Monday, January 31, 2011

Haggis, Anyone???

Saturday night, my husband and I attended a fancy dinner that benefited our local shelter for women and children who have been affected by domestic violence.  The Robert Burns Supper and Show is a tradition up on our mountain, and the folks who put it on pull out all of the stops!

Robert Burns was considered to be the "National Poet of Scotland".  His first work was a song about his first love "Handsome Nell" written in 1774.... therefore, the song is NOT about me.

The Supper celebrates the old Scottish tradition of commemorating the birthday of Robert Burns with many Scottish traditions thrown in the mix.  It was not your average party, but it was definitely a night to remember.

The Evening started off  with the presentation of the American Flag, and the most beautiful rendition of "America the Beautiful" that I've ever heard on the bag pipes.  It was quite moving.  Below are the musicians getting ready to enter the room:

These guys are some of our local firefighting heroes.  They're member's of the fire department's "Pipes and Drums". 

This particular guy happens to be a great friend of our family, and he's got massive skillz on the pipes!  His Kilt is gorgeous, too!

After the opening ceremonies, we had a divine meal that consisted of the following Scottish fare:

Appetizers: many types of fancy cheeses and a variety of crackers
First Course: Leek Soup and Tossed Garden Salad
Dinner: Prime Rib, Mashed Garlic Potatoes, and Mixed Vegetables with Rolls

After dinner, they had a silent cake auction with cakes made from local businesses and restaurants all over the mountain.  The winners shared their cakes with their entire table.  There were some real works of art:

Then a great Scottish band played some fabulous music to dance to, and the dance floor was hoppin'.

Next came the best part: the Parade of the Haggis.

Traditionally, Scotch Whiskey and Haggis go together hand-in-hand, linking our generation to the Scottish Forefathers. 

Haggis is quite the culinary experience... to put it mildly. It's made out of the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep.  They are cooked and minced, and then mixed with suet, oatmeal, and seasonings.  Then the mixture is encased in the sheep's stomach, or the bung of an ox.  After the bung is stitched up, it's boiled for up to 3 hours.  Talk about some tasty stuff....or not.

I would highly recommend that you click on the link below, to see step by step pictures of how this is made.  It's wildly entertaining!!!

Before partaking of the Haggis, there is an entire ceremony that takes place.

First, there is the official, "Parade of the Haggis".

The Bag Pipes and drummer lead the way around the ball room, as a woman carries the tray of Haggis behind them.  As the Haggis passes by the tables, you are supposed to take in its fine aroma. 

Here is the lovely lady escorting the Haggis while the bagpipes accompany her.

Here is her husband, guarding the Haggis with his sword as he walks through the ball room.

After the Parade, Robert Burn's Poem, Address to a Haggis, is read.   Then it's time to partake of the Scotch and Haggis.

I did not partake of the Scotch Whiskey because, first, the smell alone was strong enough to burn my nose hairs, and secondly, I try to make it a point not to drink anything that resembles a urine sample.

But I DID eat some Haggis.  Here's the proof:

Alright, after trying some, I feel that a shot of whiskey might be a prudent move to kill the taste of the Haggis.  By the looks on the faces of the people around the room, I'd say that the Haggis was bad, but the Scotch was worse.  It might burn the hair off a man's chest.  I'm not sure.

We had a great evening, and it was a unique and fun experience for a great cause!

On our way out, I spotted this elk in the lobby of the hotel.

By the look on his face, it's evident that he tried the Haggis too! 

The End.

No comments:

Post a Comment