I first read Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, in 2001, after walking away from a corporate middle-management job that I couldn’t live with anymore. I remember being immediately entranced by the story, and devouring it all the way through to the end of The Fiery Cross, the last book available in the series at the time.
I was in the middle of my second reread, now including the sixth book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, when my husband and I uprooted our life in Vancouver to relocate to a small, semi-rural island two hours off the mainland.
The books and I stayed close to each other in the following years, and eventually, (after graduating from culinary school), a very special tray of rolls stuffed with pigeon and truffles at Madame Jeanne’s in Voyager spontaneously popped into my thoughts while walking in the woods with the dog one morning. After a few months of experimenting with Outlander recipes, I started my blog, OutlanderKitchen, in 2010.
I’ve read many an open thank-you on social media to Diana, from fans in the midst of life transitions like mine, to those grieving the death of a loved one, to survivors recovering from health or other trauma, everyone grateful to her, and Outlander, for providing an escape from real life and an opportunity to find comfort in Claire Randall Fraser’s happenstance adventure. There are dozens of spinoff sites in addition to my own, including Outlander Herbal, Outlander Anatomy, and My Outlander Adventure.
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And while the beauty of her writing and the depth of her characters’ love undoubtedly keep us coming back time and again, I believe it is Diana’s refusal to shy away from the uglier parts of the human condition that connects many of us so completely to her fantastical story. No situation is too raw; she navigates the way with the help of evocative, sensory-rich language, flawed characters that reflect our own selves, and deft touches of humor, even in the darkest moments. It’s real life, despite the time travel.
I am thrilled that Outlander Kitchen: the Official Outlander Companion Cookbook gives fans another opportunity to connect with their favorite story. Cooks and readers embark on a culinary journey through 100+ authentic historical recipes, modern interpretations and creative, character-inspired dishes from Outlander through A Breath of Snow and Ashes. Tested, doable and delicious recipes sit nestled between pages rich with Outlander excerpts and mouth-watering photos, making Outlander Kitchen as at home on the kitchen counter as it is balanced on a fan’s lap in a quiet, candlelit corner, while they flip through page after page, bringing Outlander to life here in the 21st Century.