Drums of Autumn

A Gathering on the Ridge with Novel Adventures

A Gathering on the Ridge with Novel Adventures

I had an Outlander adventure last week — an amazing weekend packed with Outlandish activities — that I was very privileged to share with a diverse group of Outlanders from all over the US.

We gathered together on Thursday at The Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, historic lodging in the Western High Country of North Carolina — the area that inspired Fraser’s Ridge — and just a few miles down the road from the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Read More

Dundee Cake from Drums of Autumn

Dundee Cake from Drums of Autumn

“Where’s Grannie, Matt?” his father asked. “In the back parlor wi’ Grandda and a lady and a man,” Matthew replied promptly. “They’ve had two pots of coffee, a tray of scones, and a whole Dundee cake, but Mama says they’re hangin’ on in hopes of bein ’ fed dinner, too, and good luck to them because it’s only brose and a bit o’ hough today, and damned— oop!”—he pressed a hand over his mouth, glancing guiltily at his father—“ and drat if she’ll gie them any of the gooseberry tart, no matter how long they stay.”

Young Jamie gave his son a narrow look, then glanced quizzically at his sister.

“A lady and a man?”

Janet made a faint moue of distaste.

“The Grizzler and her brother,” she said.

Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (Chapter 34 – Lallybroch)

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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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