Outlander Kitchen Pumpkin Jack o'Lantern

OK's 1st Anniversary, Tasting the Cherry Bounce & A Giveaway

Can you believe it?  Outlander Kitchen turns 1 year old today!

I can believe it.  This blog is a labour of love for me, and it's also a lot of work.  But in the past 12 months, because of OK, I've met - online and in-person - a whole new group of friends, many of whom I talk to everyday.  Earlier this month, I traveled to Niagara Falls to meet a dozen of the 70+ women in an online Outlander book club that I joined just after launching OK.

And then just 1 week later, I found myself getting a big ol' hug from Diana Herself at a book signing at the Surrey International Writers' Conference.  (More on that next week.)

hug-

Getting a hug from Diana at the Surrey International Writers Conference

My Outlander Kitchen Facebook page has also become a big part of my days, and a space where I interact with Outlander fans from all over the world.  If you haven't found us there yet, please come and take a keek at the extra photos, food ideas, and men in kilts that we talk about everyday.  You can also follow me on Twitter and check out my Board on Pinterest. (Shameless anniversary plug over.)

All of these things add up to a year that has made my life richer.  I'm busy, bursting with ideas and verra, verra happy.

BONNETS BALLS

The top-viewed post of the first year is Stephen Bonnet's Salted Chocolate Pretzel Balls...which is the first character-inspired recipe I created, after a rather randy on-line conversation with some of the people I mentioned above.  The details of that conversation are locked away for eternity (who am I kidding?  it was on the net), but the recipe is a lot easier to find and these pretzel balls filled with Nutella or chocolate really are delicious.

Jamie and Frank Play Checkers

The second-most viewed post of this annus mirabilis is Jamie & Frank Play Checkers, where I set up the whisky and the sherry in shot glasses, and had the 2 men battle it out for Claire and Bree on the two-toned board.

That was quite an afternoon.

spatchcocked-quail RECIPE INDEX

The other page you should know about on OK is the Recipe Index.  There, you will find every recipe created in the last year, and beyond.  It's organized by book, main ingredient and/or recipe type, to make it easy for your to find the perfect dish for every occasion.

And your family need never know they're eating Outlander.

cherry bounce

There's no greater example of the fun, experimental atmosphere I've worked hard to foster on OK than The Great Cherry Bounce Experiment.  People from all over the world have joined in, with their own combination of cherries, hooch and sugar.  Hogmanay is going to be verra interesting....

Annika's picture above is just one of the beautiful photos sent in by fans to to the OK FB page.  See the whole album here.

cherry-bounce

If you are part of this grand experiment, you may want to take a wee nip from your own jar to see how things are coming along.  My Englishman and I both had a taste of each, and decided they weren't sweet enough!  We're trying to guard against making the cough syrup that Jemmy and Germaine tippled in ABOSAA, but I ended up adding about a teaspoon of sugar to each of my batches to up the flavour.  I'll taste them again at the end of November, when I suspect I may add just a little bit more.

It's better to be light handed and add the sugar in a couple of batches, than over generous all at once and end up with the kind of stuff that rotted George Washington's teeth. (He was known to be fond of the Bounce.)

Or, you may decide you don't want or need to add any more sugar at all.

OK apron signed by DG

Besides giving me a big hug, Diana was also generous enough to sign a couple of Outlander Kitchen souvenirs for me.  'Cause there's nothing like a giveaway to really celebrate a Blogiversary, right?

1st prize is this Outlander Kitchen apron, signed by Diana Gabaldon.  (I love the way the aprons turned out by the way, and Herself's signature is the icing on the cake!)

2nd prize is a DG-signed spurtle -- which I wouldn't use to stir my morning parritch, but I would display on my bookshelf, next to my Outlander collection.

DG signed spurtle

This contest is closed.

 

Good luck to all and thank you for your continued support and love for OK.  I can't wait to dive right into year 2!