29 January, 2007

Burns Night Dinner

Now, I'm English (from the far south-east of the country too) and Lisa's a black American so why celebrate Burns Night? After all, what's Burns to us or we to Burns (to mangle Shakespeare)? Hard to say really. Certainly I have fond memories of Burns night celebrations with Scots friends when I was in my twenties and Lisa acquired a taste for haggis and whisky on our honeymoon in Edinburgh. Whatever the source of our enthusiasm, we've made it our custom to dine traditionally on 25th January each year.

This year we enjoyed the best haggis either of us can remember! Brought down from Edinburgh by Lisa's colleague Harry, it had a wonderfully rich flavour and delightful texture. We made our champit tatties (mashed potatoes) and bashed neeps (for which we use swede, which we like to cut with carrot for colour and flavour) but we passed on the bagpipes. Nonetheles, the cooked haggis was brought ceremoniously to the table by the chef and yours truly gave it the traditional address. The Selkirk Grace was said and we tucked in with great gusto. The pungeant haggis is perfectly complemented by the milder tasting vegeatbles and, of course, all is accompanied by many a "wee dram"!

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