Friday 25 January 2013

Haggis, Whisky and Poetry - Burns Night ...

Toast the “Great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race” tonight or this weekend with the finest single malt whisky you can find ... preferably a good-blended whisky with rich, smoky, heathery vital flavour-enhancing overtones – to whet one’s appetite for ....  

Piping the Haggis ... c/o BBC

  • Scotch broth

  • Haggis with neeps and tatties

  • Cranachan dessert – whipped cream, whisky, honey (preferably heather flavoured) and fresh raspberries, topped with toasted oatmeal soaked overnight in whisky


Enjoy the evening ... remembering 50 years ago perhaps when a brief thaw set in during the Big Freeze on 25th January 1963 ... which didn’t end until early March ...

Robert Burns wrote “To a Mouse” ... on turning up her nest with the plough, in November 1785 ...  this is the first verse:

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin’, tim’rous beastie,
O what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee
Wi’ murd’ring prattle!

So to all of you - enjoy your drink to a King of Poets ... enjoy your feasting ... remembering King Winter is still around outside ... but it looks like a big thaw is on its way next week ...

Before you aseat yourself and raise your glass ...

I have a long last post on the weather or two shorter ones ... I’d like to post them ... but would be grateful if you perhaps would tell me .. one or two?!

Many thanks and here’s to you all ...

Robert Burns works – Address to a Haggis ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't do whiskey, so I will lift a virtual glass to you!

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Not being a drinker, I shall raise a mug of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows :)

And before your next postings on the weather, right now, on Friday evening, we are having a major snowstorm in Leek!

Enjoy your weekend and stay warm!


Janie Junebug said...

I'll try the cranachen dessert, please.


MorningAJ said...

There's a haggis in the fridge and whisky on the shelf and tatties and neeps in the kitchen and we would have had them tonight except we went for a curry yesterday. So we had to eat yesterday's lamb casserole tonight. Burns Night has been postponed for 24 hours!

Diane said...

We used to celebrate Burn's night every year when in S. Africa. It was a big thing there. Thanks for all the great memories you have just brought back for me. Diane

Southpaw said...

I'll drink virtual anything! I'll even try virtual haggis. :)

As for post I like shorter- so 2 is my vote.

Luanne G. Smith said...

I've still got my bottle of whisky I bought in Edinburgh. I'll have to raise a glass tonight. Cheers! :D

Oh, and I take my posts long or short, your choice.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex - I can't stand whisky .. but I'll have a drink occasionally ..

@ Gary - oh no .. I don't think I'll drink a mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows tonight! That's for earlier in the day!!

I gather the weather is awful further north .. I just hope everyone is safe .. I don't think it's going to reach us down here ..

Thank you .. I'm warm and not frozen in I'm pleased to say ..

@ Janie - that's a pleasure .. I'll have some too! I've never tried it .. but this recipe I thought sounded rather good ..

@ Anne - that's good to know .. well done .. at least you could get out for that curry ... Enjoy your Burns Night dinner tomorrow ..

@ Diane - I reminded a friend in South Africa of one of our more drunken evenings .. A Burns Night - x number of years ago .. when it was 30+ deg C .. as it is now I gather .. she said it was due to be 35 deg C .. that's way too hot!!

She'd forgotten to my surprise .. but when remembered .. I supect won't disappear for long again ..

Thanks so much for commenting - enjoy your weekends in snow, or frost, or just plain normal weather .. cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Excellent Hilary, I too will raise a hot chocolate.


Karen Jones Gowen said...

I never tire of hearing about the weather in other parts of the world, so post away! Here in Salt Lake it's finally beginning to thaw.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Everything outside is covered in ice and sleet right now, so I understand the big freeze.

Susan Kane said...

I am with you on the dessert! I wonder if my son-in-law is hosting a Robert Burns dinner again??

Chuck said...

A nice single malt sounds great this time of year, as it is quite chilly here as well. Stay warm Hilary!

Manzanita said...

I'm not a drinking person, either but that oatmeal might be worth a peep. Along with Gary's hot chocolate with marshmallow. That would take the nip out of the morning air.
We are voting? I vote for 2 short.
It may be cold outside but it always feels warm and comfy over at your blog.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Holly - virtual anything is possible isn't it .. and thanks for voting!

@ Luanne - oh I'm glad I reminded you about the whisky you bought while in Edinburgh last year ... and thanks re the posting angle ..

@ Yvonne - ok .. hot chocolate it is .. I'm on coffee now!

@ Karen - just two more .. I'm getting a little tired of them - but there are some other aspects and some fun ones ..

@ Diane - like you our north of England was frozen in last night - stranded motorists everywhere ..

@ Susan - that would be interesting to know and fun to find out more about .. perhaps you'll post a snippet of his Burns night if they had one?

@ Chuck - we don't have frost any more .. but it's still cold here - but the north is in a bad way this morning ..

@ Manzanita - the cranachan does sound rather nice .. whisky like that I could deal with.

Gary's hot chocolate with marshmallows would make a very good alternative, I agree.

Many thanks for your words of encouragement re the blog .. two more cold weather posts coming up!

Cheers everyone - and look after yourselves .. while you have a wonderful weekend: with or without the snow .. Hilary

Vallypee said...

Hilary, I read your last post, but never got round to commenting - this one came up too quickly! Like Karen, I love reading about the weather, especially with the interesting spin you put on it by connecting it to history and events all over Europe. Anyhow, about the Robbie Burns thing, I also toast it with a virtual glass, I see not many here claim to be whiskey drinkers (myself included), but it's so tied to the tradition, even I might take a sip to do the great man honour.

Elise Fallson said...

Hi Hilary,
My background is French/Italian so I'll try just about anything when it comes to food or drink. (: I've never tried haggis, but I do enjoy a good boudin noir, so if I ever have the opportunity to try it, I'll think of you. (: I'm not a big whiskey fan, but then again, I can't say I've tried the finest. Cranachan dessert sounds delicious though. Enjoy your weekend Hilary, Cheers!

Lynn said...

How could I forget - me with my Scottish last name - Rabbie Burns's birthday! But yet I did.

My sister and nieces went to a traditional Scottish evening when we were in Edinburgh and they piped in the haggis. I had a little to say I had tried it. :) Yikes. But fun.

There's a replica of Robert Burns's childhood home in Atlanta. You must be a member of the local Burns society to enter, but I did get to go in during a one day only tour with friend Lori. Lori had just moved to Atlanta and was embracing all things quirky about the area and found the one day only tour. So grateful to her that I got to do that.

Jo said...

I do whisky (no e in Scotch by the way) and certainly raised a glass last night. I have never tried haggis, want of opportunity, not actual decision. There is a Scottish shop near which was taking orders, but in Canada, I wonder how true the recipe would be.

Robyn Campbell said...

I WANT SNOW!!!!!!!! We have only had sleet this winter and not much of that. I wanna ride one of my horses in the snow! Cranachan dessert sounds scrumptious! *cheers Robert Burns*

P.S. Love weather posts.

I heart you.

A Lady's Life said...

Happy Robert Burns Day!
Cheers !:)

Anonymous said...

That dessert sounds interesting. I'd give it a try. One long post or two shorter ones is totally up to you.
: )

R's Rue said...

The dessert sounds good!

Karen Lange said...

I first learned what haggis was when I was in a play in 8th grade. There was a character who liked it, so us actors "discussed" it during the play. Fun times!

Toasting you with a lovely glass of iced tea!

Karen :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Val - sorry the next weather posts came to be too long .. and it was Burns Night - so I slipped one in.

Two weather posts coming - and like you I don't like whisky either .. but Rabbie Burns deserves a mention!

@ Elise - haggis and boudin noir come from the same family of foods .. sausage type ... I'm glad to see you'll give haggis a go sometime.

Whisky doesn't do anything for me - I'd quite like to see round a distillery though - that Cranachan dessert does sound good doesn't it.

@ Lynn - forgotten Rabbie - how terrible!!!! Now you've remembered .. but joining in a traditional Rabbie Burns evening must have been such fun.

How interesting they've put up a replica of his cottage in Atlanta - I wonder why. Lucky you to have a tour round the cottage through and with your friend Lori -

The Burns society must be very strong in its membership and love of Burns ..

@ Jo - whisky/ whiskey .. the English do whisky while the States add the 'e'. I'm sure that Scottish shop would have a pretty good recipe - give it a try sometime!

@ Robyn - we we don't like our snow - stuck in cars, motorways closed - but pretty on the land .. it's now melting so fast - we're into flood warnings!! They were struggling to ride their horses - the weather is so bad ... and now it's very soggy underfoot ...

That cranachan pud would be a good reward for all that exercise!

Thanks re the weather .. coming up ..

@ A Lady's Life - thank you ..

@ Susanne - I'll join you with some Cranachan .. and thanks for answering - it'll be two posts ..

@ Regine - good to see you and thank you ..

@ Karen - how interesting that you discussed haggis as a 13/14 year old in school - well good memories I'd say .. and fun as you say.

Iced Tea - gosh we've plenty of ice .. and now we have lots of melting water!!

Cheers everybody .. stay safe with whichever/ whatever weather you're experiencing ... Hilary

Rhonda Albom said...

I'll just take the raspberries and skip the rest. As for the weather, go for two (or one if you prefer). Sorry, not helpful.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Heres raising my cup of java to you, dear Hilary.

Two posts sound good on the weather.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm Canadian, so of course, I'm interested in the weather. It keeps me going. Haha. Which sounds weird even to me. As for virtual drinks. Since they're virtual, I can drink anything. In person, hot chocolate. I mean it is Canada and it is freezing!

Happy Robert Burns Day, Hilary!

Gattina said...

That's a lot of whisky, hic, lol !
I am so fed up with King. Winter, I wished QueenSpring would move in !

Patsy said...


I've not been to a Burn's night do, but I did attend a St Andrew's dinner and, after the haggis was addressed we ate it with tatties and neeps. It was a nice evening - thank you for reminding me of it.

Christine Rains said...

I'm not a drinker, but I'll raise my glass to you. Cheers!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rhonda - I'd rather have a full plate of raspberries too - they're so delicious ...

Two posts it'll be ..

@ Teresa - cup of java sounds a good idea .. and two it will be ..

@ Joylene - our weather is terrible right now ... more flooding ... hot chocolate sounds a good idea - but freezing Canada ... I'll leave for now - when did your lake freeze?

@ Gattina - King winter is a pain I agree .. looks like a slow Spring ..

@ Patsy - cheers back .. The St Andrews dinner I'm sure would have been similar .. a little less Burns perhaps!! Glad I brought back those memories ...

@ Christine - raising my berry punch ... to you too ..

Cheers everyone - Hilary

Paula RC said...

Again your postings are wonderful, Hilary full of interesting facts. I have a recipe which my husband and I made last year after seeing a programme about harvesting from the hedgerows.
Take a jamjar with a lid and fill to the top with blackberries then half way with castor sugar 'don't squash the blackberries down'. Then cover the blackberries and sugar with whisky and store in cupboard until Christmas. It is beautiful whether you like whisky or not.

The whisky soaked blackberries are wonderful on your icecream after you bottle up the blackberry liqueur :-)

Laura Eno said...

Whichever way you want to post is fine with me. :)
I've never tried haggis...I'll try anything but I'd have to eat it not knowing ahead of time what it is. :P

Julie Flanders said...

Any way you choose to post is fine with me, Hilary. I know I will enjoy the posts either way.

I'm a bit late but raising a glass to you now. Cheers! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Paula - your recipe for the blackberries sounds absolutely delicious - and I might try that later this year. The ice-cream scenario would make an excellent 'sauce' for a simple dessert wouldn't it - thanks for this idea - pity the blackberries aren't here now!

@ Laura - I think we could disguise the haggis with some veg .. like baby food?! I enjoy trying different foods .. but I was in St Andrews when I gave it a go .. and since I've eaten haggis a few times.

@ Julie - many thanks - no worries I'm onto coffee now -

Have very good weeks ahead .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Sure, I'll drink to that. Even if it is only 4:30 am here.

Tara Tyler said...

what a great event! i love the dessert and wish we had more fun songs like that! maybe i will try to write one after a couple of whiskeys!

Ciara said...

I don't do straight up whiskey, but what is that delicious creation in the picture. Yum!

Tamara said...

I have a feeling I'd be drunk just off the dessert. haha. Sounds kinda crazy...:) But very cool.

And either one post or two is fine by me, whatever is easier for you!

cleemckenzie said...

I don't know tatties or neeps, but I do know Haggis and whisky. Can't say I'm a fan of either, but I'm sure that whisky will warm you up during the freezes!

I can almost hear those bagpipes!

Inger said...

I'm a little late here, but I will still raise my virtual glass since I don't drink either to that great poet.

Davina said...

Hi Hilary.

A belated Happy Robby Burns Day to you. Cheers! I would also like one of the Cranachan desserts, please. They sound delicious.

As for one long or two short weather posts, since you asked, my preference is for two shorter posts. However, whatever you decide I will enjoy. Reading about weather has always interested me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Stephen .. gosh that early! Drinking way too early though .. glad you feel the same way.

@ Tara - it's a very important Scottish day .. so around the world gets remembered.

@ Ciara - the Cranachan sounds the best doesn't it ..

@ Tamara - I think I might be too especially if whisky is used in the Cranachan ..

@ Lee - Potatoes and Swede mashed ... but I can see you know Haggis and Whisky ... I heard some bagpipes recently - gave me a reminder.

@ Inger - I hope you're feeling better ... raising a glass of something will do Burns just fine.

@ Davina .. I thought I'd spotted you and then had failed to get back to your comment and I see others.

The dessert does sound good - you must have lovely raspberries in your woods on the island ...

Many thanks for sharing the Burns celebrations with me .. cheers Hilary

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Super post! I just knew you would've had to write something about Burns. Sorry I missed it last week, but better late than never.

I don't mind a nip of whiskey, (actually, I prefer bourbon) but I can do quite well without haggis. I ate it when I was a child, and dinna like it at all. I don't think you can even get the real thing here anymore, and when my sister-in-law and her family visited Scotland, they didn't even get the real thing there. It was made with mostly oatmeal, and they actually liked it.