do you have a favourite homesteading passage from the books? one of my favourite aspects of the outlander novels is their depiction of early american settlement and subsistence farming, like the scenes from the first winter on the ridge in DoA. more than anything in book 9 i'm looking forward to more little snippets of that simple 18th c isolated farm life... which i realise is pretty weird!
What a fascinating ask! Not weird at all, anon - after all the pain and heartbreak that Jamie and Claire have been through, it’s so rewarding to see them leading a quiet, peaceful, domestic life. The life they always wanted to have together.
I’ve always loved this passage from The Fiery Cross - where Jamie is slowly kissing every inch of Claire, and tasting her. And in so doing, tells a story about how Claire spends her days - busy with domestic affairs - and we learn a lot about the simple pleasures that Jamie takes from their life together. And how much he appreciates just how hard she works to maintain that life.
He took my hand and lifted it to his nose, sniffing delicately. “Onions,” he said, “and garlic. Something hot … peppercorns. Aye, and clove. Squirrel-blood and meat-juice.” His tongue flicked out like a snake’s, touching my knuckles. “Starch—potatoes—and something woody. Toadstools.”
“Not fair at all,” I said, trying to get my hand back. “You know perfectly well what we had for dinner. And they weren’t toadstools, they were woodears.”
“Mm?” He turned my hand over and sniffed at my palm, then my wrist and up my forearm. “Vinegar and dill; ye’ve been making cucumber pickles, aye? Good, I like those. Mm, oh, and soured milk here in the fine hairs on your arm—were ye splashed churning butter, or skimming cream?”
“You guess, since you’re so good at it.”
“Damn.” I was still trying to pull away, but only because the stubble on his face tickled the sensitive skin of my upper arm. He smelled his way up my arm into the hollow of my shoulder, making me squeak as the strands of his hair drifted across my skin.
He lifted my arm a bit, touched the damp silky hair there, and ran his fingers under his nose. “Eau de femme,” he murmured, and I heard the laughter in his voice. “Ma petite fleur.”
– The Fiery Cross