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Thursday, January 22, 2009

HAGGIS: FEELING THE BURNS NIGHT









Friday sees the official start of my EATING FOR BRITAIN trip.

In the early morning, I shall throw a few things in the back of my recently purchased, battered old Ford Focus and point it Northwards to Scotland where for the next eight months I shall be travelling in search of some of the finest that this beautiful country of ours has to offer.

What better way to begin, given that 2009 marks the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns birth, than to head up to Alloway, his home town and accept the kind offer to attend a large, traditional Burns Night, celebration. There will, of course, be the wailing of pipers, the intoning of the immortal words over the “wee timorous beastie” and, possibly even some men in kilts offering me the chance to see their dirks, ahem.

We wont be alone, however, as on the day itself, the 25th January, over 1500 official Burns Suppers have been registered around the world with many more going on in the homes of teary eyed ex-pats.

By way of preparation, last night I cooked up a small little example of lung, hearts, liver, oats, barley and spices in a stomach, from the finest of all makers of Haggis, MacSweens and served it with a traditional side of mashed turnips and slightly less conventional additions of mashed sweet potatoes and a thick parsley sauce.

There are lots of ways of cooking a haggis, but I went for the quick method of using the microwave, which may seem controversial, but is in fact a tradition that goes way back to the mid 1960’s where it was invented by the feared Clan McWhirlpool.

To make sure it did not dry out, I doused the meat with a good glug of whisky while cooking and, of course, made sure to do the same as I was eating it.

My journey is going to bring me, I am sure, into contact with some amazing food and some equally amazing people, but there could be few better ways to begin than to pay homage to this little creature from North of the border

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Jonny said...

Another great trip - have fun, I look forward to reading all about it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009 8:13:00 am  
Anonymous C.Elder said...

Good luck on yr trip-may the wind be at yr back,the sun in yr face etc etc.Don't forget to bring the Alka-seltzer.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 11:27:00 am  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Turnips?! Neeps and sweet tatties is what you had!

Have a great trip

Thursday, January 22, 2009 12:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Fat Les said...

I'll be having me own Burns' do with haggis courtesy of M&S. Bon Voyage!

Thursday, January 22, 2009 7:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a good one. Irish white pudding must be on your list, essential part of breakfast.

Friday, January 23, 2009 12:21:00 am  
Blogger Tiina said...

Well hello, I'm from Finland and visited in Edinbugh last summer. Of course everyone told me not to taste The haggis. I should taste like something so horrible, that world will end etc..
To be faithfull to character I did just the opposite, and in first morning I asked could I have your haggis please. And... I'ts quite good, actually we have almosts similar food product in here, called ryynimakkara.

Friday, January 23, 2009 6:36:00 pm  

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