The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Burns Suppers

The 25th of January is Burns Night – when Scotland, and many around the world of Scottish descent, celebrate the birth of the nation’s poet, Robert Burns.

The traditional meal for the occasion is haggis, neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes).

In our household this evening there were 4 different variations being served between the 6 of us.

My stepson, Rory, who’s currently staying with us for a wee while, had the real thing – a proper haggis made of sheep’s heart, lungs and liver wrapped up in a stomach lining – which he bought from a local butcher.

Maggie and my stepdaughter, Holly, are both vegetarian so went for a Macsween’s Vegetarian Haggis.

Unfortunately neither real nor veggie haggis tend to be gluten free, so both were out for Meg. Maggie made up a nut-roast mix for her, using gluten free breadcrumbs in the ingredients.

I joined Meg for this as I find haggis to be quite vile, and the veggie option I’ve not been able to face since we bought about 20 of them in the reduced-to-clear section of the supermarket one year and effectively OD’d on them in the weeks following.

Rogan had a pizza.

I wonder how reflective this is of mealtimes across Scotland these days, and what The Bard might have made of it all…

Rory's haggis, neeps and tatties, with a bit of onion gravy


Kamille Elahi said...

I have a Scottish friend who refuses to eat haggis. She says it doesn't taste bad but the thought makes her sick.

do you have a recipe for a nut roast? I'm thinking of cutting gluten out of my diet.

Happy Burns Night!

I would've gone with the pizza too if I'm being honest!

mapstew said...

I'll have some of Rory's please! :¬)

hope said...

And I would've begged Rogan for a slice of pizza. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you Kim no haggis for me...maybe cause I probably have no Scot blood! Pizza with Rogan sounds a nice choice!

Eryl said...

I love a proper haggis, though rarely eat it these days.

In this house, to answer your question, the rule has always been you eat what I cook or you don't eat. If someone really doesn't like something, Bob hates lemon in savoury dishes for example, I improvise or only cook it when they're not around. So not as harsh as it might sound. Now Bob's moved out, and as Stevie will eat anything, I'm free to put whatever I like on the table. I suppose if we'd had as many children as you have between you, and there were allergies to boot, I'd have had to compromise more. But there's no way I'd have compromised to the degree of pizza!

Anna van Schurman said...

It's a little difficult getting haggis here but we'd both eat it.

Titus said...

I like the veggie McSweens ones! The neeps are my favourite bit. Except, of course, they're really swede.

Kim Ayres said...

Kamille - there are a whole pile of foods that will make you feel sick if you think too much about them (avoid thinking too hard about where eggs come from, for example. Or milk...). And if you're needing to go gluten free, then pizza is out, unless you make it with gluten free flour. You'll find plenty of nut roast recipies online - I think Maggie's change every time she makes them :)

Mapstew - it was large enough for 3 to 4, so there's some left over if you want to drop by the house tomorrow :)

Hope - you think a 16 year old would have parted with a slice of his pizza for anyone?

Theanne - I don't have any Scottish blood in me either - perhaps it's why I can't abide it. Mind you, I do like a dram of single malt whisky every now and then though :)

Eryl - it's not quite as compromising as you think - the fact is Rogan was going out to work at 6pm (he does 4 hours a night at Wilkinson's, 4 nights a week), so needed his dinner an hour earlier than everyone else, and pizza was convenient as there was one already in the freezer :)

Anna - maybe try making your own :)

Titus - had this conversation earlier with someone - you're betraying your English roots if you're going to call them swedes :)

Cindy said...

My best friend is from Scotland. She has been here just 3 yrs. Tonight, I was the recipient of a Burns Supper on account of her. I LOVE Haggis, tatties and neeps. Wooohoo! And all right here in Nebraska.

Pat said...

On the whole, all things considered, by and large, I think I'm with Rogan;)
My Granddad used to give me tripe and trotters and I enjoyed them - with salt and vinegar - until I learned what they were.

Anonymous said...

Looks hearty (NPI).
After all these years I still love your writing. You never fail to make me smile or even laugh.

Kim Ayres said...

Cindy - maybe you should start up a Haggis farm :)

Pat - my parents talked of tripe and simliar sounding horrors. Fortunately they didn't inflict in on us when we were kids :)

Allen - compliments indeed! Thank you :)

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