Contens Who was Robert Burns? Traditions The Programme Poems Songs Recipes Main Menu
Recipes Haggis and neeps and tattiesHaggis and neeps and tatties Neeps and tatties in another wayNeeps and tatties in another way Cranachan Bannocks Cock-a-leekie soup Tipsy laird
Traditions A Burns' Night supper must always begin with Burns' own Selkirk Grace. The menu usually consists of cock-a-leekie soup (or Scotch Broth) and haggis with "tatties and neeps" Tipsy Laird (sherry trifle to you and me) followed by oatcakes and cheese, all washed down with liberal tots of good Scotch whisky!Selkirk Grace
The haggis is "piped" in - brought in ceremoniously by the chef accompanied by a piper - and "addressed" with Burns' own Address to a Haggis poem before being cut and served. Traditional speeches and toasts punctuate the meal and Burns' Night suppers range from the formal to the frankly uproarious excuse for yet more partying, but they all follow the same basic format.
The Selkirk Grace by Robert Burns: 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
Robert Burns Robert Burns is Scotland's most well-known and best loved poet: even south of the Border, most people can quote the odd line of Burns' poetry : "Wee sleekit, cowrin' tim'rous beastie......" and of course there's "Auld lang Syne," which everybody thinks they know and nobody actually does.
He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire in south-west Scotland, on January 25th 1759, and Burns' Night is celebrated on or around his birthday.
The programme After a few words of welcome the meal starts with the Selkirk Grace. The company is then asked to stand to receive the haggis. A piper leads the chef, carrying the haggis, to the top table, while the guests accompany them with a slow handclap.
The chairman, or invited guest, then recites Burns' poem To A Haggis. When he reaches the line 'an cut you up wi' ready slight', he cuts open the haggis with a sharp knife.
The company applauds and stands to toast the haggis with a glass of whisky before tucking into a traditional Burns Supper menu. A invited guest gives a short speech on Burns. There are many different types of Immortal Memory speeches, from light- hearted to literary, but the aim is the same - to outline the greatness and relevance of the poet today.
The main speech is followed by a more light- hearted address to the women in the audience. Originally, this was a thank-you for preparing the food and a time to toast the 'lasses' in Burns' life. The turn of the women to detail men's foibles. Again, humorous without being insulting.
Once the speeches are complete the evening continues with songs and poems. These should be a good variety to fully show the different moods of Burns muse. The evening ends with the company standing, linking hands and singing Auld Lang Syne.
Songs A Man's A Man for A' That Auld Lang Syne O My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose
A Man's A Man for A' That Is there for honest poverty That hings his head, an a' that? The coward slave, we pass him by - We dare be poor for a' that! For a' that, an a' that, Our toils obscure, an a' that, The rank is but the guinea's stamp, The man's the gowd for a' that. What though on hamely fare we dine, Wear hoddin grey, an a' that? Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine - A man's a man for a' that. For a' that, an a' that. Their tinsel show, an a' that, The honest man, tho e'er sae poor, Is king o men for a' that. Ye see you birkie ca'd 'a lord,' What struts, an stares, an a' that? Tho hundreds worship at his word, He's but a cuif for a' that. For a' that, an a' that, His ribband, star, an a' that, The man o independent mind, He looks an laughs at a' that. A prince can mak a belted knight, A marquis, duke, an a' that! But an honest man's aboon his might - Guid faith, he mauna fa' that! For a' that, an a' that, Their dignities, an a' that, The pith o sense an pride o worth. Are higher rank than a' that. Then let us pray that come it may [As come it will for a' that], That Sense and Worth o'er a' the earth, Shall bear the gree an a' that. For a' that, an a' that, It's comin yet for a' that, That man to man, the world, o'er Shall brithers be for a' that.
Address to a Haggis Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o the puddin'-race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy of a grace As lang's my arm. The groaning trencher there ye fill, Your hurdies like a distant hill, Your pin wad help to mend a mill In time o need, While thro your pores the dews distil Like amber bead. His knife see rustic Labour dight, An cut you up wi ready slight, Trenching your gushing entrails bright, Like onie ditch; And then, O what a glorious sight, Warm-reekin, rich! Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive: Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive, Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve Are bent like drums; The auld Guidman, maist like to rive, 'Bethankit' hums. Translation
Is there that owre his French ragout, Or olio that wad staw a sow, Or fricassee wad mak her spew Wi perfect sconner, Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view On sic a dinner? Poor devil! see him owre his trash, As feckless as a wither'd rash, His spindle shank a guid whip- lash, His nieve a nit: Thro bloody flood or field to dash, O how unfit! But mark the Rustic, haggis- fed, The trembling earth resounds his tread, Clap in his walie nieve a blade, He'll make it whissle; An legs an arms, an heads will sned, Like taps o thrissle. Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care, And dish them out their bill o fare, Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware That jaups in luggies: But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer, Gie her a Haggis!
Address to a Haggis Fair is your honest, happy face, Great chieftain of the pudding race! Above them all you take your place, Stomach, tripe, or guts: Well are you worthy of a grace As long as my arm. The groaning platter there you fill, Your buttocks like a distant hill, Your skewer would help to repair a mill In time of need, While threw your pores the juices emerge Like amber beads. His knife having seen hard labour wipes, And cuts you up with great skill, Digging into your gushing insides bright, Like any ditch; And then, O what a glorious sight, Warm, steaming, rich! Then spoon for spoon, they stretch and strive: Devil take the last man, on they drive, Until all their well-swollen bellies Are bent like drums; Then the old gent, most likely to burp, Be thanked, mumbles.
Is there that over his French Ragout, Or olio that would sicken a pig, Or fricassee would make her vomit With perfect disgust, Looks down with a sneering, scornful opinion On such a dinner? Poor devil! See him over his trash, As weak as a withered reed, His spindle-shank a good whiplash, His clenched fist, a nut. Through a bloody flood and battlefield to dash, O how unfit! But note the strong, haggis-fed Scot, The trembling earth resounds his tread, Clasped in his large fist a blade, He will make it whistle; And legs and arms and heads he will cut off Like the tops of thistles. You Powers, who make mankind your care, And dish them out their meals, Old Scotland wants no watery food, That splashes in dishes; But, if you wish her grateful prayer, Give her a Haggis!
Auld Lang Syne Chorus: Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And days o lang syne! For auld lang syne, my dear For auld lang syne, Well tak a cup o kindness yet For auld lang syne! We twa hae run about the braes, And pud the gowans fine, But weve wanderd mony a weary foot Sin auld lang syne. We twa hae paidlt in the burn Frae morning sun till dine, But seas between us braid hae roard Sin auld lang syne. And theres a hand, my trusty fiere, And gies a hand o thine, And well tak a right guid willie- waught For auld lang syne! And surely yell be your pint stoup, And surely Ill be mine! And well tak a cup o kindness yet For auld lang syne TranslationNotes
Times Long Gone Chorus: Should old acquaintances be forgotten, And never brought to mind? Should old acquaintances be forgotten, And days of long ago ! For old long ago, my dear For old long ago, We will take a cup of kindness yet For old long ago. We two have run about the hillsides And pulled the daisies fine, But we have wandered many a weary foot For old long ago.! We two have paddled (waded) in the stream From noon until dinner time, But seas between us broad have roared Since old long ago. And there is a hand, my trusty friend, And give us a hand of yours, And we will take a goodwill draught (of ale) For old long ago! And surely you will pay for your pint, And surely I will pay for mine! And we will take a cup of kindness yet For old long ago! Notes
O My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose O, my luve is like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June. O, my luve is like a melodie, That's sweetly play'd in tune. As fair art thou, my bonie lass, So deep in luve am I, And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry. Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi the sun! And I will luve thee still, my dear, While the sands o life shall run. And fare thee weel, my only luve! And fare thee weel, a while! And I will come again, my luve, Tho it were ten thousand mile!
To A Mouse Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie, O, what a panic's in thy breastie! Thou need na start awa sae hasty, Wi bickering brattle! I wad be laith to rin an chase thee, Wi murdering pattle! I'm truly sorry man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union, An justifies that ill opinion, Which makes thee startle At me, thy poor, earth-born companion. An fellow mortal! I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve: What then? poor beastie, thou maun live! A daimen icker in a thrave 'S a sma request; I'll get a blessin wi the lave, An never miss't! Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin! Its silly wa's the win's are strewin! An naething, now, to big a new ane, O foggage green! An bleak December's win's ensuin. Baith snell an keen!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an waste, An weary winter comin fast. An cozie here, beneath the blast, Thou thought to dwell, Till crash! the cruel coulter past Out thro thy cell. That wee bit heap o leaves an stibble, Has cost thee monie a weary nibble! Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble. But house or hald, To thole the winter's sleety dribble, An cranreuch cauld! But Mousie, thou art no thy lane, In proving foresight may be vain: The best-laid schemes o mice an men Gang aft agley, An lea'e us nought but grief an pain, For promis'd joy! Still thou art blest, compar'd wi me! The present only toucheth thee: But och! I backward cast my e'e, On prospects drear! An forward, tho I canna see, I guess an fear!
1 small chicken 8 soaked prunes: stones removed and saved 100g diced bacon 500g leeks: washed and thinly sliced 2 litres of water 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon salt and pepper Remove the skin from the chicken and place in a large pan, together with the bacon and prune stones. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Keep covered and simmer for two hours. Strain off the liquid, remove the stones and roughly chop the chicken. Add the chopped chicken, leeks, tarragon, salt and pepper to the liquid and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add prunes at the end of cooking time and serve. Cock-a-leekie soup
Haggis and neeps and tatties Haggis A one kilogram haggis should be boiled in a large pot for approximately 20 minutes. For larger sizes, consult the label for boiling time. Vegetarians should look out for the many variations of vegetarian haggis. Neeps 4 large turnips 50g butter 2 teaspoons caster sugar 1 teaspoon salt Peel and quarter the turnips. Boil for 25 minutes or until soft. Drain and mash, adding the butter, sugar and salt. Tatties 6 large Maris Piper potatoes 70 g butter milk salt and pepper Peel and quarter the potatoes. Boil for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and mash. Scold the milk by bringing it to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Add the milk mixture to the mash until preferred consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cranachan 6 heaped tablespoons porridge oats 3 tablespoons honey 1.5 pints of double cream 150g raspberries 2 teaspoons caster sugar Cover a baking tray with parchment. Preheat oven to 160°C. Mix the honey and oatmeal thoroughly, spread the mixture on the parchment into 10 thin round shapes. Cook for 10-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool. These will become wafer like when cold. Whip the cream and sugar together, add the raspberries and two of the wafers broken up. Gently stir the mixture to create a marble effect. Spoon into a cold bowl or glass dish and place a wafer on top.
Bannocks 2 cups of porridge oats 1 cup of flour 2 pinches of salt butter or margarine half a cup of boiling water Pre-heat your oven to 200°C. Take a bowl and mix together the dry ingredients (you can add an optional pinch of soda bicarbonate to make them rise a little). Using a knife, cut three- quarters of a cup of butter or margarine through the dry ingredients until it looks like coarse bread crumbs. Add the boiling water and mix thoroughly until it forms a dough. Take a rolling pin and roll the dough into a thin sheet. Cut the dough into small round sections (about 7cm across) and place on a greased baking tray. Finally, cook your portions in the preheated oven for around 10 minutes.
Tatties-an-neeps in another way: Clapshot 400-800g (1-2 lb potatoes), peeled and cubed An equal amount of peeled and cubed swede (turnip) salt and pepper butter dripping Boil the potatoes and swede separately until they are soft but not mushy (test with a fork) and drain them well. Mash together with a knob of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Heat some beef dripping in a frying pan until hot - a haze will begin to appear above the pan: DON'T let it burn. Fry the "bashed tatties and neeps" until browned on the bottom; turn it by tipping carefully onto a plate and sliding back into the pan to brown the other side. You may prefer to form the mixture into small flattened cakes or patties and frying these, turning them with a fish-slice when done on one side. Serve with the haggis and a rich gravy.
Tipsy laird 1 Victoria sponge cake, sliced 300g (3/4lb) raspberry jam 2 tablespoons of brandy or Drambuie 1 wine glass of sherry egg custard (see below) 300g (3/4lb) raspberries 1 tablespoon caster sugar 250 ml (1/2 pint) double cream Toasted almonds to decorate To make the custard: 250 ml (1/2 pint) full-cream milk 150 ml (1/3 pint) double cream 2 egg yolks 50g caster sugar a few drops of vanilla essence Place the sponge in the base of a large glass bowl and spread with the raspberry jam. Mix the sherry and the brandy and sprinkle evenly over the sponge, allowing it time to soak in. Next add a layer of raspberries. To make the custard, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla essence until it is pale and creamy. Heat the milk and cream together in a saucepan until it just reaches boiling point then stir carefully into the egg mixture. Once it is well blended, return to the pan and stir continuously over a low heat until the custard thickens. Pour into a dish and allow it to cool. When it is quite cool, pour the custard over the layer of fruit, spreading evenly. Next whip the double cream, add sugar to sweeten and spoon on top of the (set) custard. Decorate with toasted almonds.