mentioned.  Dinner parties, hm?  It seemed as odd way to begin the job of saving Scotland, but then I couldn’t really think of anything better.

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 6 – Making Waves)

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Oatcakes at Lallybroch from Voyager

Oatcakes at Lallybroch from Voyager

But strangest of all was Jenny’s absence.  She was the hearthfire of Lallybroch; I had never been in the house when it was not suffused with her presence, all the inhabitants in orbit about her like planets about the sun.  I could think of nothing less like her than that she should leave her kitchen with such a mob of company in the house.

Her presence was a strong now as the perfume of the fresh pine boughs that lay in a large pile in the back pantry, their presence beginning to scent the house; but of Jenny herself, not a hair was to be seen.

She had avoided me since the night of my return with Young Ian — natural enough, I supposed, under the circumstances.  Neither had I sought an interview with her.  Both of us knew there was a reckoning to be made, but neither of us would seek it then.

It was warm and cozy in the kitchen — too warm.  The intermingled scents of drying cloth, hot starch, wet diapers, sweating bodies, oatcake frying in lard, and bread baking were becoming a bit too heady, and when Katherine mentioned the need of a pitcher of cream for the scones, I seized the opportunity to escape, volunteering to fetch it down from the dairy shed.

Diana Gabaldon, Voyager (Chapter 38 – I Meet a Lawyer)

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