Quick. Don’t think. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say the word bagpipes? What about ‘neeps? Haggis? Scotch? Plaid?
Are you cringing or smiling?
I’m smiling. The sound of the pipes, the taste of a scotch, the sight of tartan all bring a gleam of happiness to my heart.
January 25th is Robbie Burns Day. The day the Scot’s laud the birthday of the Scottish poet who lived in the late 1700’s. For many of Scottish ancestry, it is traditionally celebrated with a Burns Dinner. I’m not Scottish (although sometimes I think I might as well have been) but a Burns dinner? I’ve been to many.
I have to be honest, I don’t actually remember the food at most of the Burns dinners I attended when I was growing up. (No, not because I was into the scotch, but because I was a highland dancer) But to this day I can still picture the large halls filled with people in kilts, the haggis being piped in, the dancing and the revelry.
Traditions abound for a Burns dinner. Order of toasts, foods to be served, and graces to be said. I’m not a purist when it comes to my dinners. I don’t start with Cock a leekie soup, and I will not be serving ‘neeps (turnip). I will however have bagpipe music on the stereo and a table full of people who may, or may not, do a Highland fling or a sword dance. So, with a wee nod nod to tradition here is what I’ll be serving on Robbie Burns day.
Robbie Burns Dinner Menu 2012
oatcakes topped with a whiskey cheddar cheese spread
vegetable pancakes with smoked salmon and dilled creme fraiche
Horseradish slow cooked beef
Tatties (mashed potato) and leeks
Slow roasted cipollini onions
Gratin of savoy cabbage
Tipsy Laird (think trifle…. with whiskey)
The Selkirk Grace
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.