Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Preparing for Robbie

On January 25th every year, faithful Albannachs (and some misguided Sassenachs, I'm one of them) celebrate the birthday of Scotland's National Poet, Robert Burns.
This year is the 249th anniversary of his birth in Alloway, South Ayrshire, Scotland. Quite the handsome devil, methinks.

St. James Presbyterian Church celebrated a little early by feeding 160 people a traditional Burns Supper.
This included 25 huge turnips boiled to perfection...

... mashed with some salt and pepper, generous dollops of sour cream and cream cheese....

.... and then baked in the oven with a cheesey topping.

70 pounds of potatoes, peeled, cooked, seasoned and mashed...

... and of course, the HAGGIS, 5 of them, please don't tell me what it reminds you of, I don't want to know!

Wrap all 5 haggises (should the plural be haggi?) in foil, heat at 300F for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours, remember to put about an inch of hot water in the pan. Believe me, there's nothing worse than the smell of burnt haggis. It stinks the place out for days. (If you're wondering about the brick wrapped in foil, it was the only way to get both pans in the oven at the same time.)

Then wrap the haggis in towels to keep warm, put in the cooler and deliver to the dinner venue.... stay tuned to this blog for more pictures of the dinner and entertainment in the next post!

22 comments:

Brian said...

Inuit up here would freak out at the haggis, but nothing wrong with eating raw liver or hearts, or the raw intestines [after washing] for that matter.
That’s a unique way to do turnip, might give it a whirl one day, best I do is mix it in with spuds when mashing.

TorAa said...

I love traditional food. Something I do not think I'll be fed up with. The Haggis looks like a huge offal sausage. At least larger than the one we use here in Norway.
Turnips I have not seen for sale here for decades. It's a pity, as it seems you have a great recipe.

And next year I suspect it will be a BIG celebration for Robert Burns.

Hilary said...

That brick solution is a clever idea! I'll have to remember that. Thanks.

The veggies look wonderful.. but the jury is still out on the Haggis.

Thanks for sharing. :)

photowannabe said...

Very unique celebration foods. I can't say the haggis makes me drool but perhaps sometime I will give it a go...

lettuce said...

hi shammie - i'm trying hard not to think about what that haggis looks like

:o/

we like haggis in our house too.

tried to leave instructions for the comment thingy, but it wont allow the code in your comment box..... will think again ....

lettuce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lettuce said...

pah, still can't, i'll put a note for you on my next post.

rosemary said...

The tradition is wonderful. Turnips OK, potatoes OK, Haggis...not so much and actually I think it looks like a headless snake. He is a handsome devil.

Runaway Rubber Duckie said...

I just love how they sell vegetarian haggis in Scotland!

madretz said...

Intriguing!

The first time I ate turnips was in Canada...Quebec City. Come to think of it, that was the last time, too. But i liked it. It just isn't found on our menus or grocery store.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Nice to see what look like proper haggis... an acquired taste to some... lucky for me I acquired the taste for them when young.. Hope your Burns night was a treat to all.

david mcmahon said...

G;day from Australia,

I came here from Old Tom Wigley's blog. I am very familiar with the poetry of wee Rabbie - but I only found out today that he wrote `Ode To A Haggis'!!!

By the way, I have travelled several times to your country and my next novel is set partially in Muskoka, Ontario!

Cheers

David

Mary said...

Veggies = yummy. Haggis = I don't think so.

I, too, think the brick sollution is a clever idea. I'm going to wrap a brick and have it ready for my next big family gathering. That's usually at least 20 folks. I do all the cooking and enjoy doing so.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I must admit Haggis is most unappitizing looking...And I dearly hope it tastes better than it looks!
What is the true appeal of Haggis, pray tell? And wjat does it actually taste like? Anything we might know?
Sorry to ask so many questions, but...I'd really like to know without having to taste it, myself! (lol)

John Doe said...

Edinburgh chip shops sell tasty vegetarian haggis, unfortunately I live in the south of England.
I am not sure about the brick, I found it hard to digest. Perhaps served with gravy it would have more palatable!

Peter said...

Nice to see that some old eating traditions are maintained!!
... and I learnt how the Scottish say Scotsman and Englishman!

lorenzothellama said...

The Scots DO NOT cook turnips like that! You're cheating! They boil them to an inch of their life and then eat them lightly mashed with a fork, not a fancy gadget!

Haggis: Urghhhhhh.

Glad to know how to spell colour.

imac said...

Never tried Haggis, wouldnt mind tho, just dont think whats it made of tho.

All washed down with a beer or 4



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Neva said...

I am with you on the Haggis...but the turnips sound good!! The brick solution is very creative...I will remember that one! and on the Selective Service.....I could have said "no"....I just didn't as I felt this would not be a big deal time wise....and if they ever reinstate the draft....I might eat those words!

Ash said...

Yummy!

bigbikerbob said...

Hi, How I love Haggis but most of them down here are usually round, and we usually just boil them.I love any left overs next day put in the frying pan, served up with chips and Peas. Parsnips no thank you, although the wife loves em roasted.

Ginnie said...

Donica has told me about Haggis before when she HAD to try it in Scotland while on business, so I have a feeling about it from her. Is my nose turned up by her description of it? Well, let's just say that it was an experience for her. :)

But everything else looks right up my alley!!!