Hail, Slainte, and Happy Thanksgiving, Frontier Partisans! May you feast well — and don’t let the Rhenish go to your head…
Speaking of Outlandish things…
’Tis my sacred duty on Thanksgiving to peel a mighty lot of potatoes, which Ceili turns into a delectable dish infused with truffle oil. To make the task more congenial, I shall be watching S2Ep08 of Outlander. Be ye warned: Spoilers lurk below…
This bit reflects the Outlandish version of how potatoes came to the Scottish Highlands, where they were not commonly grown before the middle of the 18th century. Claire Fraser, being a time-traveler, knows that famine will follow the destruction of the Jacobites in the Rising of ’45. She advises her sister-in-law to plant taters to tide the household of Lallybroch through:
“Plant potatoes,” I said.
Jenny’s mouth dropped slightly open, then she firmed her jaw and nodded briskly.
“Potatoes. Aye. There’s none closer than Edinburgh, but I’ll send for them. How many?”
“As many as you can. They’re not planted in the Highlands now, but they will be. They’re a root crop that will keep for a long time, and the yield is better than wheat. Put as much in the ground as you can into crops that can be stored. There’s going to be a famine, a bad one, in two years.”
— Outlander, Diana Gabaldon, Chapter 33