Welcome to Outlander Adventures, the unfortunate consequences of finding the first novel of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon on Audible.com. Outlander was, and remains in my opinion, the best bang for the audiobook buck ever created. Each book is in excess of 40 hours and if I hadn’t already had an audible account, I’d have opened one and patiently collected the books one by one with a monthly membership. To listen to Outlander, read by Davina Porter, is to experience an entirely new art form, a collaboration between a powerful writer and a hugely talented reader. It is to set aside whatever mundane reality (weeding the garden) I’m currently engaged in and wander off into the 18th century.
Outlander was a revelation. It became an unfortunate obsession. An excuse to experiment with recipes from the 18th century, spend hours scouring the internet with like minded people ferreting out forgotten details of 18th century life, and then… it all took on a life of its own when I decided to try to extract lanolin from an old fleece the way Claire (or whoever she obtained her lanolin from) would have had to.. and then make a hand emollient from the resulting lanolin, using a recipe from the 1790s.
It didn’t go well. In fact, it was a funny and abject failure. Which I shared with the Compuserv Books and Writer’s Community forum. But I went on to make a lovely batch of hand emollient, I’ll post the recipe here soon.
But things got out of hand. There was a recreation of 18th century bread using a sourdough starter which originated in 1790.. imagine something being kept alive for over 220 years, generation after generation, and still being available today..
And an unfortunate foray into soap which culminated in me, and my pot of soap, being thrown out of the kitchen by an unhappy husband..
Unhappily, the Outlander inspired projects just keep multiplying.. and the patience of the Compuserv community is not endless, so to spare them further assaults on their good humor I’ve put up Outlander Adventures. Do it yourself, or live vicariously through my experiments,.. either way… I hope you have as much fun with Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series as I am having.
Op Ed at The Stowe Reporter
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