|Would you recognise him better if I stuck him on a tin of shortbread?|
The 25th of January is Rabbie Burns' birthday. He's 262 years old today. Luckily we Scots don't celebrate this marvellous event with a cake and candles. Instead there will be Burns Suppers happening the whole world over, where you'll see many a kilt, a wee dram or two, and a hell of a lot of haggis being spoken to and stabbed with a dagger, or a knife (whatever's to hand).
Haggis is possibly the most famous Scottish food most people can think of. It's made up of sheeps heart, liver, and lungs (all minced), mixed with oatmeal, onion and suet (and seasoned) traditionally encased in the lining of a sheep's stomach. Nowadays though they tend to come in the kind of casing that they put sausages in, but you can still get your hands on a proper one in the butchers. Being of a 'faddy' type myself, I must admit I am not a fan of haggis. Never have been. And haggis is tradionally served with neeps (turnip) and tatties (potatoes, usually boiled) and I was never much fond of those two things either, so I suspect most Burns nights I have dined on toast.
Seeing as I am not really one for traditional Scottish fare, it might not surprise you to learn that I won't be boiling up a haggis for 3 hours this evening (or microwaving it, as I understand you can do these days), nor will I be popping out for 4 of these....
|from: The Art & Mystery of Food|
the traditional ye olde (deep fried in batter) Scottish haggis supper, available at all good Scottish chip shops, because beside the fact I don't like it, they're quite hard to get your hands on here. I am told that the KaDeWe don't stock them (shocking, isn't it?), but you can get them tinned in Broken English, the British shop here in Berlin. Tinned almost has as much appeal as deep fried in batter, doesn't it?
No, we won't be having haggis tonight. Indeed, shame on me, I only realised it was Burns Night when I was wished a happy one this morning when I met a friend for coffee, and we had already made our dinner plans for this evening. You see, Stevie's gone off to Derby for a few days, and we've been left the car, so in fact, dare I say it... we're heading to IKEA for some decidedly un-Scottish Swedish meatballs!*
* As my just desserts for this heinous crime, I am going to be spending the next few days sewing a kilt for Orla to wear to 'International Day' at school on the 30th. Never having made a kilt, I have high hopes for how it might turn out!