claire

A Wee Dram of Lagavulin to Toast Caitriona Balfe as Claire

A Wee Dram of Lagavulin to Toast Caitriona Balfe as Claire

“Don’t imagine you take water, do you, Roger?”

“No.” It was Lagavulin; astonishing to find it in Boston. He sipped appreciatively, and the doctor smiled.

“Claire gave it to me—Bree’s mama. Now, there was a woman with a taste for fine whisky.” He shook his head nostalgically, and raised his glass in tribute.

“Slàinte,” Roger said quietly, and tipped his own glass before drinking. Abernathy closed his eyes in silent appreciation—whether of the whisky or the woman, Roger couldn’t tell.

Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn, (Chapter 5 – Two Hundred Years from Yesterday)

Are you as deliriously stunned as I?  I wasn’t expecting to meet Claire for a few weeks, at least.  And then, yesterday, she was suddenly there.

My first glance convinced me that Caitriona Balfe could be My Claire — Our Claire — and ever since, every picture I’ve seen has drawn me a little further in.  I can see myself now, perched in front of the TV, Outlandish snacks in hand, waiting for the premiere episode to begin.  Waiting for Claire to fall through the stones.claire-laga

One of the things we (should) learn about Claire in that first episode is her appreciation for a good single malt.  Even while Frank is checking the ewer in their room at Mrs. Baird’s for a little water to lighten his late-night dram, Claire is spiritedly sipping her share of the whisky, neat.

If you want to go all out for a premiere party,  there’s no finer whisky with which to toast Caithan than Lagavulin 16 YO.  I’ve sampled a good selection of single malts since starting Outlander Kitchen almost two years ago, and it’s at the top.

Be warned, it’s also the one of the most expensive bottles on the shelf.    More doesn’t always mean better, but in this case, the extra few dollars buys you an enjoyably complex mix of layers – peat, smoke, sweet, spice – it’s all there, in a well-balanced, dark amber nectar that very few other single malts can match.

claire

Welcome to our Outlander Wonderland, Caitriona!  I think you’re probably packing as I type, in a desperate rush to fit your life into a couple of bags and travel across a continent and ocean to your new home at Castle Leoch.

I see that you’ve gained 3000+ Twitter followers in less than 24 hours.  Dinna fash lass, we’re not as scary as we first come across.  We’re just here to see you off on this adventure, and toast you with a dram worthy of comparison with your gorgeous (soon to be) whisky-coloured eyes.

Sláinte!

Garlic & Sage Sausage from A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Garlic & Sage Sausage from A Breath of Snow and Ashes

“Well d’ye see, Auntie,” Ian said carefully, “we do mean to question the fellow.”

“And we will have answers,” Fergus said, eyes on the spoon with which he was stirring his coffee.

“And when Uncle Jamie is satisfied that he has told us what he can…”

Ian had laid his newly sharpened knife on the table beside his plate.  He picked it up, and thoughtfully drew it down the length of a cold sausage, which promptly split open, with an aromatic burst of sage and garlic.  He looked up then, and met my eyes directly.  And I realized that while I might still be me — Ian was no longer the boy he used to be.  Not at all.

Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Chapter 30 – The Captive)

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Jenny’s Onion Tart from Voyager

Jenny’s Onion Tart from Voyager

I caught up with her just outside the barn; she heard my step behind her and turned, startled.  She glanced about quickly, but saw we were alone.  Realizing that there was no way of putting off a confrontation, she squared her shoulders under the woolen cloak and lifted her head, meeting my eyes straight on.

“I thought I’d best tell Young Ian to unsaddle the horse,” she said.  “Then I’m going to the root cellar to fetch up some onions for a tart.  Will ye come with me?”

“I will.”  Pulling my cloak tight around me against the winter wind, I followed her into the barn.

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

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Hot Chocolate with La Dame Blanche

Hot Chocolate with La Dame Blanche

“The White Lady,” he murmured.  “She is called a wisewoman, a healer.  And yet…she sees to the center of a man, and can turn his soul to ashes, if evil be found there.”  He bobbed his head, turned, and shuffled off hastily in the direction of the kitchen.  I saw his elbow bob, and realized that he was crossing himself as he went.

“Jesus H. Christ,” I said, turning back to Jamie.  “Did you ever hear of La Dame Blanche?”

“Um? Oh? Oh, aye, I’ve…heard the stories.” Jamie’s eyes were hidden by long auburn lashes as he buried his nose in his cup of chocolate, but the blush on his cheeks was too deep to be put down to the heat of the rising steam.

I leaned back in my chair, crossed my arms, and regarded him narrowly.

“Oh, you have?” I said. “Would it surprise you to hear that the men who attacked Mary and me last night referred to me as La Dame Blanche?”

“They did?” He looked up quickly at that, startled.

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 20 – La Dame Blanche)

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The Comte St. Germain’s Poison

The Comte St. Germain’s Poison

“Drink, Monsieur,” said the King.  The dark eyes were hooded once more, showing nothing.  “Or are you afraid?”

The Comte might have a number of things to his discredit, but cowardice wasn’t one of them.  His face was pale and set, but he met the King’s eyes squarely, with a slight smile.

“No, Majesty,” he said.

He took the cup from my hand and drained it, his eyes fixed on mine.  They stayed fixed, staring into my face, even as they glazed with the knowledge of death.  The White Lady may turn a man’s nature to good, or to destruction.

The Comte’s body hit the floor, writhing, and a chorus of shouts and cries rose from the hooded watchers, drowning any sound he might have made.  His heels drummed briefly, silent on the flowered carpet; his body arched, then subsided into limpness.  The snake, thoroughly disgruntled, struggled free of the disordered folds of white satin and slithered rapidly away, heading for the sanctuary of Louis’s feet.

All was pandemonium.

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 27 – An Audience with His Majesty)

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