Jan 25, 1759 – Jul 21, 1796
What better place to celebrate the life of Scottish Bard, Robbie Burns, than in a tartan chair in front of a crackling, wood fire, and a wee dram of single malt in your hand?
I’m remiss this year in getting an online Burns Day celebration together. I’ve hosted some crackers in the past. Shame on me. But, I have a valid excuse. I’ve had my head down editing my third book in the “It Happened Series”.
On this Jan 25, will you celebrate the bard today with haggis, champit tatties (mashed potatoes) and bashed neeps (mashed turnips)?
With COVID throwing a spanner into everything, I was unable to buy a wee haggis for supper, not that I’ve had the inclination to go anywhere to get one. Something in the one-pound size or smaller suits us fine here at Chez King. Basically, I’m the only one who eats it, although my husband will have a spoonful along with me. And turnip? Definitely, only me.
So this Jan 25, I’ll fry up my last slice of frozen haggis, warm up some potatoes (if there are any left from Sunday dinner) with whatever else I make for supper. I don’t even have a single finger shortbread in the house. No sticky toffee pudding. Things will be on the lean side this year. But what I do have is whisky. So the big decision will be which single malt will I have a dram of?
With this Jan 25 falling on a Monday, celebrations will have to remain somewhat muted. After all, I have to work the next day. Okay, I’ll be working in my kitchen office, but still don’t want to do that with a sair heid.
Address To A Haggis
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 wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Then, horn for horn,
they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve,
Are bent lyke drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ legs an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle.
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!
And a wee bit of light reading for ‘after the feastie’.
Enjoy your Robbie Burns celebrations no matter how/where you celebrate.