Some hae meat and canna eat,
and some wad eat that want it,
but we hae meat and we can eat,
and sae the Lord be thankit.
- The Selkirk Grace
Tonight it’s Burns Night, the day when we celebrate the 254th birthday of the Scottish poet Rabbie Burns. Anybody with any claim to Scottish ancestry will celebrate this night, especially if they have moved to foreign parts like Australia, Canada and the US. And France of course.
Burns is celebrated with a special meal which centres round the haggis. That’s the Scottish version of andouillette, a way of disguising all the bits of mutton that nobody would normally even think of eating. Although we have always loved haggis, once a year is quite enough.
At a Burns supper the haggis arrives on a silver platter accompanied by pipers. Then after the Selkirk grace a silver dagger is produced and the speaker addresses the haggis before plunging the knife into it.
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!….
Normally the main course is haggis, tatties (potatoes) and neeps (swede). But have you ever tried to buy a swede in France? So the meal wasn’t quite as it should be but we enjoyed it with a wee dram of whisky. We were a bit short of pipers too.
postscript - Saturday morning:
I take back what I said about lack of swedes. We have been falling over rutabaga all morning. They are on every fruit & veg stall in the market and at Intermarché.
Also apologies for the peas. It very unScottish to eat anything green……..
pps Claude the Tiger, pictured above, has just won second prize in the Cormatin Loto so he is taking us away for a weekend in a Chateau of our choice. Well done Claude!