It’s this time of the year that we commemorate the life of the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns, by sipping whisky and pipping in the haggis on the night of the 25th of January, all while reading his poems and paying tribute to his work. In case you have never heard of Robert Burns before, his best-known work is “Auld Lang Syne”, which is sung at New Year’s Eve celebrations all over the world. A few more of his famous songs include “A Man’s a Man for A’ That”, “Scots Wha Hae”, “Tam O’Shanter” and “Ae Fond Kiss”, all of which are sung by Scottish folksingers on Burn’s Night. Even though he died young, his rich work is known all over the world and he was even named the “people’s poet” in Russia! Burn’s Night Dinner Celebrations
Across Scotland, the key elements of a successful Burns Night Dinner could be nothing else than tartan table decorations, thistle flowers (accompanied by the narration of the story of how thistle became the nation’s flower!), whiskey and tatties (mashed potatoes). And this is exactly how we celebrated this year’s Burn’s Night in our house with plenty of local Scottish delicacies that we got from our local M&S store as it had everything we needed for the night, like the Haggis – specially made by Macsween of Edinburgh – and Speyside Whisky!
My Burn’s Night table decorations celebrated all colours and symbols of Scotland with a red, tartan runner on top of a white tartan tablecloth, thistle flowers, dried slices of orange, red casserole dishes from M&S, whisky glasses and silver cutlery. When my guests arrived, I got the bagpipe music on and offered them a glass of Speyside single malt Scotch whisky each, before preparing the food. If you love whisky as much as we do, M&S offers a 20% off their Whisky range between the 17th – 29th of January, definitely something not to miss out on!
The formal way of serving the haggis on Burn’s Night, or else known as ‘Address to a Haggis’, would be for a piper to lead the procession while the cook would carry the haggis to the dinner table. As we were a bit more informal and didn’t have a residential piper to do us the honour, I served it on the table with a knife inserted into the top instead, as apparently this is one of the ways they used to serve it the very first years they started celebrating Burn’s Night across Scotland. After the haggis was on the table, we raised our whisky glasses and everyone stand to toast ‘The Haggis’. Soon after, I served the whisky sauce (made with Scottish whisky and grain mustard, and can be found at M&S for only £1!), neeps (mashed swedes, I got them from M&S as they are home-grown in Scotland and I love buying locally produced products), tatties, colourful, rainbow carrots and a bit of hummus and coleslaw (for those who wanted a few more dips). Before getting started, my Scottish friends toasted to the lassies (ladies) who prepared the dinner and we all took our places around the table. We scooped out the haggis on our plates added the carrots, neeps and tatties and poured the delicious whisky sauce on top of everything.
Even though the presentation of this traditional Scottish dish would not get a 10 out of 10 in a Masterchef competition, it would most certainly get top marks for flavour. Haggis is a delicious fulfilling savoury pudding that makes satisfying spoonfuls when combined with the whisky sauce. The mashed vegetables have a wonderful smooth texture that make haggis get down even easier, and every single flavour welcomes small sips of whisky. A true taste of Scotland in one plate!
Burn’s Night Dinner Celebrations
We finished our dinner with liberal lashings of cranachan and more readings of Robert Burn’s poems before we all stand up and attempted to dance Scottish Country dances with a little help from Youtube. Burn’s Night Dinner Celebrations
Have you ever heard of Robert Burn’s before? How do you celebrate Robert Burn’s Night? Burn’s Night Dinner Celebrations
Anastasia Burn’s Night Dinner Celebrations
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