Battle BBQ – Ronnie Sinclair’s Traditional North Carolina Vinegar Mop

Battle BBQ – Ronnie Sinclair’s Traditional North Carolina Vinegar Mop

“It’s poison, is what it is!”  Ronnie Sinclair was saying hotly, as I came up behind him.  “She’ll ruin it — it’ll no be fit for pigs when she’s done!”

“It is pigs, Ronnie, Jamie said, with considerable patience.  He rolled an eye at me, then glanced at the pit, where sizzling fat dripped onto the biers of hickory coals below.   “Myself, I shouldna think ye could do anything to a pig — in the way of cooking that is — that would make it not worth the eating.”

“Quite true,” I put in helpfully, smiling at Ronnie.  “Smoked bacon, grilled chops, roasted loin, baked ham, headcheese, sausage, sweetbreads, black pudding…somebody once said you could make use of everything in a pig but the squeal.”

“Aye, well, but this is the barbecue, isn’t it?”  Ronnie said stubbornly, ignoring my feeble attempt at humor.  “Anyone kens that ye sass a barbecued hog wi’ vinegar — that’s the proper way of it!  After all, ye wouldna put gravel into your sausage meat, would ye?  Or boil your bacon wi’ sweepings from the henhouse?  Tcha!”  He jerked his chin toward the white porter basin under Rosamund’s arm, making it clear that its contents fell into the same class of inedible adulterants, in his opinion.

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 13 – Beans and Barbecue)

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Outlander Herbal Guest Post – Rosemary

Outlander Herbal Guest Post – Rosemary

The five of us stood in a circle around the chunk of granite with which Jamie had marked the stranger’s grave.  There were five of us, and so we laid the circle with five points.  By common consent, this was not only for the man with the silver fillings, but for his four unknown companions — and for Daniel Rawlings, whose fresh and final grave lay under a mountain-ash, nearby.

The smoke rose up from the small iron fire-pot, pale and fragrant.  I had brought other herbs as well, but I knew that for the Tuscarora, for the Cherokee, and for the Mohawk, sage was holy, the smoke of it cleansing.

I rubbed juniper needles between my hands into the fire, and followed them with rue, called herb-of-grace, and rosemary — that’s for remembrance, after all.

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 110 – Man of Blood) Read More

The Great Cherry Bounce Experiment

The Great Cherry Bounce Experiment

Like magic, Jemmy’€™s eyelids floated up. He smiled dreamily at Roger.

“€œHallo, Daddy.”€ Still smiling beatifically, his eyes closed and he relaxed into utter limpness, cheek flattened against his father’™s knee.

“€œHe’™s all right,” Roger told her.€

“Well, good,”€ she said, not particularly mollified. “€œWhat do you think they’€™ve been drinking? Beer?”
€
Roger leaned forward and sniffed at his offspring’€™s red-stained lips.

€œ”Cherry Bounce, at a guess. There’€™s a vat of it, round by the barn.”€

“€œHoly God!” She’€™d never drunk Cherry Bounce, but Mrs. Bug had told her how to make it:  “€œTak’€™ the juice of a bushel o’€™ cherries, dissolve twenty-four pound o’€™ sugar ower it, then ye put it into a forty-gallon cask and fill it up wi’€™ whisky.”€

“€œHe’€™s all right.”€ Roger patted her arm. “œIs that Germain over there?”€

“It is.”€ She leaned over to check, but Germain was peacefully asleep, also smiling.  “That Cherry Bounce must be good stuff.”

Roger laughed.

“It’s terrible.  Like industrial-strength cough syrup.  I will say it makes ye very cheerful, though.”

Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Chapter 6, Ambush)

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How Outlander Changed My Life – Guest Post

How Outlander Changed My Life – Guest Post

This week it is my pleasure to introduce you to Lee Ann Monat.  She and I first met online over a year ago, when I posted my first recipe from the Outlander series over on my other blog.

We’ve been friends and mutual fans ever since.  Over at Lion Art Creations Lee Ann shares her photography, art and her thoughts on changing her life’s path and re-creating it with intention.  She began this journey years ago, inadvertently, when she opened her first copy of Outlander…a parallel journey to my own, which involved quitting my job and walking into a bookstore…but I’ll save that for another time.

Because today the spotlight is on Lee Ann, who recently began a much-sought-after tenure as a volunteer in the Abbey kitchen on the Isle of Iona in Scotland. Just the latest stopping point in a very interesting life, that has really only just begun…

(The following photos and words are Lee Ann’s.)

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Corn Dodgers from Drums of Autumn & The Winner!

Corn Dodgers from Drums of Autumn & The Winner!

The English had always thought the Scottish Highlanders barbarians; I had never before considered the possibility that others might feel likewise. But these men had seen a ferocious savage, and approached him with due caution, arms at the ready. And Jamie, horrified beforehand at the thought of savage Red Indians, had seen their rituals—so like his own—and known them at once for fellow hunters; civilized men.

Even now, he was speaking to them quite naturally, explaining with broad gestures how the bear had come upon us and how he had killed it. They followed him with avid attention, exclaiming in appreciation in all the right places. When he picked up the remains of the mangled fish and demonstrated my role in the proceedings, they all looked at me and giggled hilariously.

I glared at all four of them.

“Dinner,” I said loudly, “is served.”

We shared a meal of half-roasted meat, corn dodgers, and whisky, watched throughout by the head of the bear, which perched ceremonially on its platform, dead eyes gone dull and gummy.

Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (Chapter 15, Noble Savages)

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