What started off as a few friends getting together to celebrate the birth of the Scottish poet Robert Burns on 25th January, Burns night has now become an event celebrated worldwide, and not only by the Scottish people.
It’s an evening for food, whisky and poetry. When it comes to the menu it has to be based around Haggis, preferably served with tatties (mashed potatoes) and neeps (mashed turnips). Shops and online retailers, such as Ocado, already have a wide variety of foods available specifically for the event (although haggis does make a good meal all year round).
For a starter, Cock-a-Leekie would be a traditional soup to serve, but this Hearty Root and Barley Chicken Broth goes very well too, just don’t eat too much that you’re too full for the haggis. Or an alternative soup would be Cullen Skink.
Dessert can be something traditional like Cranachan or Tipsy Laird (Scottish trifle with whiskey), or if you’re too full why not just serve with homemade Scottish shorbread (with a whiskey or two).
If you feel you don’t have time to make shortbread, then most shops will stock Walkers Shortbread, made to a traditional family recipe – my favourites at the moment are the Scottie Dog Shortbreads which are really cute! But they also have a special Robert Burns tin (£9.00).
After readings of Burns’ poetry and various toasts, the evening ends in the singing of Auld Lang Syne, the words of which are a poem by Burns, which should be fresh in people’s minds from new year celebrations – but if you need a reminder before your dinner then click here for the full version. And if you want more ideas, then famous Haggis makers Macsween have lots of information on their website.
So all that’s left for me to say is “Sláinte!”