Saturday, January 25, 2014

Of bagpipes and haggis

All over the world—but most especially in Scotland—the 25th of January is Robbie Burns nightJust imagine a supper with bagpipes, poetry, haggis and scotch—and really, how bad can that be?  Surely the bard who put Scotland on the cultural map deserves this quirky annual homage, and seeing that I have a bit of Scottish blood in me, I'm all for reciting some Robert Burns poetry and swilling a wee dram of scotch whiskey—all whilst wearing a touch of tartan and cranking some bagpipe music. Click here to see the BBC Burns Night supper itinerary.

And seriously, if I could find a haggis here in the Boston area, I would try it—really I would. But just one little bite, and only if I had a chaser of something nearby... like chocolate. Scottish chocolate, of course. Ok, I'd settle for Scottish shortbread. Click here for some of Robbie Burns greatest works to read, and meanwhile, enjoy a bit of his Address to a Haggis poem.

Address To A Haggis
By Robert Burns
(First and last stanzas only)

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

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

Translation to modern English...

Fair and full is your honest, jolly face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Stomach, tripe, or intestines:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.

You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer, 
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!

And speaking of Haggis, I actually own this darling little book called The Haggis written by the wonderful Clarissa Dickson Wright. What can I say?… it was a stocking stuffer one year from Santa! You may know Clarissa as one of the two motorcycle-riding babes on the BBC's Two Fat Ladies show. Clarissa is very knowledgeable about the history of Brisish Isles cookery, and this little gem of a book is filled with all sorts of riveting information about the history of the haggis. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Type your comments here. If you don't have any of the accounts listed, select "Name/URL" and just put your name. Thanks!