Corn Dodgers from Drums of Autumn

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.

Drums of Autumn (Chapter 15, Noble Savages)

Corn Dodgers, Johnny Cakes, Corn Pone and Hoe Cakes are are variations on a hot-water corn bread theme.  Although they are cooked using different methods, they all begin with the same basic batter of yellow cornmeal, boiling water, fat and salt.

Claire's dodgers on the trail would have been basic.  I've dolled mine up a bit, because, to tell you the truth, 18th Century corn dodgers would have been hard as bricks almost as soon as they had cooled.  In actuality, leftover dodgers were carried and served 2 or 3 days later -- which I can't even imagine, without a good soaking in milk, stew, even ale -- how their teeth managed, weak and loose already, is a mystery to me.

So I added an egg and a touch of cream for tenderness, a little baking powder for some lightness and cilantro for colour, taste and vitamins.

I like to think Claire would approve of my 21st Century dodgers.


Lacking half-roasted bear meat, we had our dodgers with some beef kebabs and a green salad with tomatos, blue cheese and toasted pecans.  We saved the whisky until after the dishes were done.

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