From the Romantic Meals Feed Love's Flame
series of articles
February 9, 2000
DIANA GABALDON Author of the Outlander series of historic adventure novels.
For Diana Gabaldon one little sandwich sparked a romance that has lasted 26 years.
In 1972, Gabaldon and her husband, Doug Watkins met in the French-horn section of the Northern Arizona University marching band. A Flagstaff girl, she invited him home for lunch one day and found nothing but tuna in the pantry.
But she made the sandwich to his specifications — Bumble Bee chunk tuna, mayonnaise, pickle relish, Roman Meal whole-wheat bread, and served on a colorful plate left over from the days when her parents operated a Mexican restaurant. He was impressed. "This is the first time anyone cared how I like my food," he told her.
She was 20; he was 21. They began dating and married five
Gabaldon, who holds degrees in zoology
and biology and a doctorate in ecology, writes novels that really can't be
described as "romance" but are full of passion.
Her sexy stories are customarily set in 18th-century
Scotland and described with such words as "smart, historical, sci-fi,
Her idea of a romantic evening is to watch her
husband drag racing, one of his passions. He also works as a developer of
commercial real-estate properties.
Her idea of romance is "anything you do
And her idea of a romantic meal is something
that can be prepared ahead "so you can sit around, sip wine and be
She recommends her enchiladas — rich and
spicy: "It makes the blood flow."