Browsing Category

A Breath of Snow And Ashes

18th Century Garden Plants A Breath of Snow And Ashes Droughtlander Guest Post Outlander North Carolina Uncategorized

The Droughtlander Diaries

September 9, 2020

Droughtlander Diaries: Tara

Well here we are, in the thick of Droughtlander. This time, it’s kind of like we are stuck in the desert alone without any water and none in sight. Luckily, when the ‘Stay At Home’ orders went in effect, we had a good two months, give or take, of episodes left. The “Outlander” cast and crew are projecting (and hoping) to go back to work in the Fall.

So as we head into the end of the Summer and approach Fall, let us, the Outlander North Carolina Admins, give you some ideas of what to do with your time. Here is what I have been doing…

Gardening Like Claire

If you haven’t read my ‘Gardening like it’s 1776’ post, head over there for some inspiration. One plant mentioned many times in the Outlander books is yarrow, and I grew some this year for the first time. This Spring, someone gave me some black beans to try called ‘Cherokee Trail of Tears Black Beans.’ They are heirloom seeds said to be taken with the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. Luckily, my husband made me lovely wood tuteurs, or trellises, because I needed them. The bean vines grew like wildfire, and I have been harvesting them like crazy! It’s so fun! Also, like Claire, I grew herbs like lavender, sage, oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary and parsley. I have already started harvesting bunches of them and drying them in my home. This Fall and Winter, I plan to dabble in making tinctures with the herbs as well.

Since I have been harvesting more this year, I wanted something to keep all the veggies without having to run into the house and grab a bowl. I found the idea of a ‘harvest apron’ while perusing Pinterest. My sister-in-law helped me make it, as I am not exactly skilled at using my sewing machine for such a detailed project. I picked a fabric print with bees since the new book is coming out soon and a yellow print to complement it. I love it! Now I have somewhere to put my garden scissors and cellphone if needed.

As I was writing this post, we wrapped up the start of what I hope becomes a vineyard at the back of our property which butts up against a farm field. It has been a dream of mine to have a vineyard ever since I visited the Williamsburg Winery back in 2007. I decided this was the year we would start one. We planted a Concord grape vine. Next year, I plan to add a white grape (or this year if I can still find one at a nursery). In addition, I decided to put two of our red raspberry and black raspberry bushes there.  I am looking forward to making jams, jellies, juice from the fruits, and wine from the grapes someday, and it’s so exciting to look out there and see vines growing!

While we are on the subject of making things...

…exciting plans to help a friend with 18th and 19th century reenacting this year were put to the side when COVID hit and all the events were cancelled. Coincidentally, my husband’s business got very busy and he needed more of my help. With that said, I had already made my 18th century skirt and apron. I’m halfway to having an outfit for next year’s Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming!

What I Am Reading and Watching

I have been re-reading/re-listening to A Breath of Snow and Ashes. There is soooo much I missed the first time around in my race to read through all the books. The book series These Highland Hills by Kathleen Morgan is another I’ve been dabbling in. A friend who is a fellow “Outlander” fan loaned them to me and thought I might like them. The story is set in the 1500s and has very old Scottish language so it takes some time to read. I was reminded of the movie Far and Away (have you heard of it? I’m astonished at how many people haven’t!). I borrowed the DVD from the library and my husband and I had a movie date. I have also started rewatches of “Poldark” and “TURN: Washington Spies.” Basically, anything to get my history fix, and a bit of romance, too. I’m just buying time until “Outlander” Season 5 comes out on DVD. I told my husband that’s part of my birthday present since it’s due to release September 15th.

Raising Quail

We recently started raising quail. Originally we were going to build a chicken coop and raise chickens. My oldest has been asking to do so for awhile now since my brother raises chickens and ducks, as well as homing pigeons in the past. He recently got some quail and thought it would be good for us to start out with for bird-raising since they are smaller, easier to care for and have less of a footprint. We’ve been enjoying it and plan to add to our flock when my brother hatches more.

DIY Queen

My hopes for creating a She Shed this Spring have been put on hold until at least the Spring of 2021. I also wanted to install a stock tank pool in our backyard, but everyone else must be as well, because stock tanks are hard to find! This Fall and Winter, I would like to put up a Colonial-inspired board and batten up in our dining area, adding pegs to hang my aprons and my herbs.

I thought I’d channel my inner Mrs. Bug and try brewing my own batch of cherry bounce! Several of us were brewing individual batches for Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming, but sadly, that won’t be happening this year, so I decided to bring a little bit of Homecoming to my house and brew it anyway! However, I chose to wait until at least New Year’s Eve to partake–I’m really looking forward to trying it!

Little brown jug of cherry bounce!

Hopefully, this gave you some ideas on what you can do while we wait for the next season (which sadly could be a year away).

What are you enjoying during Droughtlander?

Thank you so much for sharing all of your busyness, Tara! You have definitely made the most of your time during these warm months of Droughtlander!  Tara is also a My Peak Challenge member, and her Peaker story is one of the most-read posts on the blog–check it out!

Now, what Tara asked–what are you doing/watching/reading to get through Droughtlander? It better be plenty, because it looks like we have to wait a little longer. (Just remember the old “good things come to those who wait” logic to keep you sane!)

A Breath of Snow And Ashes Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross

ONC Admins Choice Awards, Season 5 Finale, “Never My Love”

May 16, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  It’s difficult to believe that season give is now behind us!  As we’ve been doing all season, some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode, and hope you have enjoyed it as well! This week’s voting contributors are Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Nancy Roach, Stephanie Bryant, and Susan Jackson. So, without further ado, the winners for the Outlander season five finale, “Never My Love.”

Dawn: The iconic line from Jamie to Claire – “When the day shall come that we do part, if my last words are not ‘I love you’…you’ll ken it’s that I dinna have time.”

Nancy: I agree with Dawn.

Stephanie: Agree with everyone but add “Kill them all” as a close 2nd.

Mitzie: Agree with my ladies, by far, it’s when we finally got to hear Jamie utter those iconic words of “When the day shall come, that we do part… if my last words are not ‘I love you’ — ye ken it was because I didna have time”. Such a swoon worthy moment.

Susan: I have two–Jamie’s “…because I didna have time,” and when Claire answered Jamie with the single word, “Safe,” at the end. 

Dawn: This was such a ‘visual episode’ and so many great moments that made this episode what it was. I can’t choose just one great moment…it was Roger telling Jamie that he’d stand by his side; the image of Ian shaving his head and putting on the war paint (wasn’t he just stunning?); it was Jamie reaffirming her, ‘there’s just the two of us..you needn’t be cared”; Marsali telling Brown that he’d hurt HER family…..It’s all the moments that show the bonds, faithfulness, and loyalty of family.

Nancy: I loved the moment when Jamie and Claire are intertwined in the nude. Jamie seems to be cradling Claire as she tells him she feels safe. I understand from the script that they edited out a lot of the scene. I would love to see that additional footage.

Stephanie: All of the above, the whole episode actually!! The finale needed to be longer. Did love the show “kept on giving” after it was over,trying to figure out the all Easter Eggs.

Mitzie: I’m with Nancy. Seeing Claire and Jamie nakedly embraced in the end. It was very tastefully done and embodies such a beautiful moment that they were able to share with each after such a traumatic event.

Susan: I wanted to shout when Marsali jabbed that needle into Lionel Brown’s neck–loved it!

Dawn: Hands down….Caitriona Balfe

Nancy: This was Cait’s episode. She deserves an Emmy for her performance.

Stephanie: I can’t disagree.  Cait nailed it! She portrayed Claire in this episode equal parts strong and vulnerable. An Emmy is definitely in her future!

Mitzie: Cait better be penning her acceptance speech because this episode just earned her some serious accolades! Amazing job Caitriona!!!!

Susan: Caitriona was phenomenal in this episode–she deserves awards regardless, but if there was any doubt, there is none now.

Dawn: I think the most surprising moment was the choice for Marsali to be the one to kill Lionel Brown. When she held up that syringe, I was rooting for her to stick it in his neck.

Nancy: The most surprising moment for me was the ‘60’s montage. It was totally unexpected.

Stephanie: Bree/Roger time travel to nowhere was not a big surprise but highly anticipated, as we didn’t know definitely where they turned up. Hoping Roger would be there to help save Claire.

Mitzie: Dawn and I are on the same page with this one. Marsali taking it upon herself to rid themselves of Lionel, with a syringe of water hemlock, into the neck! DANG GIRL! She has just proven without a shadow of a doubt that she will stop at nothing to protect her family and it solidifies how she feels about Claire being very precious to her.

Susan: I’m with Nancy here–when I saw the record player, my first thought was that Bree and Roger really were sent ahead in time, but to the late 60’s/early 70’s. When I realized it was Claire and Jamie’s home, I was blown away.

Dawn: I really liked all of the ‘Easter Eggs’ in this episode….all of the lines and objects used. It was well thought out. I think it goes to show how deep and caring the writers are for DG’s material.

Nancy: I thought the effort the producers and actors made to display the rape scene with sensitivity was great. Reading many positive online comments from actual rape survivors, I think they really achieved their goal.

Stephanie: Marsali killing Lionel Brown. I mean she isn’t even from the future like Claire, where a woman could take a more assertive position to make her own decision, yet she had the courage to kill the old coot! Marsali’s a hero!

Mitzie: I really liked how Claire’s disassociation world was created. So much symbolism that I felt connected to a lot of the major moments from past seasons to the present but was still fully connected to Claire’s current situation. It was a very unique and creative idea and I really liked how it played out.

Susan: Lionel Brown getting his just desserts.

Dawn: I think the whole altered and premature storyline of Roger, Brianna, and Jemmy going back through the stones was just unnecessary. I just felt like it was obvious that they didn’t go anywhere.

Nancy: Like Dawn I found the failed attempt of the MacKenzies to go through the stones irritating. What a waste of time and gemstones!
I hate to admit when I first saw a stiff, creepy, manikin-like Claire in a red dress, staring at the abstract painting of the big house, I wanted to shout at the producers. But after reading posts and comments, listening to the after show producer discussion, and watching it a second time, I changed my mind. I saw that much research was done on the subject of rape to create a sensitive picture of this difficult subject matter. Then I had a good time going back to the scene and hunting for Easter eggs.

Stephanie: I was disappointed that they saved Lionel Brown to bring back in order to try to get information from him. I thought immediately “what information are you talking about Roger”? Then Jamie agreeing, after knowing what transpired. The “kill them all” should’ve included him too. Marsali killing him did make up for it though.

Mitzie: That this was the last episode of the season! BOO!!!! HISS!!!! GRRRR!!!!!

Susan: I feel like the whole Bree/Roger/Jemmy and “going home” was a waste of time that could’ve been devoted to something else.

Well, there you have it–our last ONC Admins Choice Awards for season five of Outlander! *insert Droughtlander tears* So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your votes for the finale episode!

A Breath of Snow And Ashes Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross

ONC Admins Choice Awards, Season 5, Journeycake

May 9, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Tara Heller, Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Nancy Roach, and Susan Jackson. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 511, Journeycake.

Dawn: Jamie to Brianna—“You have made my life whole.”

Nancy: For me it had to be when Claire said, “I smell like the White Sow.” That wasn’t in the books, so DG did that as an homage to the White Sow. I tweeted a thank you to her. 

Mitzie: Jamie’s final moment’s with the dying girl at the burnt cabin when he said: “Thou goest home this night to thy home of autumn, of spring, and of summer; Thou goest home this night to thy perpetual home, To thine eternal bed, to thine eternal slumber.” OMG, that had me boo hooing big time.

Susan:  I loved what Jamie said to the dying girl, too.

Dawn:  The scene between Brianna and Lizzie and Brianna trying to explain to her that she can’t come with them. “You are brave..one of the bravest I know.”

Nancy: The intimate window scene between Claire and Jamie. (I’m glad to finally see signs of menopause in Claire.)

Mitzie: Watching Jamie light that cross to call the Clan together for Claire. That was a powerful piece of symbolism when it comes to his priorities. 

Susan:  I got chills watching Jamie running to the cross and lighting it afire–such a dramatic ending. Anything for Claire. *sigh*

Tara:  All of them, each cast member did a wonderful job in this episode!

Dawn:  Brianna/Sophie Skelton

Nancy: I really thought everyone was good in this one. A special shout out to the actress who played the burnt girl and Rik Rankin in that scene.

Mitzie: Cait has this one for me. I enjoyed all her facial expressions in this one, plus she delivered some good lines with concordant feelings.

Susan: John Bell stands out in my mind–Ian’s still heartbroken, and John conveys his feelings so well.

Tara: When Bree Roger and Jemmy actually went to the stones. I like others didn’t think They’d actually do it.

Dawn:  The decision to send Brianna, Jem, And Roger through the stones. I wasn’t expecting it so soon.

Nancy: First, Roger, Bree and Jemmy going through the stones. That wasn’t supposed to happen until Bree has Mandy and Mandy has a . heart defect. Second the attack by the Browns at the end.

Mitzie: Claire’s abduction and Bree and Rogers attempt to travel forward are tied for me because I am not ready for either of these events and they both hint to ideas that I don’t want to entertain during Season 5. I don’t want to think that Outlander could possibly ramping up for a final season next year –  I’m just not ready to think about that! 

Susan: Definitely Brown’s attack on the Ridge–I wasn’t expecting that scene to happen this season. (And is that Donner I see behind the lovely Mr. Brown when they come to visit Jamie and ask for his support?!)

Tara:  There wasn’t any really funny moments in this episode but, Claire and Jamie each describing what the other one’s eau du perfume smelled like. 

Dawn:  Jamie describing what he thought germs would look like…with teeth. Then talking about his handsome sperm…with the tails and how they swam so well. 

Nancy: The peanut butter and jelly sandwich scene with Jamie cutting his sandwich with a knife and fork. It was so wonderful that they brought up Claire’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich that Claire carried with her through the stones to Edinburgh since they left it out in Voyager.

Mitzie: Watching Claire as she describes to Jamie what it is he is seeing in the microscope. She just had the best expression on her face the whole time. She had that cat that ate the canary kind of look. I was grinning right alone with her.

Susan:  Jamie eating PB&J w/ a fork!

Tara: DG for her amazing writing for tv and the cast’s execution of the storyline. All the feels!

Dawn:  The whole episode…how it focused on family and relationships in the day to day activities of life….making peanut butter! I think this is a reason we all like the books….we can relate to the family.

Nancy: That DG wrote this script. It really makes a difference. 

Mitzie: I’m going to say the best overall thing was that Diana wrote this episode and it showed in spades! So much fluidity from one scene/storyline to the next and a lot of key parts were covered in this episode too without the individual scenes seeming too drawn out or too short.

Susan: What they said! ^^^

Tara:  The smushing of all the storyline. It makes me wonder what is going to come in the finale episode and Season 6. 

Dawn: The decision to send Roger and Brianna back through the stones. It is a premature event according to the book storyline. We are missing so much of Roger and Bri’s story in the 18th century..and the real reason they went back through the stones.

Nancy: The burned, scalped woman. That was so hard to watch. I hated that they had to smother her to put her out of her misery.

Mitzie: Watching poor Marsali getting round-house punched! And the way she hit the floor, like dead weight, while pregnant! I really don’t like seeing that, even in make believe.

Susan:  Knowing what’s coming for Claire–if they keep it in the story, anyway. But I’m still not caring for Roger and Bree going through the stones right now–if they did, anyway. Too soon.

So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your votes for Episode 511, Journeycake!

A Breath of Snow And Ashes Ocracoke Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross

ONC Admins Choice Awards, Season 5, Mercy Shall Follow Me

May 2, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Tara Heller, Dawn Woo, Stephanie Bryant, Nancy Roach, and Cameron Hogg. So, without further ado, the winners for episode, Mercy Shall Follow Me are…

Cameron:  Brianna telling Bonnet, “I could never think any less of you.” I do love a good backhanded compliment. 😉

Stephanie: Bonnet talking to Forbes: “I suggest you start to behave more as my lawyer and less as my priest”

Nancy: I have to agree with Cameron on this one. “I could never think any less of you.”

Dawn: Jamie to Bonnet – “Know that whatever happens, the last thing you see on this earth willna be that of a friend.”

Tara:  When Roger beat the snot out of Bonnet and they bound him for Wilmington.

Cameron:  Agreed.  It was good to see Roger take care of things with Bonnet and finally get his part in avenging Brianna’s suffering.  

Stephanie: Seeing Bonnet’s face while slowly drowning!  Priceless!!

Nancy: When Roger beats up Bonnet. When Bree shoots Bonnet in the head.

Dawn: The scene with Jocasta and Forbes…when Ulysses saves Jocasta and then calls her by name and kisses her hand. Hmmmm….a hint of things to come??

Tara: I have to go with Sophie on this one. She really showed different emotions in this episode.

Cameron: As much as I disliked the character, I thought this was a really good episode for Ed Speleers.  Sometimes during his scenes in the past, I got a little too much of a Captain Jack Sparrow knock-off feel from him, but I think he finally settled into Bonnet as a distinct character, and he showed a lot of depth playing his various facets in this episode.  

Nancy: Ed Speleers as Bonnet.

Stephanie: I think Ed Speleers nailed it as Bonnet! As creepy as he was, he was that perfect mixture of charming and sadistic!

Dawn: Ed Speleers (Bonnet), for sure! He made Bonnet só despicable.

Tara:  When the whole Bonnet storyline came to a head. Not sure what they will do with S6 since his storyline was woven throughout the book.

Cameron: The way they presented the whole courtship angle in the time that Bonnet and Brianna were together and how she stalled and played along to try to save herself.  

Stephanie: I guess I was surprised Bree didn’t put up a struggle at all. It was played a different way then is in line with her character. Yet in hindsight, I get it. 

Nancy: Bonnet getting killed. It’s supposed to happen in Breath of Snow and Ashes.

Dawn: I was surprised the Bonnet storyline was ended prematurely.

Tara: Roger holding up Wylie and him acting like a woose! 

Stephanie: I thought it was cute when Roger asked Jamie, during the fight in the shed…. what took you so long, Jamie responded that Roger was doing so well without his help. Apparently not!!

Nancy: I agree with Stephanie on this one

Dawn: Bonnet- “What I need from you is something I can’t buy.” Brianna – “A moral compass?” (Loved that she got her digs in.)

Cameron: I missed that line at first, Dawn, but that is a good one!

Tara: I loved the beach scenes since that is one of my favorite places and Scotland coastline as a stand in for Ocracoke.

Cameron: I know this may be an unpopular opinion, but I actually really liked the ending scene with Roger and Brianna when she shot Bonnet.  Though things happened differently in the book, I thought for the changes that were made, that last exchange still worked.  When Roger asked Bree if that was revenge or mercy, it was an interesting look into what they both were thinking or feeling now that Bonnet is gone. Even after all that happened, I think that it was mercy and revenge that Bree was aiming for (no pun intended). I think she really took to heart the conversation that she and Jamie had last season about forgiveness, but it had to feel good to know that he was finally gone, and she was the one who ended it once and for all.  

Stephanie: I liked that Roger is finally gaining confidence to stand on his own. He’s earning Jamie’s respect. I like the way we are seeing Roger in a new light. Not as a frightened professor but as a 18th century badass, beating the crap out of Bonnet!

Nancy: I like what everyone else has said. I also want to mention two things I liked — I was happy to see Stephen Bonnet go for the plus size prostitute. I was also glad that they finally hinted that there was something romantic going on between Jocasta and Ulysses.

Dawn: When Bonnet has Brianna on Okracoke, and he asks her to teach him to be a gentleman and how to love. The relationship basically turns to that of Mother and Child. She scolds him about his table manners. She reads to him bc he can’t read. He exhibits such childlike behavior responding to her, esp when she “read” Moby Dick And he threw a tantrum about wanting to know how it ends. 

Tara: The Bonnet and the hussey going at it in front of Bree. I could have done without that.

Cameron: Again, I agree here… I get that it was to show his cruelty, but I’m not sure that scene was the only way to do that.  It reminded me of something that they might have done in the BJR storyline, so it wasn’t surprising, but still wasn’t totally necessary in my opinion.  

Stephanie: Yes! Bonnet and the prostitute… I can’t unsee that scene, ugh!

Nancy: I agree. Bonnet having sex with the prostitute in front of Bree.

Dawn: Ugh….The Bonnet And Eppie sex scene. I felt like I needed to Clorox my brain after that.

So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your votes for Episode 510, Mercy Shall Follow Me!

A Breath of Snow And Ashes Cooking Drums Of Autumn Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Uncategorized

“If you can read, you can cook” – Julia Child

April 17, 2019
guest post by Harmony Lea Tersanchi

Apart from the more obvious reading of a recipe, cooking and reading arenʼt necessarily two things that youʼd normally think to put in the same category. However, I believe there arenʼt many things more closely aligned than these two activities. What has the power to transport you to another time or place without ever leaving the comforts of your own home, a good book and a good meal. What can bring people of different ages, nationalities, and religions together, a good book and a good meal. What can simultaneously invoke the feeling of love and also despair, coming to the last page of a great book, and realizing that youʼve taken the last bite of a great meal.

When your childhood best friend is Puerto Rican, there are a few things that you learn pretty early on in life, the love of food, music, and that nobodyʼs cooking holds a candle to Momʼs cooking! I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my love of cooking stems from those endless nights sitting on the stools at the bar of my best friend’s house, chatting away & watching while “Mom” was throwing down in the kitchen. As an adult now myself, I can say that there are few other things in life that bring me more joy than cooking and feeding those whom I love.

As most of you can probably relate, I may have a slight Outlander obsession. Whatʼs not to love, a handsome, drool worthy 18th century Scottish warrior, men in kilts, time travel, passion, romance, history, and did I mention men in kilts! Needless to say, I was shamelessly hooked at the first sight of James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. I came to the books through the show and almost instantly became enthralled with the love story between Jamie & Claire. One other thing that stuck out to me, beyond the obvious, was how much of the story was centered around food. The gatherings, the family reunions, the celebrations, the banquets, Mrs. Fitz and her bannocks, the wine, whisky, and Rhenish. Food and drink were consistently present throughout the entire story. As I stated above, food has a way of bringing people together, a fact that wasnʼt lost on these 17th century characters.

Theresa is currently working on Outlander Kitchen 2!

Luckily for me, a woman by the name of Theresa Carle-Sanders decided to come out with a cookbook called Outlander Kitchen Cookbook: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook. Any opportunity I get to bring my love of cooking and reading together, you better believe Iʼm taking!

So thatʼs what brought me here–well, more like a slightly crazy obsession with a fictional character, then a realization that Iʼm not alone in my craziness, followed by a Facebook page and blog run by the wonderful Beth Pittman actually brought me here, but yʼall get where Iʼm going with this. So here I am fellow Sassenachs, with my “Outlander Companion Cookbook”, a glass of red wine, and a spatula, getting ready to throw down an Outlander-inspired meal from start to finish, and Iʼm bringing yʼall along for the ride.

Puff Pastry Boar Tusks

First up on this journey for the taste buds is “Murtaghʼs Gift to Ellen,” or Puff Pastry Boar Tusks. Asparagus and puff pastry and bacon…..oh my! The cookbook does have a recipe for a Blitz Puff Pastry, however I chose the easier route & visited the freezer section of the local grocery store for some Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets. Before you get all “Thatʼs not how they did it in the 18th century,” just know that the cookbook does offer that as an option in the recipe, and that was one modern adjustment I was definitely going to take! The construction of this adorable appetizer was quite simple & easy enough to do, yet looks as though great detail went into the prepping/cooking process. Would I make this again? With one minor adjustment, aye, I most definitely would. As for that adjustment I mentioned, Iʼd probably opt to coat the puff pastry part with a melted garlic herb butter once removed from the oven. That would take it from being a cute & tasty appetizer to a cute and delectable appetizer thatʼd impress anyone youʼd serve it to.

Brianna’s Matchstick French Fries

Letʼs talk sides. When youʼre slaving away over a meal of this magnitude, keeping it simple yet delicious is key, and boy did I unlock a couple of winners! I went for the “Broccoli Salad,” (p. 210), and the “Matchstick Cold-Oil Fries.” I have been making homemade fries for the past 10 years, and now I know that for the past 10 years, I have been doing them totally WRONG! Who wouldʼve thought that the trick to getting the most crispy and delicious homemade fries youʼve ever had, was to start off with cold oil? Certainly not me, but I can guarantee that I will never make fries using any other method again.  Iʼm here to tell you that the cost of this cookbook is well worth it for this recipe alone! My only regret is that I didnʼt make more!

Now, not to take any shine away from those seriously insane french fries, but the broccoli salad was pretty darn amazing in itself. Fresh, crunchy, tangy, with just a hint of sweetness, and did I mention bacon? Yes people, more bacon. Letʼs be honest, can you ever go wrong with a recipe that has crunchy bacon as an ingredient? The answer to that question, is absolutely not & this recipe was no exception. There isnʼt a single thing that I would change about this salad. So just to recap……yes, yes, and more yes when it comes to these two sides!

Sweet Tea-Brined Chicken

Moving right along, we come to the main entree, “Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken,” (p.112). Now, I love a glass of sweet tea just as much as the next person, but I canʼt say that Iʼve ever imagined using it to brine chicken, or anything for that matter. Once I got beyond the initial “Huh?” phase, I was ready to jump right in. You start off by brining the chicken for a few hours in a homemade sweet tea concoction, filled with what else other than a ton of sugar. Yes, there are a few other ingredients, but youʼll have to buy the book to figure those out. Believe me when I tell you, I not only wanted to like this recipe, but I really wanted to love it, unfortunately that wasnʼt necessarily the case. Donʼt get me wrong, the chicken was outrageously juicy and tender, accompanied with a perfectly crisp outer coating, what lost me was the sweetness. Not overpowering, but enough to make the dish just “okay”. The crispness of the coating was spot on though, Iʼd only say it needed a little salt to make it fried chicken perfection. The recipe wasnʼt a total loss for me though, Iʼd definitely use that coating again, and like the idea of brining beforehand, however Iʼd personally stick with just a good ol’ salt water brine.

Last but certainly not least, I bring you the “Warm Almond Pastry with Father Anselm,” (p. 255) for dessert. Thereʼs really not much I can say about this dessert other than delicious! If you like a dessert that isnʼt overly sweet, then this is the dessert for you! Itʼs light and flaky, and would go perfect with a nice cup of hot coffee. I will for sure be making this again in the very near future.

Warm Almond Pastry

I hope youʼve enjoyed the ramblings of this food obsessed Sassenach. If you donʼt already own this cookbook, do yourselves a favor & go buy it ASAP. If the last thing you need is another cookbook lying around taking up space, then visit your local library, check it out and take pics of the recipes that interest you. You wonʼt regret it! This has been quite the tasty experience, but now itʼs time for me to summon my children and have them roll me into bed. Good night yʼall.

Harmony was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, but found her forever home in the mountains of North Carolina in 2017. She is married to her “Jamie” and the mom of two boys whom she homeschools. Harmony discovered Outlander while Season 2 was showing on Starz, and instantly fell in love with Jamie and Claire’s love story. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and getting outside to explore their new home in the mountains. Harmony is a moderator for the Outlander North Carolina Facebook Group, and hosted “Happy Hour with Harmony” on Saturday evenings, using recipes from the Outlander Kitchen cookbook to make cocktails and mocktails. If you’d like to see the videos, join the Outlander North Carolina group on Facebook, and go to our Videos section–Harmony is a great hostess!

Do you have a copy of Outlander Kitchen, or have you been a follower of Outlander Kitchen website before there was a cookbook? What’s your favorite recipe?

GET YOUR FRIENDS TOGETHER FOR THIS SPECIAL OFFER!

X