Yesterday marked the 256th anniversary of the birth of “The Bard” of Scotland, Robert Burns. He is beloved in Scotland and his birthday is still marked there and in Scottish circles around the world with Robert Burns Dinners on his birthday.
I’ve started trying to mark various writers’ birthdays by preparing their favorite foods; however, I did not attempt to make haggis yesterday! I understand Burns’ favorite food were haggis, neeps, and tatties. I’ve eaten haggis in Scotland (“when in Rome…) and it wasn’t too bad as long as I blocked out of my mind what some of the ingredients were. There’s no way I’m going to make it. For starters, where does one purchase a sheep’s stomach?
Last night we dined on mince, neeps, and tatties and remembered Robert Burns. After supper I got out my dulcimer and attempted to play “Call the Yowes to the Knowes.” It’s one of the many Burns poems that has been set to music. I thought I had the dulcimer music for “Auld Lang Syne,” but I couldn’t find it.
Oh – mince is ground beef crumbled and cooked with chopped onions and a small amount of rolled oats. Neeps are turnips. Tatties are potatoes.
Haggis… well, you don’t want to know what that is. A Scottish friend was proud of me for eating haggis when I was over there. He said one must lower his or her voice a couple of octaves when saying, “I’m a haggis eater!” It got to be quite a joke between us. Scots have a great wit about them when you get to know them.