Friday, August 16, 2019

New World Cooking With Outlander Kitchen! An Interview with Theresa Carle-Sanders.

In the New World, there is always something simmering on the hearth!
Outlander Homepage originals written by Nancy McGehee Fontenot 

Outlander Homepage first sat down to chat with Theresa Carle-Sanders about her then, soon to be published cookbook, Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook, (aka OK1 for this article) in December of 2015.
If you don't know who Theresa Carle-Sanders is, please correct that immediately by going to the amazing blog, website, and virtual kitchen she created, based on the foods and meals, described in Diana Gabaldon's beloved Outlander novel series.  Diana, herself wrote the forward for OK1, and even if your culinary talents are severely lacking, there are recipes for all skill levels, plus it's a very entertaining read. Theresa Carle-Sanders brings another dimension to the books we all love through the very thing that unites families, friends, and strangers... food.

Theresa-Carle Sanders

Now, three years later, Theresa is hard at work bringing us a second cookbook, Outlander Kitchen - Journey to the New World and Back Again: The Second Official Outlander Kitchen Cookbook. (OK2)  Through the powers of email, and instant messaging, we were able to catch up with Theresa to ask her a few questions about her new cookbook, slated for publication summer of 2020.  Pour a cup of coffee, grab a snack, and join us for a chat.

Outlander Homepage: What was your inspiration for writing a second Outlander Kitchen cookbook?
Theresa Carle-Sanders: In my Introduction to Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook (OK1), I told the story of how I dreamed up Outlander Kitchen on a long walk in the woods with the dog, here on Pender Island. The story of Outlander Kitchen - Journey to the New World and Back Again: The Second Official Outlander Kitchen Cookbook (OK2) is strikingly similar. Koda and I were on another walk in the woods in 2018 when thoughts of Lord John Grey, arguably my favourite character from the books, rekindled my smoldering love affair with Outlander.  Lord John is always up to something, even off the pages. His unmarried status, independent means, and devotion to defending the down trodden mean his life is never boring. OK2 features over 100 recipes inspired by the Lord John series, as well as Echo in the Bone, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, and the remaining short stories from Seven Stones to Stand and Fall. 

Outlander Homepage:  I think Lord John Grey is everyone's favorite character! In our emails, we talked about current food trends. Farm to table/clean eating/gluten free, and Keto, for example, aren't that different from the 18th century eating methods of a hunter gatherer, and agriculture that was basic survival back then. How does this new cookbook highlight that, and bridge the gap between then and now?

Theresa Carle-Sanders: Journey to the New World Back Again reflects the characters physical travel between Europe and North America, as well as their temporal journeys through time. In addition, the book plays with old ingredients and new, and gives Outlander fans of all dietary persuasions lots of alternatives to make almost every recipe accessible to everyone.

Outlander Homepage: It seems 18th century living any where in the world demanded a constant fire in the hearth, and a pot bubbling at all times, filled with ingredients added as they became available. Also, rarely was anything ever wasted, so it would seem to me that many recipes evolved into new recipes/dishes with this method of adding things to the pot when given the opportunity to stretch a meal, or make something taste better. What are your thoughts on this?

Theresa Carle-Sanders: There is nothing better, especially on a cold winter’s night, than a soup or stew that has bubbled all day on the hearth, the stove top, or in the slow cooker, except, maybe a bowl of that same meal the next day. My practical mother taught me how to re-purpose everything in the kitchen, and I try to waste little as I can. Just like OK1, the Notes at the end of each recipe in OK2 give tips and hints to help cooks get the most they can out of their ingredients and leftovers.

Outlander Homepage  Getting the most out of leftovers is important, especially considering most families are crunched for time, and on a budget, which leads to my next question. Without today's modern conveniences,eighteenth century prep time for certain dishes could be time consuming. Yet, considering the time, and attention to each meal/dish, food likely tasted better. Do you think modern kitchen gadgets/technology, and shortcuts take away from, rather than enhance the flavor of food? For example: Using a mixer with dough hooks instead of kneading by hand.

Claire's Beans and Sass

Theresa Carle-Sanders: I have long been an advocate for using modern conveniences when they work with you. I have used a stand mixer for years because kneading, which is one of the most rewarding and stress-relieving activities humans can perform, now triggers my carpal tunnel.
With that said, no matter how a meal comes together, I believe it’s important for the cook to give it their undivided attention if only for a few minutes. Treat the ingredients with respect. Taste, season as you go, and taste again. When it’s ready, infuse it with goodwill and serve it with love. Turn off the TV, phones, and tablets, and take the time to eat slowly, whether you’re alone, or sitting around the table with family and friends.

 Outlander Homepage:  Excellent advice! Breaking bread together is a very socially intimate activity, and it's hard to enjoy good food, and good company with a smart phone in one's hand! So, since we are on the subject of gathering folks around the table, let's pretend that you are going to cook for 12 of your favorite Outlander characters. Which one of the eight novels would you choose for your setting, and which recipes/dishes would you serve?

Theresa Carle Sanders: My guest list is as follows:

Frank Randall
Mother Hildegaard
Master Raymond
Murdina Bug
Lord John
Minnie Grey
Harry Quarry
Mrs. Baird
Comte St. Germain
Hiram Crombie
Dougal MacKenzie

Outlander Homepage: Holy cow! I hope weapons are checked at the door! Hahaha! Talk about a motley crew! I would love to be a fly on the wall at this dinner party! 

Theresa Carle-Sanders: Did my choices give it away? I like eccentrics and trouble makers – their irreverence can really liven up a party. And while the setting will be lush and the food plentiful, (think of River Run in A Breath of Snow and Ashes), I have a number of questions for each of my guests, and I will have the answers. 

Outlander Hompage:  This sounds like fodder for another of Diana's short stories! Maybe she could use some of those questions and answers. Of course, your delicious food would keep everyone's attention on their plates. I'm envisioning an incredible spread.

Lord John Grey's Yorkshire Pudding
Theresa Carle-Sanders: I’d serve recipes inspired by my guests and the time, a mix from both OK1 and OK2, such as The Comte St. Germain’s Poison, Master Raymond’s Frog Legs, John Grey’s Yorkshire Pudding, Ragout of Beef with Oysters, Succotash, and Cranachan. The whisky and wine would flow freely, and as a bonus for dessert, we’d ask special surprise guest Stephen Bonnet to charm us with his sparkling smile, and perhaps an jig, as we feast upon his Salted Chocolate Balls.

Outlander Homepage: That's one soiree that will certainly make the society pages!!! Outlander Kitchen will soon have two published cookbooks to it's credit, as well as your increasingly popular blog, and website. Any new projects in the works, or waiting on the back burner? Any possibility for an Outlander Kitchen restaurant?

Theresa Carle-Sanders: I’ve been brainstorming a new project since the start of this year. Because I’m been so busy with OK2, my new project time is currently limited to pondering new ideas while – you guessed it - on long walks in the woods with the dog.  I’m not ready to share any details as of yet, because it is still very much in the development stage, but I’m excited about the possibilities.

I am also kicking around the idea of doing some Outlander cooking classes. I’m more of a teacher than a restaurateur – that’s a very risky, high stress, 24/7, and expensive business.

Outlander themed cooking classes would be awesome! Sign me up! As always, it has been a delight visiting with you, Theresa. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. I love my copy of the first cookbook, and the three of us that admin Outlander Homepage are excited about this new book coming in 2020!

Book fan, show fan, or both, if you haven't checked out Outlander Kitchen, you are missing out on the total Outlander experience.  Theresa Carle-Sanders really outdoes herself with the recipes, and makes it possible for anyone, no matter their cooking skills, to bring the world of the Fraser's to their table. So, make sure to visit for updates on release dates for Outlander Kitchen - Journey to the New World and Back Again: The Second Official Outlander Kitchen Cookbook. 

While there you can pick up a copy of Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook, and start planning the menu for your Outlander Season Five premiere party.

Slὰinte Mhath!

Nancy McGehee Fontenot

Friday, August 9, 2019

It's been 5 years of Outlander on Starz

Caitriona and Sam tell us how they felt during season one, what they didnt know, (they were walking into) until they escaped their bubble (filming) and saw just how many viewers really watched the show during season one! Needless to say, they were happily surprised....

Tell us where you were in your life when you found Outlander, and what you're up to now!

Happy anniversary cast, crew and production!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

“Infinite Circle” - An interview with singer/songwriter and Outlander fan, Allie Aro by your Aussie Blogging Lass

Since the publication of “Outlander” in 1991, the story of Claire and Jamie Fraser has inspired many fans to create unique products. From dolls to needlework, jewellery to clothing, each creation is a testament to the power of Diana Gabaldon’s words. Outlander fans already know of the stirring TV series soundtracks that have been created by Bear McCreary, but what about other Outlander music? Singer/songwriter and recent Outlander devotee, Allie Aro, has just released her new single, “Infinite Circle”, which was inspired by moments from season 4. Luckily for us here at Outlander Homepage, Allie agreed to talk to us about its creation.

We began by asking Allie a little bit about herself. 

“I have been singing my whole life,” Allie told us, “but around the age of 10, I picked up the guitar and could not put it down. I found myself naturally loving to perform in front of people and started to write songs about what I took away from experiences, whether I was directly involved or not. I wanted to emotionally own my songs, so I used writing as a way to cope and understand things around me. The first song I wrote, “Last Goodbye”, was based on a horrible shooting tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  I wrote it because I needed those children to be able to say goodbye to their loved ones. 

At the age of 13, I started to take the business a little more seriously and started opening for bands in the Midwest region of the United States. Then, when I turned 15, I began traveling down to Nashville, Tennessee, to write with hit songwriters, take publishing meetings, and record my very first album under “Allie Louise”. 

Over the course of this journey, I’ve evolved and matured in my creative process and have now discovered the sound that I always wanted my music to have. So, at 20, I have rebranded my stage name to something more fitting: “Allie Aro”. I chose “Aro” because it is part of my original last name and the concepts of family and honour are very important to me. My logo also shows an arrow through a diamond, which represents strength and determination. Coincidentally, those characteristics also represent Claire. You can hear this sound in my latest single “Infinite Circle”.

Knowing that “Infinite Circle” is directly inspired by Outlander, we wondered how Allie come to love the story. 

“I discovered Outlander through my boyfriend’s mother,” Allie replied. “One night when I went over to his house, she was watching one of the last episodes of season 4. I was so intrigued that I started watching it right away and was hooked by the storyline. Just like the hook of a song, I couldn’t get it out of my head and I may or may not have watched all 4 seasons in one weekend!  I am now currently on the second book. Before the idea of a song even occurred to me, I started promoting the series to all my friends, family, fans, and anyone willing to listen.”

But it didn’t take long before Allie was inspired to link Outlander to her own music, courtesy of the opening episode from season 4.

In Episode 1 of Season 4, Stephen Bonnet says ‘ I have always been partial to rings…There’s something about the notion of an infinite circle that fascinates me.’  Claire also opens up the episode talking about how she knows how a circle can affect one’s life or death better than anyone. For some reason, the idea of an “infinite circle” just stuck with me,” Allie explained.  “I thought that it would be so intriguing to make it into a song. When I sat down to write it on the piano, I knew instantly that I wanted to write about Claire and Jamie’s love story. It is so beautiful and breathtaking, but it is also is a challenge to find the right words to describe it.”

We asked Allie to talk us through the process of creating her latest song.

“I was traveling to Nashville, Tennessee the week after I got the idea, and I knew that I wanted to write the song with Doug Kahan,” Allie told us. “I have been writing with Doug since I was 15, and he is a romantic at heart, so I knew he wouldn’t think I was crazy when I was telling him what I wanted to write about!

 Once I got to our session, I had most of the song already written. I had the melody, the chorus, chords, and some lines for the verses here and there, so it was more about putting the pieces together. The process of writing a song can be different for each individual songwriter, but this process is usually how I write mine. We were able to write the song fairly quickly, which then allowed us to record it that day. I wasn’t actually planning on releasing it, but Doug did such an amazing job with the production and, after playing it live multiple times, it was highly requested.”

So are any more Outlander themed songs on the horizon?

“I am hopeful that there will be more Outlander themed singles,” Allie said. “It is hard to say, because I am currently only on the second book and I know there is so much more that is going to happen with the series. But I don’t doubt that once I watch Season 5 and get farther into the books that something will spark again!”

Finally, we asked Allie what was coming up next for her.

“I have 3 more singles left to release off of my EP “Bring On The Moon,” and then I will be releasing a Christmas song I wrote about my hometown,” Allie replied. “I’ve completed two years of University, but I know in my heart that I want music to be my career. I will be continuing to perform, write and travel to Nashville, Tennessee, so I can pursue my dream. I wrote this song just for me, but found that it touched many others, so my hope is that this song reaches Outlander fans all across the world.  I would love to perform this song live for them and meet people who share my love for this series. 

To stay up to date on what is new, please follow me on my socials:
Instagram: @AllieAroMusic
Twitter: @AllieAro
Facebook: Allie Aro

And of course, to get your very own copy of “Infinite Circle”, go to:

From AllieAro on Instagram 

We would like to thank Allie for chatting with us and wish her every success with her future career!

This interview was compiled by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher-librarian who lives in Australia and also loves to sing! 

Monday, June 3, 2019

David Berry answers a few questions for the Outlander Untold edition DVD release

From Vimeo, Outlander behind the scenes... season four
Full video

From the David Berry Q&A on Instagram thank you Outlander Obsessed...

Some videos are duplicate, thank you to all sources on Instagram, especially Outlander Obsessed!

For your EMMY consideration!

Starz made an event out of their EMMY entries! STARZ FYC...

Panels, exhibits, fashion shows, from their star studded cast of characters. Each category entered into the EMMY race from the Spanish Princess, Outlander, American Gods, Power, Counterpart (just to name a few) appeared at a Westfield mall in LA... Set Designers to Actors... they were all there...

Here is the full Starz FYC

Full panel from YouTube "updated..

Here is the 34 minute video from Outlander Vancouver

From the panel

Video from Outlander SoCal Caitriona talks about the costumes of every season..

From the Outlander fashion show

Video by Jill Millander of Outlander SoCal

Also, Outlander had an interactive exhibit show room.. Here is a video by Outlander SoCal's Jill Millander...

Thank you to the Outlander SoCal ladies, who ALWAYS cover the Outlander LA events..