Virtual Burn's Supper

Joined Oct 27, 2001
The 25th January is the annual tribute to Robert Burns (1759-1796), also known, as the Bard, Scotland's national poet.
For a Burns Supper friends and colleagues get together to celebrate his life and works, eat traditional Scottish food, drink copious amounts of whisky, and generally have a good time.
I propose that we in cheftalk have our first Virtual Burns Supper on the 25th.
I will endeavour to post a few poems, but as they would be very difficult to read, I'll try and post some audio files to enable you to listen to Lowlands Scots poetry instead!
To allow us to make the Burns night into an entire virtual day I think that we should play some virtual golf on one Scotland's most beautiful courses, before settling down to our Burn's Supper. This brings me to the most important part - the menu. No matter what delicacies people eat - haggis, neeps and tatties are sacrosanct. How and where they appear is the choice of the chef, but haggis, potatoes and turnips have to appear in the menu. The ingredients used for the rest of the meal must be also Scottish. However, one can also celebrate the Auld Alliance - the historic union between the royal families of France and Scotland by using French ingredients and style of cooking. Or a chef might choose to celebrate Scotland's immigrant populations and use Italian, Cantonese or Indian influences in their cooking. I leave the menu in the capable hands of our chefs, both amateur and professional.
A word of advice though. No one actually makes haggis (unless its vegetarian) anymore. We buy it from McSween's.
I await the menus with anticipation!
Joined Oct 27, 2001
While you are thinking up menus for Burn's Night, I would like to divulge a little known secret about our national dish.
The haggis, the authentic one, is not, as is commonly thought, a relative of boudin. The haggis of sheep's offal is a poor imitation of the aristrocratic meal of the haggis.
In reality, the haggis is a little known animal,a distant relative of the antipodean duck-billed plattypuss. It's unique in that it has one leg shorter than another, thus allowing it to run round hills at great speed. The male of the species has it's right leg shorter than it's left while the female has a shorter left leg. This has it's limitations, the haggis can only run round a hill in one direction. Mother Nature saw to it to solve this problem by having the females run in one direction and the males in another.
for more details on this rare, well kept secret of the Scottish highlands see
Joined Jan 1, 2001
what a great subject for a movie script!!! Robert Burns and his foods! I'm all for any movie that has men with skirts!!!
Did Burns wear a kilt???
BTW, What is vegetarian haggis?
Joined Jul 31, 2000
I looked in the "Haggisclopedia" To find out everything I ever wanted to know about haggis.

They are very cute:rolleyes: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer:
Joined Dec 4, 2001
"Wee sleekit, coorin', timorous beastie
Oh what a panic's in thy breastie"
Ode To A Mouse my favourite Burns poem.

Who recognizes this line?
"Still mousie thou art no thy lane
In proving forsight may be vain
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Gang aft a gley"

What a great idea!
On a visit home a cople of years ago (for my dad's 80th birhday) I ate in a pub in my home town not renouned for it's culinary wizardry. However, this meal was really very good. I had a haggis stuffed steak which was delicious.
I can actually get haggis here in California believe it or not. I also have a recipe for pan haggis cooked on the stove top rather than boiled in the traditional way.
It's interesting that your west coast haggis is a different species to the ones we have on the east coast. Our male haggis has the shorter left leg and the female visa versa. It's no wonder they can't cross breed in the wild:):)

Joined Nov 20, 2000
Love to eat them mousies. Mousies what I love to eat. Bite upon they tiny heads, and nibble on they tiny feet. B.Kliban

How about for a breakfast layout some fine Scottish Kippers and eggs. Some Scottish Black Bread and Muesli, and fresh warm Struan with sweet butter. I/m good to go salmon fishing now thank you very much!

Aye an' a bit of Mackeral settler rack and ruin
ran it doon by the haim, 'ma place
well I slapped me and I slapped it doon in the side
and I cried, cried, cried.

The fear a fallen down taken never back the raize and then Craig Marion,
get out wi' ye Claymore out mi pocket a' ran doon, doon the middin stain
picking the fiery horde that was fallen around ma feet.
Never he cried, never shall it ye get me alive
ye rotten hound of the burnie crew. Well I snatched fer the blade O my
Claymore cut and thrust and I fell doon before him round his feet.

Aye! A roar he cried frae the bottom of his heart that I would nay fall
but as dead, dead as 'a can be by his feet; de ya ken?

...and the wind cried back.

Joined Jul 24, 2001
Mac Rachel. You said it and you did it!
Excellent thread.
The rumour that haggis is an animal maybe should be taken more seriously.
Many medeval authors admit that they have seen it and actually they are the ones who described this difference in the size of legs.
Goddefried Bellarduin is the first that comes up to my mind. I have to search for the rest. In his Chronicles Godeffried mentions that the existence of Haggis cannot be explined otherwise than it comes from a single animal under this name.
I don't know... Goddefried told this :rolleyes:
I will be back with my suggestion.
Joined Jul 24, 2001
In the mean time and as you are working on menus I cannot resist posting this poem.
When the name of Robert Burns comes in mind this is the poem that follows.
I think that this poem is among the 10 best love poems that have ever been written.It was first published in 1794.
So simple, so lyrical, so beautiful.


O, my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi the sun!
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho it were ten thousand mile!
Joined Oct 27, 2001
breakfast sounds great Chrose!!!
After careful consideration the choice for the great Scottish game of golf has to be Turnberry on the Ayrshire coast where Burns himself came from.I have tried to copy some photos in, but I'm afraid it's another link

but what are we having for dinner???
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, chieftain o' the pudding race.

My contributions to the meal will be some Cullen Skink and some bridies too.

Perhaps some neeps and tatties and the (bagless) haggis
Joined Jul 24, 2001
Do we have to play golf? All of us?

I don't know how to play. So, for those who want to sit and admire the chef talk golfers I will preparer some sandwitches with black bread and smoked salmon to escort our Islyes ;)

Salmon goes perfectly with Talisker and Caol Ila.
Someone suggested me to try Glenfiddich with cookies. He must have been joking...

Those who love intense smoked flavors will have a Lagavulin .
Having Lagavulin as favourite means that you are not a .
Laphroaig drinker.
This is a richy flavoured single malt perfect for those who just begin their carreer as whiskey drinkers.
But...VERY expensive!!

Oban will be ok while we are watching golf. I easy going whiskey not so many flavours to discover, has a full body though.

I think that I will save the proverbial Aberlour for dinner, if the dinner will be typical Scotish.

Joined Jul 24, 2001
Ok I found some dishes for dinner, they look edible ( Joking)
But just in case, I suggest we drink a bottle of whiskey first!

Scotch Broth
Skirlie (oatmeal and Onions) (OMG)
Stovies (potatoes, onions and left-over meat)

All this dishes are escorted by Whisky toddy

This is the only worth to mention recipe :D

In addition to haggis, tartan and bagpipes Scotland is also synominous with mists, drizzle and cold. It is inevitable that at the end of a dreech winters day we should require a little something to warm the soul (even if we do have central heating and double glazing) and what better way than with a whisky toddy.

A toddy is also excellent way to treat a cold - it won’t cure you but after a couple of toddies you won’t care either!
Hot water.
Heather honey or sugar.
Lemon juice.
Dissolve a teaspoon of honey/sugar in a glass of boiling water. Add a glass of whisky and a little lemon juice, stir. Serve while still hot.
Joined Oct 27, 2001
the hot toddie is a great cure for colds. I've heard foreign versions using brandy and rum, but whisky's still my favourite.

menus: I've never had skirlie - and hope to continue this way for some time ;)
for our menu I suggest:

Smoked fish pate and oatcakes

haggis, neeps and tatties, cut into round disks and placed in a tower. (there is a much better professional term for this but I don't know what it is)

lemon syllabub made with sweet madiera

venison steak served on a bed of braised red cabbage and red currant and port jelly

whisky and raspberry steam pudding

oak smoked Orkney cheese and port

Blue Mountain Jamaican coffee or Darjeeling tea (remembering the ex-colonies)

there, good traditional Scottish food as eaten by the ruling classes. My ancestors probably ate skirlie, stovies and a permanent diet of potatoes. I'm sure that they would prefer the above ;) . I am also sure that most of you could do a better job than me. . .
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