Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Burns Supper on a snowy January night.

This past Saturday was not only my half-birthday, but it was also Burns Night. January 25 is the Scottish bard's birthday, and a few years after he died his friends started celebrating his life with a Burns Supper.

Swede and turnip.
When we lived in Edinburgh, we went to a huge Burns Supper hosted by the University. Kilts were worn. The haggis processed in with a bagpiper. Poetry was read. Toasts were given. Massive amounts of whisky were consumed (except by me because I was 7 weeks pregnant). There was dancing and a tearful chorus of "Auld Lang Syne."

David and I have wanted to host a proper Burns Supper for many years -- even before we moved to Scotland. With the baby (my excuse for everything), we just didn't have the energy to do it this year. We did, however, have a couple of friends over while I made vegetarian haggis and neeps and tatties. It didn't taste like the haggis at the Baked Potato Shop, but it was decent enough. The whisky was sublime, and we played Nick Keir albums in the background all evening. It's hard not to get sentimental when toasting to friends near, far, and gone.

Our simple Burns Supper Menu:

"What IS this thing?"
  • Vegetarian Haggis -- because no one wants REAL haggis. 
  • Neeps and Tatties -- mashed potatoes, with a turnip or rutubaga added
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts -- because we needed something green on the plate
  • Scottish Shortbread -- the yummiest three-ingredient dessert you'll ever find
  • Whisky or whisky-based cocktail -- David made Rob Roys for all. It might be my new favorite drink.

It was a fun night. Now for the traditional Burns Night toast: Next year in Edinburgh!

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