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Saturday, 23 January 2010

Address to a haggis

A Burns Supper

The annual celebratory tribute to the life, works and spirit of the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). Celebrated on, or about, the Bard's birthday, January 25th, Burns Suppers range from stentoriously formal gatherings of esthetes and scholars to uproariously informal rave-ups of drunkards and louts. Most Burns Suppers fall in the middle of this range, and adhere, more or less, to some sort of time honoured form which includes the eating of a traditional Scottish meal, the drinking of Scotch whisky, and the recitation of works by, about, and in the spirit of the Bard.

Address to a Haggis
1786

Fair
fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
Aboon them a' yet 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!

source Robert Burns Country

I didn't go to a formal Burns Supper, but we had haggis, neeps (swede known as turnip in Scotland) and champit tatties (mashed potatoes) for our supper tonight.

One or two questions have been asked so I am adding a little to this post.
1. Yes that is a bottle of malt whisky behind the haggis, we didn't have it with the meal but had some after with our coffee.
2. You can find out about what goes into a haggis HERE although personally, I think it is better not to know because it tastes nothing like any of the ingredients, it is peppery and delicious.

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8 Comments:

At 23 January 2010 at 20:59 , Blogger Hazel said...

Very traditional, Janice - and did you have the whisky with it? x

 
At 23 January 2010 at 21:11 , Anonymous Wendy said...

The bottle's there... I hope you DID have the whiskey!

 
At 23 January 2010 at 21:13 , Blogger Anet said...

Oh my, what does haggis taste like? It all sounds so nicely Scottish. Maybe similar to 'scrapple'?

 
At 24 January 2010 at 00:52 , Blogger Chow and Chatter said...

oh love this I am born in England so can't read it well, you need to add an audio clip to your blog, haggis is yummy,

Rebecca

 
At 24 January 2010 at 05:49 , Blogger LDH said...

It sure is fun learning Scottish words... champit tatties sounds so much livelier than just mashed potatos! haggis, neeps ... fun words :)

 
At 24 January 2010 at 07:44 , Blogger Marie said...

I've never been brave enough to try a haggis. I might give a veggie one a go though... I think I'd need a lot of whiskey to fortify me to try a meat one. lol

 
At 24 January 2010 at 12:18 , Blogger Chele said...

I hope the great man doesn't get too upset about the veggie offering we'll be having in his honour lol

 
At 25 January 2010 at 23:05 , Anonymous Lauren said...

Love the bottle of Talisker in the background! I'm not a big haggis fan, but maybe I should give it a go.

 

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I love to read your comments and try to reply when I can. I have had to enable comment moderation due to high levels of spam, so it may take a little time before your comment is visible. Please let me know if you make one of my recipes or if you have any questions I will try to answer them. Janice

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