Drums of Autumn

Peanut Butter Power Bars for Sam Heughan as JAMMF

Peanut Butter Power Bars for Sam Heughan as JAMMF

“Roasted peanuts,” I said.  “They grow underground hereabouts.  I found a farmer selling them for hogfood, and had the inn-wife roast some for me.  You take off the shells before you eat them.”  I grinned at him, enjoying the novel sensation of for once knowing more about our surroundings than he did.

He gave me a mildly dirty look, and crushed a shell between thumb and forefinger, yielding 3 nuts.

“I’m ignorant, Sassenach,” he said.  “Not a fool.  There’s a difference, aye?”  He put a peanut in his mouth and bit down gingerly.  His skeptical look changed to one of pleased surprise, and he chewed with increasing enthusiasm, tossing the other nuts in his mouth.

“Like them?” I smiled, enjoying his pleasure.  “I’ll make you peanut butter for your bread, once we’re settled and I have my new mortar unpacked.”

Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (Chapter 9 – Two-Thirds of a Ghost)

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Lizzie’s Beer – A Tale of Two Ales

Lizzie’s Beer – A Tale of Two Ales

Jamie chewed industriously, washing down a large bite with a gulp of ale.  He made an involuntary face, pursed his lips to spit, then changed his mind and swallowed.

“Ach!  Mrs. Lizzie’s been at the mash again.”  He grimaced and took a remedial bite of biscuit to erase the taste.

Roger grinned at his father-in-law’s face.

“What’s she put in it this time?”  Lizzie had been trying her hand at flavored ales – with indifferent success.

Jamie sniffed warily at the mouth of the stone bottles.

“Anise?” he suggested, passing the bottles to Roger.

Roger smelt it, wrinkling up his nose involuntarily at the alcoholic whiff.

“Anise and ginger,” he said.  Nevertheless, he took a cautious sip.  He made the same face Jamie had, and emptied the bottle over a compliant blackberry vine.

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 86 – There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea)

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Salted Butterscotch Shortbread from DOA

Salted Butterscotch Shortbread from DOA

There was time for a wander up and down the aisles of the vendors’ stalls, selling everything from tartan ties to penny whistles, silver jewelry, clan maps of Scotland, butterscotch and shortbread, letter openers in the shape of claymores, lead Highland figures, books, records, and every imaginable small item on which a clan badge or motto could be imprinted.

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

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Outlander Thanksgiving – A Recipe Twist and Ideas for Your Holiday Table

Outlander Thanksgiving – A Recipe Twist and Ideas for Your Holiday Table

My thoughts of luxuriant wallowing were interrupted by the emergence from the woods of Ian and Myers, the latter with a brace of squirrels hung from his belt.  Ian proudly presented me with an enormous black object, which on closer inspection proved to be a turkey, fat from gorging on the autumn grains.

“Boy’s got a nice eye, Mrs. Claire,” said Myers, nodding approvingly.  “Those be wily birds, turkeys.  Even the Indians don’t take ‘em easy.”

It was early for Thanksgiving, but I was delighted with the bird, which would be the first substantial item in our larder.  So was Jamie, though his pleasure lay more in the thing’s tail feathers, which would provide him with a good supply of quills.

Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (Chapter 19 – Hearth Blessing)

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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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