Pasatiempo - - SCOTTISH DELIGHT -

When one thinks Scot­land, one does not think fine cui­sine. Kilts and heather, yes. Bag­pipes, var­i­ous plaids, and clan blood feuds, ab­so­lutely. And if you, like so many oth­ers, have fallen un­der the time­trav­el­ing spell of ei­ther the TV show or the novel se­ries Out­lander by Diana Ga­bal­don, you im­me­di­ately think of strap­ping young men whis­per­ing to horses and fight­ing with rapiers while wear­ing a pleas­antly torn shirt.

But food — well, Scot­land is per­haps most no­table for its na­tional dish, hag­gis, a stom­ach-churn­ing dare con­sist­ing of a sheep’s stom­ach stuffed with of­fal (that’s or­gan meats), oat­meal, and fat that is boiled for hours. But Scot­land is also the home of scones and meat pies and leek dumplings and roasted pota­toes. This is all food to stick to your in­sides af­ter a romp in the heath, to warm your soul against howl­ing winds and the damp of a drafty cas­tle.

Like many pe­riod pieces, the Out­lander se­ries con­tains many ref­er­ences to food — be­cause, between all that romp­ing, a girl’s gotta eat. Fol­low­ing hero­ine Claire and her lover Jamie through the Bri­tish Isles over to France and through time to post­war Bri­tain and back again, pro­fes­sional chef (and Out­lander fan) Theresa Car­leSan­ders cre­ated the web­site www.out­landerk­, a source for the dishes men­tioned in the books and on the show, as well as oth­ers that the char­ac­ters prob­a­bly de­vour off-cam­era as well. And now the web­site has spawned a book, Out­lander Kitchen: The Of­fi­cial Out­lander Com­pan­ion Cook­book (Dela­corte Press, 2016) with a fore­word by Ga­bal­don her­self.

The recipes are more or less pe­riod ap­pro­pri­ate, although Carle-San­ders has ad­justed them to be easy and ap­peal­ing to the mod­ern palate — there is no as­pic in this book, and noth­ing re­quires hours of spit-roast­ing. The book be­gins with break­fast, with such dishes as Mrs. FitzGib­bon’s Overnight Par­rich (a ref­er­ence to the house­keeper of Cas­tle Leoch) — a tra­di­tional prepa­ra­tion of steel-cut oats made with but­ter and cin­na­mon, ex­actly what you’d ex­pect from a Scot­tish cook­book. There’s also Young Ian’s Sage and Gar­lic Sausage, an easy-to-fol­low prepa­ra­tion of break­fast sausage in cas­ing that you can use in the sub­se­quent Bangers and Mash with Slow-Cooked Onion Gravy recipe. It con­tin­ues along to Mrs. Gra­ham’s Oat­meal Scones with Clot­ted Cream (the tea-house treat you dream about af­ter watch­ing the lat­est episode), Fish Pie at the Lilling­tons’ (a per­fectly tra­di­tional Bri­tish prepa­ra­tion) and, of course, Shep­herd’s Pie with ground lamb.

Not all the dishes are Scot­tish — Claire and Jamie get around over the course of the se­ries. There are English dishes too, like Drunken Mock-Tur­tle Soup (sub­bing in ox­tail for the en­dan­gered species) and South­ern dishes like Mr. Wil­loughby’s Co­ral Knob (a pi­mento cheese dip). With Roast Beef for a Wed­ding Feast, you can even share the din­ner Claire and Jamie en­joyed right be­fore get­ting to know each other in ev­ery­one’s fa­vorite chap­ter of book one. — Tantri Wija

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