Ever wondered what an Outlander dinner party over Zoom might look like? Well, then the second episode of the special Outlander summer series will tell you everything you need to know. Outlander’s Facebook page, where they hosted the episode, teased, “If Claire had zoom, this is what her dinner party would be like.” Ha, no. I think we can all agree Claire’s dinner party would not be a culinary extravaganza. In fact, Claire would probably be serving some moldy-ass bread and be like, “Check the bread for penicillin paintbrush patterns.” And she’d make you eat with one eye open so you could look at that bread through a microscope. And then refuse to serve dessert until someone found it. Worst dinner party ever. At least there’d be whisky. Claire’s always on brand.
So this episode was like if we played a fun game called “Outlander Dinner Party: What if Claire Could Cook?” John Bell and Lauren Lyle were the special guests at this virtual cooking class-dinner party, taught by Outlander Kitchen cookbook author Theresa Carle-Sanders, who whipped up some good ol’ Outlander-inspired fish and chips. But one drawback of virtual dinner parties (as we saw with Bell and Lyle), is that only one person gets to eat. The person with the food. The other two get to watch. John Bell’s hungry eyes told us all we needed to know. (Can you hear Dirty Dancing’s “Hungry Eyes” now? Can you?)
In last week’s premiere episode, Diana Gabaldon and Maril Davis dropped some news that made some fans (all fans) nervous about Claire possibly not being as alive as Jamie in future books. Now Gabaldon didn’t say Claire would die. But she didn’t say Claire would not die. And everyone panicked. PEAK 2020 panic. Still panicking a little if we’re being honest.
Davis opened this episode by reminding everyone the summer series was benefiting the work of Doctors Without Borders. The first episode raised approximately $26,000 to support their medical efforts during Covid-19. Claire would be so proud. “You get penicillin, you get penicillin, everybody gets penicillin!” (What Claire would be like in a pandemic).
Warning, this Outlander episode is “Must Eat TV.” You will be hungry as you watch it.
Lauren Lyle and John Bell don’t eat fish & chips
Carle-Sanders kicked off the cooking lesson episode by prepping the ingredients for fish and chips. Bell, who was calling in from Madrid, and Lyle from the UK, said fish and chips, which they affectionately called, “Chippy,” was one of their favorite meals. Except, they don’t like “fancy fish and chips.” But then she quickly covered and said, “Wait, are you going to show us how to make fancy fish and chips?”
When Carle-Sanders demonstrated the proper way to hold a knife, Bell’s mind was blown. He asked Lyle if she knew of this knife wizardry, and she said, “Yes.” Okay, Dumbledore. (Said with the most respect. If anyone could be a knife-wielding Dumbledore, it’s Lyle). She then went on to say she learned all the cooking tricks from her grandmother and mom, and loves to cook for friends. In fact, what she misses most in lockdown are dinner parties. Especially the arguments that occur after a dinner party. Lyle’s parties sound delicious and controversial. I’m on board with this.
Carle-Sanders then revealed that it was the Outlander dinner party scenes that inspired her to write this book.
Lauren said her favorite Outlander dinner scene was when young Ian returned and they had an awkward family dinner, in which Marsali tried to get the tea and instead got Young Ian’s attitude.
Lauren Lyle hates parsley, but not Marsali
As they were watching the fish and chips cook, Lyle shared that when she got the role of Marsali, Gabaldon wanted the name pronounced a specific way. It’s how you pronounce parsley. (Par-sa-lee). But guess who hates parsley? Lauren Lyle. So every time she thinks of her character, she’s reminded of her least favorite herb. Bell quickly agreed, he’s not a parsley fan either. (That’s a pretty significant amount of the Outlander cast herb-hating).
Then Lyle and Bell launched into a 45-second conversation about how Worcester sauce is pronounced. “Wooster.” “Worsistire.” “Wooshishter.” Here’s what I think, nobody knows how to pronounce this word. It’s just a fact. Why isn’t it spelled like “Wooh-sister-sauce?” I don’t run the dictionary, I’m not Webster, but if I were, that’s how it would be spelled. And no one would have a problem with it.
We also get some insight into how Lyle and Bell probably were in school. Bell is super attentive and earnest. And Lyle looked like she was about to crack a joke at all times, but somehow already knew what the teacher was teaching.
When Lyle and Bell learned this fish and chips batter included vodka and beer, their eyes lit up. Bell said his dad brews his own beer and Lyle revealed that she loves Guinness. But the chef said keep Guiness away from fish batter. It will be too bitter. Nobody wants a bitter batter, Lauren. But you can drink Guinness while you cook. (This is just my professional opinion).
John Bell is good with a wild yam
Lyle asked Carle-Sanders what her favorite recipe in the book is and she said, “Lord John’s Yorkshire pudding.” That’s what she said. What? It was actually what she said.
Lyle revealed that her favorite meal is pasta. Pasta and cheese and that’s it. Carle-Sanders shares that in the books, Young Ian is quite the chef. In fact, she said, “He cooks lots of wild yams. He’s very good with a wild yam.” To which Bell replies, “I must say I’m pretty good with a wild yam myself.” And with that, John Bell wins the quote of the cooking show episode.
Sidebar: John Bell also won twitter in July with this epic tweet. Just Claire Fraser telling you to #WearAMask. Excellent mask tweet PSA, John Bell.
When you leave the house and forget to wear your mask pic.twitter.com/lZl0ryDa8x
— John Bell (@JohnBell) July 19, 2020
Lyle asked a real deep potato question about getting the starch out. And I couldn’t tell you the answer. Because I got very hungry by this point. This dinner party is a little like what it’s like to watch the Food Network for 6 hours straight while flying on Jet Blue. (Remember flying? Me neither). Enjoy this gif of Lyle and Bell being the cutest salt baes you’ve ever seen, ever. If Balfe were at this virtual party, she’d be a Salt Baelfe. (I’ll stop. No I actually won’t).
Outlander season 5 deleted scene
At the end of this episode, they showed a bonus deleted scene from Season 5 that will be on the DVDs which are being released September 15th. In this scene, Young Ian is putting on war paint before he was leaving to help Jamie rescue Claire. And who’s telling Ian to put down the paint and stay home, because she’s concerned he might get hurt? Lizzy! Hmmm Ian and Lizzy? I could be into this in Season 6. (Wait, was Lizzie more concerned about Ian than Claire? Hmmm.) Lizzie, see me after class.
Caitríona Balfe options film rights to a book
And in other Droughtlander news, the cast is keeping busy while they wait for Season 6 to get started. Parsley-hating-chippy-lover Lyle announced a new project she’s doing on Twitter, with a pretty amazing cast.
Excited to be doing this with a stupid good cast! https://t.co/5iQt0cLNSr
— Lauren Lyle (@LlaurenLyle) August 28, 2020
And what have Caitríona Balfe and Sam Heughan been up to? Oh you know, filming. Other stuff. They’re not cheating on Outlander, they’re simply seeing other people while Outlander is on a break. (Insert Ross screaming, “We were on a break” here. We’re Rachel). It’s fine, we’re fine. And quite frankly, the more Balfe and Heughan content, the better.
Balfe broke Outlander twitter earlier this week with her announcement that she had optioned the film rights to a new book called Here is the Beehive. She acts, she produces, she time travels, she options books. No big deal. Fans are speculating and wondering if Balfe will direct and star in the film.
Sam & Graham run around Scotland with a camera
Meanwhile in Scotland, Heughan and Graham McTavish have been spotted around town filming. Probably for their new series, Men in Kilts. Tim Downie and David Berry’s Outlander podcast, Outcasts, dropped some new episodes with Maria Doyle Kennedy (Aunt Jocasta) and Ed Speleers (Evil Stephen Dead Bonnet, oops Season 5 spoiler).
Lyle ended the virtual cooking chippy party with a simple question for the chef: “Do you think this is the sort of thing the Frasers would eat on the Ridge after a long day’s battle?” And Carle-Sanders replied it would be better than Claire’s PB & J. And this gives me the opportunity to use my favorite gif ever. James Fraser politely eating Claire’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a knife and fork and truly hating it but hiding it.
Lyle joked that Jamie would probably catch the fish in the river. And Bell reminded everyone that Young Ian knows how to gut a fish — in fact he had a scene where he was doing just that this past season.
Let’s get back to Jamie catching fish for just a quick second. Every time Jamie is in a river on this show, he’s topless or bottomless. Historically, he doesn’t get into rivers fully clothed. In the photo below, Claire asks Jamie what we’re all wondering, “Why are you swimming with your pants on?” (Seriously, he took his shirt off, pants seemed to be the next logical step).
Oh maybe season 1, when Jamie went for a cold skinny dip in the Lallybroch river, scarred him. (The water was very cold, and he was very naked). Certain body parts don’t fare well under those conditions.
Thus endeth the Outlander special dinner party for two. If you want to cook your way through Droughtlander, you can buy your own copy of Outlander Kitchen, and here’s a roundup of some Outlander-inspired recipes. Oyster soup?! Hard pass.
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Before you go, click here to see the all-time best Outlander episodes you’ll want to re-watch: