Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pass the Haggis!

We were invited to a wonderful Christmas party last night, or I should say, Scottish party.  Our friends Gordon and Sarah Jane are both from Scotland and decided that a Christmas party would be the perfect time to introduce us to Scottish culture. 
The invitation started it with a lovely tartan design, (I'm guessing the Campbell tartan as that is our host's clan.) and a call for black tie or kilt.
And, it was rumoured that we would be having Haggis. 
What is Haggis?
Haggis resembles stuffed intestines. It is traditionally served with the Burn's supper on the week of January 25th, the day Scotland's favorite poet, Robert Burns, is commemorated. he wrote the poem Address to a Haggis, which starts "Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great Cheiftain o' the puddin-race!" In Burn's day haggis was a popular dish for the poor as it was extremely cheap, being made from the leftover, throwaway parts of a sheep. ( heart, liver, and lungs, and pretty much whatever is left) Haggis is traditionally served with "neeps and tatties" Which are turnips and potatoes.

So, even though it wasn't January 25th, Gordon started the evening  commemorating Robert Burns by reciting Address to a Haggis as he cut it.  This was done the modern way, with his Blackberry! The Haggis was very good resembling a warm pate'. We were told that in Scotland it is more grainy as oats are added to stretch the meat.
Much to our delight a bagpiper arrived to herald the beginning of our Scottish feast. We had two types of Shepard's pie, potatoes, turnips, a chicken stew, and of course the Haggis.
After our supper and many drinks, Sarah Jane and Gordon broke us up into teams to compete in a Scottish trivia quiz. They said this is a common pastime in Scottish pubs, one they enjoy whenever they go home to visit.
We had such a nice time, learned a lot about another culture, had much good food and drink, and met many lovely people while catching up with old friends. 
Gordon and Sarah Jane were wonderful hosts who happen to have the most wonderful accents!
(If you have ever seen the movie Enchanted, Sarah Jane resembles the princess to a T!)


Ina J Offret said...

A fun party! Don't know if I would try the haggis, though!

Frau said...

Fun night! Where is the picture of you and your updo? Marc looked very nice and I'm with Ina NO Way would I try the haggis just not that brave.

Mom on the Run said...

I've been to a Burns Dinner at St. Andrews....and I actually don't mind "the haggis". My grandma always made headcheese (I'm not sure of the spelling in German, but it sounded like "hotgot") and I thought haggis tasted just like it. A guy in our group from Pittsburg said it tasted like scrapple to him.

Every culture has some dish to make the leftover parts tasty and usable.

What a fun party!

kLw said...

It sounds scary! :P Just Kidding...but I would so have not eaten it!

Caffeine Court said...

What a great looking group of people! That looks like it was really lovely.