SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have reached Chapter 22 in The Fiery Cross.
Let me tell you why Diana Gabaldon is such a fantastic writer: She makes you feel the story. I have spent countless hours reading these books and being uncomfortable. Or nervous. Or downright scared.
Right now I am feeling uneasy. And annoyed. And claustrophobic. Why? Because there are WAY too many house guests at Fraser's Ridge. The women woke up to empty beds; the men have all disappeared. To go hunting - or train - or something of that nature... which is what I'm assuming along with the wives. And the wives and kids are all sitting around the huge table, eating breakfast. Claire is taking mental notes of what food is still available in the pantries and cellars - and she's starting to get worried. And so am I. These people came along... and set up camp... and Mrs. Bug feeds them all nonstop... but has ANYONE caught anything lately? And they only have finite supplies of things like butter or raisins or parritch, etc.
And speaking of feeding them - has anyone noticed what big meals they eat for people who are low on supplies and sharing one household? Mrs. Bug is making them breakfast... just the women and children, no less... and it consists of toast and jam... sausage... porridge... raisin cake... and coffee. And now she's heading for the cellar to get some potatoes for the Muellers (who wouldn't be allowed in my house after the scalping incident; but that's just me. Yeah yeah, it was "the times".) How about just a bowl of porridge and some coffee or water - and we'll save the cake and sausage for another day? Add some eggs and it's like a Grand Slam Breakfast! For moms and kids! My kids should eat so well every morning!
A few things you might want to know (all info and photos came from Wikipedia):
Head cheese (AmE) or Brawn (BrE) is a cold cut originating in Europe. Another version pickled with vinegar is known as souse. Head cheese is not a cheese but a meat jelly made with pieces from the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow) in aspic. It may contain onion, black pepper, allspice, bay leaf, salt, and vinegar. It may also include meat from the feet, tongue, and heart. It is usually eaten cold or at room temperature as a luncheon meat.
Corn dollies are a form of straw work made as part of harvest customs of Europe before mechanisation.
Hieronymus Bosch (English pronunciation: /ˌhaɪəˈrɒnəməs bɒʃ/, Dutch: [ɦieːˈɾoːniməs ˈbɔs]; born Jeroen Anthoniszoon van Aken [jəˈrun ɑnˈtoːnɪsoːn vɑn ˈaːkə(n)]; c. 1450 – August 9, 1516) was an Early Netherlandish painter of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The artist's work is well-known for the use of fantastic imagery to illustrate moral and religious concepts and narratives.