Thursday, January 25, 2007

January 25th Burns Day

Today is the day many Scots celebrate Rabbie Burns, The Bard, felt to be Scotlands National Poet by many, or as Snootipedia describes him as a "poet and lyricist". Sounds a bit pretentious, for such a common man born into poverty and who grew up looking after the cattle. Born exactly 200 years before me and living only 37 years, he developed a tremendous legacy of Scottish language.

Many will eat haggis and drink whiskey at numerous Burns Suppers around the world. These are generally pretty formal and stuffy events, based upon my experience of attendance at one in Singapore about ten years ago. Generally, drunken people get up and talk funny and then tuck into haggis and the required embellishments. Although I am quite partial to haggis now and again, whiskey you can keep for the most part.

A little background for the uninitiated.

Fae Scottish Wikipedia

Haggis is a traditional Scots dish. It is a wechtie pudden traditionally served wi chappit neeps an tatties.

Altho the'r monie recipes, some uisin deer emmledeug, for ordinar it's makkit wi the follaein ingredients: sheep's hert, liver, an lichts, minced wi ingan, aitmael, shuet, spices, and saut, mixt wi bree an traditionally byled in the beast's painch for several hoors. It is amang the maist muckle kinds o sassenger. The'r recipes athoot maet an aa, speceifically for vegetarians, that tastes gey seimilar tae the maet-based receipts.

There's even a wee Haggis poem by Robert Burns. This is the first verse of Tae a Haggis, spoken prior to the ritual decapitation of the poor wee beastie prior to being devoured.

"Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the Puddin-race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy of a grace As lang's my arm."


james higham said...

And will you be devouring the wee timorous beastie yourself?

Colin Campbell said...

Actually no. One can't buy it in the shops here and I have no means to slaughter the animals that one needs to make it. Instead I will have an Australian Meat Pie to celebrate Australia Day.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'd forgotten it was Burns Night till James reminded me earlier. But now, you'll be happy to know, I have annoyed all my Sicilian friends by informing them of it by text or email. Burns, Verlaine and Tennyson are my favourite poets, by the way. I particularly like Burns' "Epistle to a Young Friend". Anyway, hope you had a great Australia Day/Burns Night .

Pub Philosopher said...

Are the Scots the only people who talk to their food?

Mind you, I like a haggis and a good malt myself.

james higham said...

Thought you might be interested, Colin, in our little debate on the haggis right now. Only fair that the originator be notified.

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