Words and Photo by Jenny Watson
What do you get if you take a pinch of a popular TV show, mix with a ladleful of social media and add the love of a local Nana?
You get ‘Streetch Yer Kite’ – a wonderful Scottish cuisine cookbook by Margaret MacKinnon from Alexandria.
“It all started when my husband Tony, came home from work and told me he thought I would like the TV show he had been on set for,” Margaret explained.
Tony, was a freelance Health & Safety officer on the set of Outlander TV show.
Not your typical beginnings to writing a cookbook, but it was certainly the start of a whole new part of Margaret’s world.
“I just loved the show but I didn’t know anyone else that watched it,” Margaret explained.
Power of Social Media
So she hopped on to Facebook and set up a fan page for main character Jamie Fraser, played by Scottish actor Sam Heughan.
This page now has over 14k members from every corner of the globe.
“It started as a wee place to talk about the show. Then I would start putting up pictures of things I loved about Scotland, my family, or even what I was cooking for my dinner that night,” Margaret said.
Her food posts were so well liked that people would often ask for the recipes.
That’s when one of the page admins suggested she pull all the recipes together and make a cookbook.
‘Streetch Yer Kite’ (Stretch Your Stomach) was born!
Proceeds from the book sales are donated to Bloodwise and Hillside Animal Sanctuary.
The Kindness of A Community
And Margaret’s fundraising doesn’t stop there.
She’s raised over £34,000 to date by auctioning Outlander memorabilia, Scottish artefacts and has even organised and hosted 3-day ‘Clan Gatherings.’
These offered participants tours of Outlander filming locations, Gaelic lessons and a good ole Scottish Shindig in the Vale Masonic!
Peggy Hancock Cox, from Colorado America said: “If I had to describe Margaret’s FB page in a few words, it would be Love and Family.
“Margaret and her many wonderful contributors showcase Scotland and all her glory. Margaret’s cookbook is a story of her family, her loves, her friends and her home.”
And Carol Ferraro, also from the USA was one of the fortunate people to have attended the Clan Gathering in 2019.
She said: “Because of this site, I have made the most wonderful friends from all over the world, learned so much history about Scotland, Scottish phrases and words.”
Margaret’s husband Tony unexpectedly passed away last year which made an already difficult year that much harder for Margaret and her family.
“The support and love I felt from everyone in the group helped me keep going last year, even on the hardest days.
“They all loved Tony and it was nice I had this to share with them. My daughter Vicky and grandson Harry have been my strength, I would have been lost without them.”
If you are a fan of the Outlander books, show or just love all things Scottish, I would recommend joining the Facebook page: ‘Sam Heughan/Jamie Fraser 100% Scottish’, you won’t just be joining another Facebook page, you’ll be joining a family.
To purchase the cookbook please contact Margaret directly through the page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org