Friday, August 16, 2019

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



Updated, we have the book cover... 

Now in pre-order




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 Outlanderkitchen.com 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
Phaedre
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 Outlanderkitchen.com 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


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