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Outlander Thanksgiving – A Recipe Twist and Ideas for Your Holiday Table

Outlander Thanksgiving – A Recipe Twist and Ideas for Your Holiday Table

Beyond the Books, Drums of Autumn

My thoughts of luxuriant wallowing were interrupted by the emergence from the woods of Ian and Myers, the latter with a brace of squirrels hung from his belt.  Ian proudly presented me with an enormous black object, which on closer inspection proved to be a turkey, fat from gorging on the autumn grains.

“Boy’s got a nice eye, Mrs. Claire,” said Myers, nodding approvingly.  “Those be wily birds, turkeys.  Even the Indians don’t take ’em easy.”

It was early for Thanksgiving, but I was delighted with the bird, which would be the first substantial item in our larder.  So was Jamie, though his pleasure lay more in the thing’s tail feathers, which would provide him with a good supply of quills.

Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (Chapter 19 – Hearth Blessing)

As a Canadian, I celebrated Thanksgiving last month, so I’m afraid I don’t have a roast turkey in all its glory to show you.

But if you find yourself with leftover yams (raw or cooked), and a big batch of turkey stock (my favourite by-product of Thanksgiving dinner), then this soup will interest you.  Spiced Yam & Red Lentil Soup is a winter staple around here, and is easily made vegetarian with Vegetable Stock if you prefer.

To go alongside, I made a batch of Honey & Buttermilk Oatbread.  After I formed half of the risen dough into a regular old loaf and settled it into the pan for the second rise, I decided to do something a little different with the other half — a perfect example of my almost compulsive inability to follow a recipe — even one of my own.

And so Madame Jeanne’s Oat Breadsticks were born.


I patted the dough out to a rectangle about 10″ long and 3/4″ thick, pressed my toppings firmly into its surface, then folded it into thirds, just like a business letter.  Using my pastry scraper, I cut (12) strips, then rolled each into a twist between my floured hands, stretching it out to about 10″.

After they were all laid out on the pan, I covered them and let them rise for about 45 min before brushing them with the butter/honey glaze from the original recipe.  Fifteen minutes in a 375° F oven (don’t over brown — these are soft breadsticks) and you’ve got great dippers for soup, hummus or Duncan’s Coddled Egg.

I topped mine with finely grated Parmesan, Black Pepper, Thyme and Lemon Zest.  Here are some other suggestions:

  • finely chopped black olives and romano cheese
  • roasted fennel seed and chili
  • rosemary and preserved lemon
  • sesame and/or poppy seed
  • aged cheddar and green onion

cheese-balls-thanksgiving roundup

As for the Thanksgiving meal itself, I know I’m a little late to the brainstorming party, but I do have a few easy suggestions to put Outlander on your holiday table if your menu is still open. (I love how normal sounding it has become in my own head to suggest incorporating Outlander in your meal planning.)

If you’re looking for an easy appetizer to keep the horde happy and out of the kitchen while you turn drippings into gravy, both Mr. Willoughby’s Coral Knob (mini cheese balls) and Murtagh’s Gift to Ellen (puff pastry boar tusks with prosciutto and asparagus) fit the bill perfectly.

Murtagh's Gift - Thanksgiving Roundup

For the main event, how about a dish of Claire’s Spoon Bread from DOA?  It’s the perfect historically authentic side dish!

spoon-bread-dug-in copy

Many of us have tried and true Thanksgiving desserts that have been passed down for generations.

However, if you find that you and your guests are tiring of pumpkin pie (gasp!), I have two OK suggestions for you.  The first is JAMMF’s Birthday Hazelnut Torte with Brown Butter/Brandy Glaze.  Rich, dense and decadent, it also stays moist and fresh for a few days in the fridge, which means you can follow your turkey sandwich with a slice long after the company has gone home.


My second suggestion is one of the most popular recipes here on OK.  Although I only posted it at the end of August, I’ve gotten dozens of short notes from readers telling me how Governor Tryon’s Humble Crumble Apple Pie is their family’s new favourite apple pie.

APPLE pie Thanksgiving Roundup

Which brings me to the thankful part of my Thanksgiving post.  I’ve written a lot recently about my travels to meet online friends that I’ve met because of Outlander Kitchen.  I am thankful for all of those deep, lasting connections that I have made over the past year.

Of course, OK stems from the Outlander world of Diana Gabaldon, so I am also thankful to her for these books that I found all those years ago, just as my life was taking a big, somewhat scary turn into the unknown.  J and C’s story of love and courage was a much-needed escape, as well as a ballast that kept me steady on a difficult path.

That road eventually lead me back to my first love, cooking, and spurred me to build my very own Outlander Kitchen.  A place where I share my love of food, my slightly twisted sense of humour, and my adoration for a brawny Scotsman who is, quite simply, too good to be true.

Thank you all for sharing my virtual hearth.

What are you thankful for?


  1. Aaron Brown
    November 20, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Those breadsticks look amazing!! This year I am especially thankful for family, not just my current family, but those who have come before me to create my story.

    • Theresa
      November 22, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Your hunt for your family tree sounds fascinating, Aaron!

  2. Gisela
    November 20, 2012 at 8:42 am

    OMG! Everything looks super yummy!!!!

    • Theresa
      November 22, 2012 at 10:39 am

      If I’m honest, those breadsticks are AMAZING!

  3. KellyKaye
    November 20, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I think you are just fabulous!! I, much like you, found the Outlander series at a time in my life when I needed to escape. I was going through a horrible time in my life, and believe these books have kept me sane! I am so happy I stumbled upon your OK site as well. I have been patiently waiting until MOBY is available and reading your blog is a nice way to keep it fresh! THANK YOU!!!

    • Theresa
      November 22, 2012 at 10:38 am

      My pleasure, Kelly! Thanks for hanging out in my kitchen while we wait. 😀

  4. Alyson
    November 20, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I am always amazed by your food creativity, and hope to someday be even slightly close to your level in the kitchen. I am thankful for a reason to gather with my family and celebrate us with traditional French-Canadian foods.

    • Theresa
      November 22, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Any Tortiere being served there today, Alyson? Save me a slice, will ya?!

  5. sattvahealth
    November 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    wow, this looks amazing! i CANNOT WAIT for the cookbook to be published!!!
    humble crumble apple pie…yum! thanks for sharing!!!

    • Theresa
      November 22, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Just a little more patience, Sattva. 🙂

  6. Jeanne
    November 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I can’t wait to make Governor Tryon’s Humble Crumble Apple Pie for our gathering this year! I am thankful for my 11 times Great Grandparents John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, who in 1620, came to America on the Mayflower and even after unspeakable hardships, gathered together to celebrate the first Thanksgiving.

    • Theresa
      November 22, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Wow…that makes you a REAL American through and through! Happy Thanksgiving, Jeanne.

    • Cheryl
      November 17, 2014 at 11:50 am

      Wow! My ancestral line takes me to John and Elizabeth also. Hello distant cousin! Nice to find a relative who also loves everything Outlander.

    • Laura Howland
      November 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      As you can tell by my name I am a Howland. Although, I am not of his (John’s) line (I come from hs brother that came on a later ship), I know and have heard their story on their crossing the Atlantic. My Aunt is a geneologist and knows all the tales. It was even featured in a Peanuts Thanksgiving special! All the Howlands in North America can be traced back to the 3 brothers. They went on 3 separate ships to make sure at least one would survive the crossing. I love Outlander too! Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Mindy Reed
    November 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    My mom volunteered me to bring dessert this year. She told my Aunt… “Mindy makes a really great apple pie”. He he he…. That I do 🙂 thanks OK!!

    • Theresa
      November 22, 2012 at 10:35 am

      LOL! That’s fantastic — spread the Outlander love. Like I said, they don’t even have to know they’re eating Outlandishly.

  8. Karen Henry
    November 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Excellent post! It’s making me hungry 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US! (And a belated Happy Thanksgiving to Theresa and the rest of the Canadians!)

    • Theresa
      November 22, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Many thanks, Karen! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  9. Taking On Magazines
    November 26, 2012 at 7:35 am

    How did I miss that pie? Is that caramel? Really? What’s wrong with me? Usually my caramel radar is spot on. Everything else looks amazing, yeah, but I gotta go check out that pie!

  10. bullrem
    November 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    The recipes you mentioned on this thread are some of my favs also. So far my very fav is Fiona’s Scones – but…. I am working on the others to be right up there too. I have not heard from “J” in Ark, but I am hoping with your nod she will contact me. Thanks for all the GREAT stuff. Helen in Ark.

  11. Kelly
    November 12, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Woooow! Okay….I know I won’t be able to but, I want to make every single thing on here!! Lol My stomach was literally growling by the time I finished reading.

  12. Cathy
    November 12, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Dare I say it? The recipe I’m most interested in right now is the one for Myers’s squirrels! I was interested to read that squirrel meat was considered fit for kings in Europe around that time, and also to read that the Americans’ ability to shoot small game such as squirrels may have been a factor in our winning the war against the British — the marksmanship.

  13. Sara
    November 12, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Oh My!! This collection looks unbelievably good. Now I’m going to have to try them all.
    Thank you so much! Love the creativity, too.

  14. Kelly
    November 17, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I am all over those bread sticks for sure!! There are a few things I’d love to make, if only I had a bigger hoard coming to dinner 🙁 sadly, there are just the three of us, Hubs, me, and the Prince, and although he is 6 ft. 4 in. tall and can eat like a linebacker….I don’t think I have enough room in my fridge to store all the leftovers that I would have if I made everything I wanted to…lol. Love your little page and love that you are just as obsessed as I am with Outlander. I just got the first book on my Samsung tablet (yes, I live under a rock evidently because I had no idea there were books until after the show came out) and I plan to tuck in under my comfy fuzzy blanky and get it read after I finish my online school work for this week. Keep sharing! 😀

  15. Barbara Murphy Hitchko
    November 17, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Thank ye for all your hard work & obvious devotion to your Outlander Kitchen. It’s an amazing labor of love and everything I have tried shows that. Blessings and Happy Holidays.

  16. Joanna LeMay
    November 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    And, when are you opening your restaurant here in Minnesota so that I may fulfill all my food fantasies as well?! Thank you for your dedication this epic and beloved story .

  17. Dawn
    November 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I am so not a cook ( I love to bake but it just ends up on my hips so I don’t bake any more) but I do appreciate good cooking. What you are showing and discribing for us looks so good my mouth is watering. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful ideas and recipes. I will be trying some of them just because they look so wonderfully delicious.

  18. Alylene Fields
    November 17, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Theresa, these are amazing. I’m ashamed to say as we have no family around I was going to do the grocery store box Thanksgiving, I have so changed my mind. We are having the torte and the the soup for sure. You know how much these books have done fore through all my health issues. I have to say you are one of the greatest sidelines to come from them. Great job.

  19. Teresa Lewis
    November 18, 2014 at 10:55 am

    LOVE your recipes and takes off the books. I have especially enjoyed Mrs. Bug’s Buttermilk Drop Biscuits. They have become a family favorite. I am anxious to try more of your recipes! Thank you so much.

  20. Deborah Hammond
    November 18, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Wonderful suggestions!

  21. Melisa Rechenmacher
    November 19, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    I’m thankful for my family. We lost my Mother, My Dog, one of our Good Friends; We have two active duty sons in law who may or may not be deploying {they have top seceret jobs so if they tell us they have to kill us!} and I’m thankul that my birthday is shared with my granddaughter, just as I shared a birthday with my grandmother. I love trying the recipes and truth be told, the chef in me hijacked your BJR Lavendar Fudge and I made it my own. It tastes just like my grandmother’s and I really like that it’s got no marshmallows in it. You knocked that one out of the park! I’m also thankful at least ONE out of three daughters and my niece now understand my OUTLANDER obession. lol Thanks!

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