bowl of porridge inspired by Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Mrs Fitz's Porridge from Outlander

"Weel now, that's verra gude.  Now, ye've just time for a wee bite, then I must take you to himself."

"Himself?"  I said.  I didn't care for the sound of this.  Whoever Himself was, he was likely to ask difficult questions.

"Why, the MacKenzie to be sure.  Whoever else?"

Who else indeed?  Castle Leoch, I dimly recalled, was in the middle of the clan MacKenzie lands.  Plainly the clan chieftain was still the MacKenzie.  I began to understand why our little band of horsemen had ridden through the night to reach the castle; this would be a place of impregnable safety to men pursued by the Crown's men.  No English officer with a grain of sense would lead his men so deeply into the clan lands.  To do so was to risk death by ambush at the first clump of trees.  And only a good-sized army would come as far as the castle gates.  I was trying to remember whether in fact the English army ever had come so far, when I suddenly realized that the eventual fate of the castle was much less relevant than my immediate future.

I had no appetite for the bannocks and parritch that Mrs. FitzGibbons had brought for my breakfast, but crumbled a bit and pretended to eat, in order to gain some time for thought.  By the time Mrs. Fitz came back to conduct me to the MacKenzie, I had cobbled together a rough plan.

Diana Gabaldon, Outlander, chapter 5, "The MacKenzie"

Porridge.  Parritch.  And, over on this side of the pond, oatmeal.  However you say it (parritch is the most fun), it's easy to make -- maybe a little too easy for a food blog -- but, when it comes down to it, where else could Outlander Kitchen begin?  I mean, really?

And I have no doubt that we'll find ourselves coming back to the porridge bowl for another helping (and recipe) at some point -- there's a lot of different types of oats and ways to prepare them out there -- but we've got time for steel-cut and whole groats later.  Today, we're going to start with the common rolled oat, sometimes sold as oatmeal.  It's as ubiquitous on the modern grocery store shelf as parritch was on Jamie's breakfast table.


Speaking of Mr. Fraser, since there is certainly no shortage of references to him eating parritch across DG's 7 Outlander tomes, you may be wondering why I picked this particular excerpt.  You'd think I'd want to start with a scene that includes Jamie -- he's the star of the show for most of us, isn't he?

Well,'s in these pages where the adventure started for me as a first-time reader.  Every time I've read them since (I'll admit to a few), I can remember my initial excitement and how I devoured it all: the uncertainty of Claire's predicament, the mystery of the castle and the previous night spent on Jamie's lap, crying into his chest.


As for the food, this is Mrs. Fitz's everyday parritch, which means that, although it's made basic with just water, it's hearty, well seasoned and lump free.  Really, Claire should have tried to get a little more down -- she's going to need her strength -- because when Colum mac Campbell is the MacKenzie, difficult questions are just the beginning.


Show/Hide Comments


02 Nov 2011 - 6:38pm


Looks fantastic and the pictures are great!!!


Thanks so much Susie...porridge can be tricky to make look appetizing! Theresa

02 Nov 2011 - 7:43pm

The Mom Chef …

Oh man. I've not read any of these books in so long and now you've brought them all rushing back and I'm going to have to start with book one to remind myself of the whole story again. When does the next book come out?nnI love, love, love your porridge. I can't believe you pulled off such a great looking bowl of the stuff. Personally, I think if it HAD looked the way you have it, Claire would have devoured it.nnI like my porridge made with milk, with a tablespoon of sugar and some yellow raisins. Once it's done, I sprinkle on some brown sugar. Yeah, sugar, sugar all over.


Christiane - thanks for dropping by my newest project! Yes, you must begin a reread of the books today. Right now, in fact. Savour them slowly though, as you have some time until DG gets all polished up...nI think our sweet teeth of today would have a real shock if we did get catapulted back in time - this was my first time eating buttered, salted porridge - and I think next time we all get together for a bowl, there will at least be some honey in it. ;)

02 Nov 2011 - 7:46pm

The Mom Chef …

(Make this easier on me. Get a stumble button.) :)

02 Nov 2011 - 9:05pm


Ah, Outlander is one of the best books. I can't wait to try this recipe! nnBut just a side note, 1 cup in the States is roughly 240 ml, (237) not 300 ml.nn["How do you like your Jamie, oops! I mean porridge?"] Haha


Oops again...Thanks for the correction -- that little error slipped through the -- recipe fixed! Theresa

02 Nov 2011 - 9:34pm

Julia Marks Zuniga

Thanks for posting this! Do you have a brand of rolled oats you prefer?


Julia -- great to have you here! I must confess that because I live on a small island (pop. 2200) and our grocery store is pretty small, I don't see all of the brands that are out there. I really like Bob's Red Mill brand of almost anything (organic), but I also also have plain old Quaker Rolled Oats in my cupboard pretty much all of the time.nnDoes anyone else out there have a favourite?


Quaker for oats & grits. Bob's Red Mill for just about everything else. Almond meal, soy flour, unsweetened coconut, & quinoa so far. I may have spelt flour too.

02 Nov 2011 - 11:04pm

Karen Henry

Congratulations on the launch of the new site! I just posted an announcement on my blog about it (


Many thanks, Karen -- I think I must have been over commenting on your site at the same time you were here! What can we say but great minds think alike...Theresa

Karen Henry

Absolutely! LOL. I think the OUTLANDER bloggers need to support each other. :-)

03 Nov 2011 - 12:16am


What a great idea, Outlander food. I think I am going to love this site!

03 Nov 2011 - 2:55am


I love your site - what a fantastic idea! I will link to you at My Outlander Purgatory. :) Thanks to Karen (Outlandish Observations) for the great find!


Thanks so much Carol! Once I'm a little more organized, I'll have a blogroll up with a link back to you and Karen too...Theresa

03 Nov 2011 - 12:22pm


I found your blog a few days ago through a blog of a blog. I'm loving it so far! Thank you for the excerpts and great recipes!


It's my pleasure, Just Heather -- look I made a rhyme! I hope to see you back here soon...Theresa

Marilyn Shearer

Marilyn ShearerI'm trying to find out what "brose" is. Is it like oatmeal?


Marilyn, It's a quick-cooked oatmeal. Generally made with boiling water, and allowed to sit for 5-10 minutes before consuming.

03 Nov 2011 - 2:04pm

Jennifer W

How ironic! I was just on my favorite OUTLANDER forum and hour ago- my usual morning routine, taking a minute before work to browse my favorite sites, that and foodgawker... and look what i stumbled upon! PLEASE keep up the posts- I cant wait to tell my other foodie/Outlander friends:)!


What a great way to start both of our days! Thanks for stopping by -- I hope to post a new recipe and excerpt once/week -- see you again soon? Theresa

03 Nov 2011 - 6:30pm


Theresa - hello and thanks for posting a link on LOL - which is where I saw it first. Love the fact that the first recipe is for parritch - and it reminded me of a time when my siblings and I were being looked after by this Scottish lady - Mrs. MacLeod - and she made us porridge for breakfast - and it wasn't anything like mum's - and it became an inside joke around our house, guaranteed to make my sister and I, at least, laugh out loud. nnRuth


Ruth -- my parents once left my brothers and I with an Eastern European lady who had a monkey and prohibited the use of spoons at the table - Mrs. Helmcken -- my mother would defend herself here by saying "She came highly recommended!" My parents were gone for 3 weeks, but we survived...and I still chuckle occasionally when I pick up a spoon to eat my soup -- she MADE us drink it from the bowl! Thanks for stopping by...Theresa

03 Nov 2011 - 10:32pm


I love porridge - romantically - in my imagination. But I may actually really love porridge now that I can see it and taste. You've turned me on to her books - haven't read the latest... yet.


Claudia, from what I know of you from your blog, you sound like a true porridge person at heart! And I`m glad I`ve made another convert...;) Theresa

04 Nov 2011 - 5:32pm

Lee Ann

I just discovered this blog thanks to Island Vittles! It's a home away from home for this Outlander/Food lover!!!


Lee-Ann -- it's great to have you in the kitchen with us! Just don't forget about little ol' Island Vittles, now, ya hear? ;)

04 Nov 2011 - 9:02pm


Hi Theresa,nLoving the blog.nI like my porridge made with full fat milk and with raisans in it served with honey. Last week I served it with vanilla flavored extra thick double cream as well.Now that was seriously good parritch.n:-)


Lesley -- if I need to call on an expert for our next bowl of parritch, I'm asking you! That sounds amazing. Theresa

07 Nov 2011 - 4:07pm

Denise Twist

We do steel cut oats around here. Nothing easier than getting it started alongside the first pot of tea. By the time I'm well and truly awake, the parritch is ready for honey and milk. This morning, by special request of the younger half of the family, we added homemade chocolate scones. Not a traditional bannock but oh, so good! I'm a newcomer to the blog but not to Jamie and Claire. I get hungry just reading my way through the books. Thirsty for good Scotch, too! Excellent work here! Keep it up!


Thank Denise! You sound like a woman after my own stomach (and maybe my liver too?)

Denise Twist

Whatever it takes to keep them both happy!


In this case, Denise, that`s the maple pudding, or Murphy`s notorious turtle soup...

Denise Twist

Theresa, I visited the FL Keys for the first time this past February. Next door to the Coast Guard Base where we stayed was a Sea Turtle Hospital. Very fascinating, not the least of which were the examples of outlawed sea turtle items: anything tortoise shell, obviously, as well as old cans of turtle soup from a cannery in Key West. I found myself recalling excerpts from DG as I gandered at the illegal items.nnPS: there is a great brewery/restaurant in Everett WA called the Scuttlebutt. The waiters wear T-shirts that state: The liver is evil and must be punished. Pour my punishment from a bottle of Dalwhinnie!

10 Nov 2011 - 4:25am


this post reminds me of when i first read this part, and decided to make our morning porridge a la mrs fitzs rather than our usual milky-sugary-cinnamon-esq style. I used just water salt and butter, and received a funny look and a plaintive 'please can we have normal porridge tomorrow' from my husband. lol. i didn't mind the salty one personally, and i've done a hybrid salt-milk-prunejuice a few times since. yum!


Kea - I'm with your husband, although a bowl loaded with butter, salt AND honey would go down well over here!

18 Nov 2011 - 5:18pm

Julia Zuniga

Can someone explain the actual difference between steel cut and rolled oats - I just bought a can of McCann's Irish steel-cut oats. Is one higher in fiber than the other? Is there any difference in taste or texure? Do we actually know which kind Mrs. Fitz would have used back then? Curious minds want to know....:)


Julia! nnRolled oats are oat groats that have been rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers and then steamed and lightly toasted.nnSteel cut oats are groats that have been cut into two or three pieces rather than being rolled, steamed and toasted. Because they are less processed, steel cut oats are higher in fibre and take a little longer to prepare. Their flavor is nuttier than other types of oats, and they are also chewier.nnI'm still figuring it all out, but I would guess at this point that steel-cut oats are closer to the ones Mrs. Bug would have had access to. Anyone else want to weigh in?

15 Mar 2012 - 7:15am

Introducing T…

through my own little project, I realized recently that OK has grown a lot since I first posted Mrs. Fitzs Porridge from Outlander last November. There are now 24 Outlander-themed recipes, from the roast beef at J&Cs

02 Jan 2013 - 2:31am

Jennifer Miller

Oatmeal/Porridge /parritch is a staple in the Southern Appalachian mountains where our Scottish ancestors ended up over 200 years ago. I have eaten it in many forms almost daily for most of my life. Our family favorite right now is steel cut oats, which have recently became easily available in our area (Thanks to Aldi supermarket), but we are all quite fond of "parritch" no matter what form it takes! Especially good with brown sugar and butter with warm milk splashed on top!

30 May 2014 - 12:01pm

World Outlande…

Cook up Something Outlandish from Mrs. Fitzs Porridge to Quail Cooked in Clay you could eat Outlander all day, everyday. Check out Outlander

11 Aug 2014 - 11:52am

Musette Blanchard

Hi good morning Theresa! I sent you a twitter yesterday but I don't think you had time to read it so ... here I am again because I'm intrigued by those round flat toasted ... bread? That are to the side of the second picture - right under "And I have no doubt " what are they? I would like to get the recipe for them!rnThank you very much for your attention and have a peaceful and yuumy Monday!


I'm sorry I missed you tweet. :) those little round things are bannock. Watch this week for a new recipe!

20 Aug 2014 - 12:38pm

Carolyn Ware

My grandfather, Alexander, ate parritch every morning for breakfast (one of my memories of growing up). I also harbor a love for it. Then 3 yrs ago I spent 16 days in Scotland and found out what real parritch tastes like. Still love it, maybe even more. Want to go back so badly. What a fun and delicious site you have!

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