dragonfly in amber

Ian’s Buttered Leeks

Ian’s Buttered Leeks

“I remember, when they were young, auld John told Ian it was his job to stand to Jamie’s right, for he must guard his chief’s weaker side in a fight. And he did— they took it verra seriously, the two of them. And I suppose auld John was right, at that,” she added, snipping off the excess thread. “After a time, nobody would fight them, not even the MacNab lads. Jamie and Ian were both fair-sized, and bonny fighters, and when they stood shoulder to shoulder, there was no one could take the pair o’ them down, even if they were outnumbered.”

She laughed suddenly, and smoothed back a lock of hair behind her ear.

“Watch them sometime, when they’re walking the fields together. I dinna suppose they even realize they do it still, but they do. Jamie always moves to the left, so Ian can take up his place on the right, guardin’ the weak side.”

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 33 – Thy Brother’s Keeper)

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Fiona’s Almond Sponge from DIA

Fiona’s Almond Sponge from DIA

A half-hour later, the tea table lay in shambles, the decanter stood empty, and the three of them sat in a shared stupor of content.  Brianna shifted once or twice, glanced at Roger, and finally asked if she might use his “rest room.”

“Oh, the W.C.?  Of course.”  He heaved himself to his feet, ponderous with Dundee cake and almond sponge.  If he didn’t get away from Fiona soon, he’d weigh three hundred pounds before he got back to Oxford.

“It’s on of the old-fashioned kind,” he explained, pointing down the hall in the direction of the bathroom.  “With a tank on the ceiling and a pull-chain.”

“I saw some of those in the British Museum,” Brianna said, nodding.  “Only they weren’t in with the exhibits, they were in the ladies’ room.”  She hesitated, then asked, “You haven’t got the same sort of toilet paper they have in the British Museum, do you?  Because if you do, I’ve got some Kleenex in my purse.”

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 2 – The Plot Thickens)

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Gougères – Cheese Savouries from Dragonfly in Amber

Gougères – Cheese Savouries from Dragonfly in Amber

“Indeed, Monsieur le Comte?” Silas Hawkins raised thick, graying brows toward our end of the table.  “Have you found a new partner for investment, then?  I understood that your own resources were…depleted, shall we say?  Following the sad destruction of the Patagonia.”  He took a cheese savoury from the plate and popped it delicately into his mouth.

The Comte’s jaw muscles bulged, and a sudden chill descended on our end of the table.  From Mr. Hawkins’s sidelong glance at me, and the tiny smile that lurked about his buisily chewing mouth, it was clear that he knew all about my role in the destruction of the unfortunate Patagonia.

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 18 – Rape in Paris)

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Fonseca Terra Prima Reserve Port – Weekend Whisky Write-Up

Fonseca Terra Prima Reserve Port – Weekend Whisky Write-Up

“You can treat rum like that,” Jared observed, watching the ungainly progress of the enormous barrel through the obstructions of the warehouse, “but not port.  I always fetch that up myself, along with the bottled wines.  In fact, I was just setting off to see a new shipment of Belle Rouge port.  Would you perhaps be interested in accompanying me?”

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 6 – Making Waves)

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Beef Consomme from DIA

Beef Consomme from DIA

We had reached the second course without incident, and I was beginning to relax slightly, though my hand still had a tendency to tremble over the consommé.

“How perfectly fascinating!”  I said, in response to a story of the younger Monsieur Duverney’s, to which I wasn’t listening, my ears being tuned for any suspicious noises abovestairs.  “Do tell me more.”

I caught Magnus’s eye as he served the Comte St. Germain, seated across from me, and beamed congratulations at him as well as I could with a mouthful of fish.  Too well trained to smile in public, he inclined his head a respectful quarter-inch and went on with the service.  My hand went to the crystal at my neck, and I stroked it ostentatiously as the Comte, with no sign of perturbation on his saturnine features, dug into the trout with almonds.

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 18 – Rape in Paris)

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