Thanksgiving quotes from the OUTLANDER books

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who are celebrating today! Here are some Thanksgiving-themed quotes from the OUTLANDER books. This has become an annual tradition here on Outlandish Observations, and I hope you enjoy them!


If you haven't read all of the OUTLANDER books, you will encounter spoilers below! Read at your own risk.

Turkey in the wild

1) Roger and Brianna, hunting turkeys:

"What a thing," he said. He held it at arm's length to drain, admiring the vivid reds and blues of the bare, warty head and dangling wattle. "I don't think I've ever seen one, save roasted on a platter, with chestnut dressing and roast potatoes."

He looked from the turkey to her with great respect, and nodded at the gun.

"That's great shooting, Bree."

She felt her cheeks flush with pleasure, and restrained the urge to say, "Aw, shucks, it warn't nothin'," settling instead for a simple, "Thanks."

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 20, "Shooting Lessons". Copyright © 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

I love this scene, especially for Roger's reaction. He's a little taken aback by her shooting skills, but his ego doesn't seem to be threatened by the fact that she's better at hunting (providing food for the family) than he is.

basket of produce

2) Claire and Jamie receiving gifts from the local Native Americans, very much in the spirit of the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving:

Once the official introductions were over, Nacognaweto motioned to Berthe, who obediently brought out the large bundle she had carried, and opened it at my feet, displaying a large basket of orange and green-striped squash, a string of dried fish, a smaller basket of yams, and a huge pile of Indian corn, shucked and dried on the cob.

“My God,” I murmured. “The return of Squanto!”

Everyone gave me a blank look, and I hastened to smile and make exclamations--thoroughly heartfelt--of joy and pleasure over the gifts. It might not get us through the whole winter, but it was enough to augment our diet for a good two months.

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 20, "The White Raven". Copyright © 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

Colonial Williamsburg desserts

3) Jocasta and Duncan's wedding feast:

"Can ye not decide where to begin, Sassenach?" He reached down and took the empty wineglass from her hand, taking advantage of the movement to come close against her back, feeling the warmth of her through his clothes.

She laughed, and swayed back against him, leaning on his arm. She smelled faintly of rice powder and warm skin, with the scent of rose hips in her hair.

"I'm not even terribly hungry. I was just counting the jellies and preserves. There are thirty-seven different ones--unless I've missed my count."

He spared a glance for the table, which did indeed hold a bewildering array of silver dishes, porcelain bowls, and wooden platters, groaning with more food than would feed a Highland village for a month.

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 46, "Quicksilver". Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

Most major holiday dinners give me this same feeling, although I can't say I've ever seen thirty-seven different varieties of *anything* at one meal before. <g>

cooking over an open hearth

4) The "hearth blessing" on Fraser's Ridge:

We blessed the hearth two days later, standing in the wall-less cabin. Myers had removed his hat, from respect, and Ian had washed his face. Rollo was present, too, as was the small white pig, who was required to attend as the personification of our "flocks," despite her objections; the pig saw no point in being removed from her meal of acorns to participate in a ritual so notably lacking in food.

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 19, "Hearth Blessing". Copyright © 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

Considering how successful that little homestead on the Ridge would prove to be, I think there must have been something extra-powerful in that blessing. <g> And I love the mention of the little white piglet, who will grow up to become the infamous White Sow. If this blessing was intended to ensure fertility on the part of that sow, it succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

Re-enactor at Colonial Williamsburg

5) The Selkirk Grace:

[Hamish] glared round the table to insure that everyone was in a properly reverential attitude before bowing his own head. Satisfied, he intoned,

"Some hae meat that canna eat,
And some could eat that want it.
We hae meat, and we can eat,
And so may God be thankit.

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 6, "Colum's Hall". Copyright © 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

6) And finally, here's a quote for all of you who are in charge of preparing the Thanksgiving feast this year. Make sure you take a little time for yourself, to relax and eat!

People were eating at trestle tables and on the grass, on the porch and the steps, and the delectable smells of roast pork and cinnamon cake, laced with whisky fumes, perfumed the air.

My stomach rumbled suddenly, and Jamie, who had come out of the house behind me, laughed.

“Have ye no eaten anything at all yet, Sassenach?”

“Well…no. I was busy.”

“Well, now ye’re not,” he said firmly, and handed me the plate of buttered corn, fresh roast pork, and yams with chestnuts he was holding. “Sit down and eat, a nighean. Ye’re run off your feet.”

“Well, but there’s still--” I swallowed a mouthful of saliva. “Well, maybe--”

He took my elbow and led me to my rocking chair, this temporarily empty. I sat, suddenly grateful for the throb of relief that shot up from my ankles to the back of my neck. Jamie put the plate on my lap and thrust a fork into my hand.

“Ye’re no going anywhere, Sassenach, until ye’ve eaten that, so dinna be telling me otherwise. Jem! Bring your grannie some nut bread and some of the peach cobbler--wi’ a good bit o’ cream on it.”

“I—that’s--well...if you insist...” I smiled up at him, forked up a bite of honeyed yams, and closed my eyes, giving myself up to ecstasy.

(From GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 155, "Quaker Wedding, Redux". Copyright © 2021 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

Happy Thanksgiving! (And to those of you outside the U.S., best wishes for the holiday season.)


Anonymous said...

Thank You

MCatherine said...

Perfectly shared. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving.

MCatherine said...

Perfectly shared. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving.

Powered by Blogger.