Anyone up for some Turtle Soup (Stew)?
This past summer, I was lucky enough to go on my own little voyage through the Caribbean. Though it was much less adventurous than Jamie x Claire’s seems to be – definitely no middle of the night trips overboard to go deep sea diving for me, thank you very much – I did get to collect a few Outlander souvenirs along the way! Who knwe Turtle Soup/Stew was so popular?! But enough of that. Let’s get to the real soup we’re here for… Anyone up for some 🐢🍲?
“No, Sassenach, ye dinna frighten me. Or rather ye do, but only when I think ye may kill yourself from carelessness.”
I snorted briefly.
“You scare me for the same reason, but I don’t suppose there’s anything I can do about it.”
His chuckle was deep and easy.
“And ye think I canna do anything about it, either so I shouldna be worrit?”
“I didn’t say you shouldn’t worry – do you think I don’t worry? But no, you probably can’t do anything about me.”
I saw him opening his mouth to disagree. Then he changed his mind, and laughed again. He reached out and popped an orange segment into my mouth.
“Well, maybe no, Sassenach, and maybe so. But I’ve lived a long enough time now to think it maybe doesna matter so much – so long as I can love you.”
Speechless with orange juice, I stared at him in surprise.
“And I do,” he said softly. He leaned into the berth and kissed me, his mouth warm and sweet. Then he drew back, and gently touched my cheek.
“Rest now,” he said firmly. “I’ll bring ye some broth in a bit.”
I slept for several hours, and woke up still feverish, but hungry. Jamie brought me some of Murphy’s broth – a rich green concoction, swimming, in butter and reeking with sherry – and insisted, despite my protests, on feeding it to me with a spoon.
“I have a perfectly good hand,” I said crossly.
“Aye, and I’ve seen ye use it, too,” he replied, deftly gagging me with the spoon. “If ye’re clumsy with a spoon as wi’ that needle, you’ll have this all spilt down your bosom and wasted, and Murphy will brain me wi’ the ladle. Here, open up.”
I did, my resentment gradually melting into a sort of warm and glowing stupor as I ate. I hadn’t taken anything for the pain in my arm, but as my empty stomach expanded in grateful relief, I more or less quit noticing it.
“Will ye have another bowl?” Jamie asked, as I swallowed the last spoonful. “Ye’ll need your strength kept up.” Not waiting for an answer, he uncovered the small tureen Murphy had sent, and refilled the bowl. […]
“What kind of soup is this?” The last spoonful had left a delightful, lingering taste on my tongue; the next revived the full flavor.
“Turtle; Stern took a big hawksbill last night. He sent word he’s saving ye the shell to make combs of, for your hair.” […]
Fergus is on his honeymoon,” I protested. “You shouldn’t make him do it. Is this really turtle soup? I never had it before. It’s marvelous.”
Jamie was unmoved by contemplation of Fergus’s tender state.
“Aye, well, he’ll be wed a long time,” he said callously. “Do him no harm to keep his breeches on for one night. And they do say that abstinence makes the heart grow firmer, no?”
“Absence,” I said dodging the spoon for a moment. “And fonder. If anything’s growing firmer from abstinence, it wouldn’t be his heart.”
“That’s very bawdy talk for a respectable marrit woman,” Jamie said reprovingly, sticking the spoon in my mouth. “And inconsiderate, forbye.”
I swallowed. “Inconsiderate?”
“I’m a wee bit firm myself at the moment,” he replied evenly, dipping and spooning. “What wi’ you sitting there wi’ your hair loose and your nipples starin’ me in the eye, the size of cherries.”
I glanced down involuntarily, and the next spoon bumped my nose. Jamie clicked his tongue, and picking up a cloth, briskly blotted my bosom with it. It was quite true that my shift was made of thin cotton, and even when dry, reasonably easy to see through.
“It’s not as though you haven’t seen them before,” I said, amused.
He laid down the cloth and raise his brows.
“I have drunk water every day since I was weaned,” he pointed out. “It doesna mean I canna be thirsty, still.” He picked up the spoon. “You’‘ll have a wee bit more?”
“No, thanks,” I said, dodging the oncoming spoon. “I want to hear more about this firmness of yours.”