Friday, January 23, 2015

My simple Burns Supper menu.

I need to set an alarm for around 2p every day to remind me that dinner will, yet again, be happening. It's a flipping surprise to me every day after work, and I swear I am of above average intelligence. In related news, it's apparently the weekend already, and I could have sworn it was only Tuesday. ALSO, IT'S BURNS SUPPER WEEKEND!!!

I'm still not wealthy enough to hire a bagpiper to march through my living room, but I am going to have my annual Burns Supper. One of these days, I'll have single barrel Scotch whisky and a caterer. Until then, I will continue to scour the internet in search of the perfect vegetarian haggis recipe. It exists; I have not found it.

I'll be sticking to a simple menu this year:

Vegetarian haggis w/ neeps & tatties
Roasted Brussels sprouts
Sticky toffee pudding
Shortbread

My heart lies with Laphroaig, but I'm a sucker
for any single malt that tastes like dirt.

Unless any of you blog readers are also volunteer bagpipers (I wouldn't dare ask you to play for free, but if you're a starving piper with a hankering for some Laphroaig, please come address the haggis!), I will be sticking with pre-fab Scottish music. In the spirit of the poet, we'll have some Robert Burns tunes, like this new recording from my friend Adam Holmes. If I ever get off my bum and record an RB song, I'll perhaps throw that link up here too ... until then, stick with Adam. He's the one with the Scottish accent. I'll also report back next week with our playlist for the evening -- David is in charge of that, so maybe he'll guest blog.

I wish I had the patience to prepare a clootie dumpling tomorrow. If you have a few hours to spare for an authentic Scottish dessert, here's the best recipe.

I leave ye with a poem:

Address to a Haggis

FAIR fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’a grace
As lang’s my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin was help to mend a mill
In time o’need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin’, rich!
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethankit! hums.
Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckles as wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ blody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ legs an’ arms, an’ hands will sned,
Like taps o’ trissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer
Gie her a haggis!

Robert Burns

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