Sunday, 22 January 2012

Great Chieftan of the Pudding Race.

Yes, Burns' Night has come round again - well it will on January 25th but last night was the nearest Saturday night so, as we do every year, kind friends invite us round for a celebratory 'Burns' Night for the English'. It is always a lovely, relaxed evening in good company.

We are all getting older - many of those there are now in their eighties - but often we don't meet between one year and the next. Our friends lay tables in various parts of their bungalow and we choose a table, collect our meal from our hostess, serving in the kitchen, and then we just have a lovely chatty evening with lots of laughs. What could be better?

Yours truly does not eat haggis although it is always on the menu. Well, to be truthful I have never tried it, but I don't care for offal so presume I wouldn't care for haggis. Interesting how every country has some cheap filling dish which dates back to when times were hard and which fills us up nicely. In Scotland it was the haggis, made with offal and oatmeal basically; in the North of England it was the steamed suet pudding and/or the Yorkshire Pudding.

When I ate my first meal at the farmer's table his parents were still alive and his mother invited me to Sunday lunch (i think to look me over and see what she thought!). The meal started with a plate of Yorkshire Pudding and onion gravy. I said something to the effect of it being interesting having the pudding on its own rather than with the meat and the famer's father replied, "You're in Yorkshire Now!"

I suppose pasta takes the same role in Italy. When you think about it, all these things are made with basically the same ingredients but put together differently (or as the late Eric Morecambe used to say "I am playing the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order!)

So - for any Scots reading this - Happy Burns Festivities. Eat all the haggis you like, but go easy on the whiskey.


Heather said...

Another lovely post Pat, and what a wonderfully relaxed way your friends have with entertaining their guests.
I have tried haggis and found it quite tasty but it was prepared by a Scot so that may have helped. Sadly it took years before I could enjoy Yorkshire Pudding - it was served as a dessert at my first school, cold and with golden syrup drizzled over it!! It was slimey, soggy and ghastly.
Have a lovely evening.

Arija said...

You should have tried the haggis, I did and I really liked it, much more than the thought of tripe and onions.

Tom Stephenson said...

It seems a waste to feed sheep's lungs to dogs, though. I like the idea of cutting it with a sword, but I think the whole thing's an excuse to drink whiskey.

George said...

Well, I love almost everything about the British Isles, but everything needs an exception, so, with due respect, I must confess that haggis has no appeal to me whatsoever. Regardless of the taste, the mere name of the dish presents a challenge for me. As for the rest of the Robbie Burns celebration, however, it sounds lovely.

MorningAJ said...

You probably don't realise you've just insulted the Scots. Whiskey with an 'e' is Irish! Scotch is whisky.

Mary said...

Well, whiskey or whisky, whatever, still wouldn't get me trying haggis......but only because I'm a non-any-kind-of-meat eater.

As for Yorkshire pud. well grew up on that delicacy - and my mum made the best, would rise so high around the edges it was hard to remove from the oven! Loved still warm leftovers, after the roast, with Golden Syrup drizzled over - no wonder we were healthy looking, rosy-cheeked chubbies!!!!!

Speaking of steamed suet puddings - anyone for Spotted Dick with Bird's Custard?

Lovely story of your friends Burns' Night celebration for the English - have a ball.

Hugs - Mary

MrsL said...

Haggis is wonderful stuff, and the whisky! I celebrate Burns Night quietly down here in Dorset, but always have haggis (, bashed neeps and champit tatties (mashed turnip (swede in England) and mashed potatoes), followed by clootie dumpling. I'm a big fan of Burns, having been brought up in and around Dumfries and Galloway. Was sad to find out that the pub here in the village has chosen to celebrate Chinese New Year instaed of Burns Night. Hey ho.


Elizabeth said...

I was thinking of pastry wrapped round stuff:

Cornish pasties
Jamaican patties
sausage rolls

Please send all of the above since it is almost lunch time and I'm hungry!

I'm sure there are lots more.....

ps steamed steak and kidney would be very nice too!
Not the haggis.
I went to a supper with gefilterfish with horseraddish
it acquired taste!

Pondside said...

I've eaten my share of haggis - coming from a Cape Breton family that treasured its Highland roots (more Scottish than the Scots!) - but I can do without it. I'll miss the fun of a Burns Night this year, though, as we'll be quiet before and after my husband's surgery tomorrow.

Unknown said...

Happy early Burns Night :) and I was surprised how much I enjoyed haggis...though the thought of what it is turns my stomach. I'm not one for offal either but it was quite tasty and not at all what I expected. Maybe give it a go next time?

H said...

I have tasted haggis and quite enjoyed it, though I didn't stop to think too hard about what was in it!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh dear - looks as though Tom and I have both insulted the Scots by spelling whiskey with an e, which is the Irish way. I am amazed at the information one gets from computers/ I never knew that!

Crafty Green Poet said...

You should try vegetarian haggis! Delicious!

Gwil W said...

You can buy haggis in some chip shops in Scotland. It's fried in batter and totally unhealthy. But one time I went in a pub in Ayrshire allegedly frequented by Burns and had the traditional tatties and neeps which was very nice.

Rarelesserspotted said...

Happy Burns' night


MarmaladeRose said...

Do you know Weaver, I don't think I've had haggis either. I've handled plenty as I use to fill the meat fridges when I worked at M&S but I can't ever remember buying one to try!
Yes we had snow on Friday morning but it had all melted by Saturday, thank goodness.

rkbsnana said...

I have never had Yorkshire Pudding. I have lead a sheltered life.