Outlandish Fun with Bannocks and Biscuits, Parritch and Kilts (+ a holiday blog break)

Don your kilts and pour yourself a wee dram.  Today we’re serving up a little festive cheer à la Outlander.

Sláinte Mhath! Cheers!

While others may be channeling elves, sugarplum fairies, and red-nosed reindeer, we in the Alphabet Soup kitchen are getting our Scots on. 

Je suis prest. Et vous?

Ever since experiencing a long Scot summer binge-watching the Outlander TV series and taking a deep dive into Diana Gabaldon’s novels, all we can think about is men in kilts fascinating Scottish history time traveling between the 18th and 20th centuries.

Central characters Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) contemplate potatoes.

You can really work up an appetite falling through the stones and zipping around places like Boston, Inverness, Edinburgh, Paris, Jamaica, and North Carolina. Thank goodness for the fortifying recipes in Theresa Carle-Sanders’s Outlander Kitchen cookbooks

Based in Pender Island, Canada, chef and diehard Outlander fan Carle-Sanders has done a wonderful job of creating cookbooks true to the series with a blend of historical recipes adapted for modern palates, along with her own creative, period appropriate dishes that reflect two centuries and the cuisines of several different countries (no small feat!). 

Whenever whisky appears in this post, you must sip!

Suffice to say, Gabaldon’s generous bounty of culinary references in the series is a literary feast par excellence. Characters wet their whistles with ale, grog, tea, hot chocolate, brandy, wine, cider, and of course, lots and lots of whisky. 

The Fraser family at the Ridge, North Carolina.

They feast on pheasant, venison, beef, ham, oysters, hares, lamb, chickens, mussels, boar, fish, eels, and haggis, as well as Hershey bars with almonds, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruitcakes, crumblies, tatties, pasties, sausages, nightingales (!) and rolls stuffed with pigeon and truffles, to name a few.

Claire Fraser serves 20th century PBJ sandwiches to her 18th century family (via Outlander Cast).
Jamie eats his with a knife and fork (via Outlander Cast).

Whether a bowl of restorative cock-a-leekie soup cooked in a big kettle outdoors at Lallybroch, or an elaborate, multi-course supper at the Palace at Versailles, Outlander food is its own character, telling stories of people, places, history, culture and heritage. Truly sensory-rich and satisfying! 

Dining at Versailles.

So, are you up for a few poems, a nourishing breakfast, a modest afternoon tea? Relax, enjoy, and give your bagpipes a good squeeze!


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some like it scot and a blog birthday

Happy September, Mah Bonnie Lads and Lassies. Yes, we’re back!

Hope you had a nice summer doing whatever it is that makes you happiest, and that you’ve stayed safe and well. 

Please help yourself to some waffles in celebration of our 14th blogiversary. Did you know the first full week of September is National Waffle Week (not to be confused with National Waffle Day on August 24, or World Waffle Day on March 25)? 

When it comes to waffles, the more the merrier. We love that there are so many cool waffle makers out there to ramp up the fun. Mr Cornelius just scored this aqua mini waffler that makes yummy flowers. Pretty cute, no?

So, 14 years of blogging — 4 years at LiveJournal and 10 years here at WordPress. LJ wasn’t so much a platform for public-facing blogs as it was a water cooler environment for writers. I’m glad I started there because it enabled me to gradually find my voice in a very supportive community and connect with like-minded authors, some of whom have become good friends.

Ten years at WordPress has helped me refine the content of Alphabet Soup and expand its reach beyond the kidlitosphere. As long as there is more to learn and interesting people to “meet,” I’ll keep blogging. Besides, what better excuse to play with my toys and dishes? 🙂

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