Friday, 25 January 2013

Great Chieftain O' the Puddin'-race

We love haggis in the Foodie Quine household and its something we eat on a pretty regular basis but also always serve up on 25th January to celebrate the birthday of the bard. I had to purchase a tea towel for the occasion when I saw the new Burns range on Urban Pirate. The matching apron has gone one my wish list while other items from the range may have been purchased for an upcoming birthday gift. Shh. Its a secret.
Haggis Tea Towel from Urban Pirate
In order to eat Haggis first you have to catch it. They are sneaky wee beasties which have evolved over time to have two long and two short legs which enable them to thrive on the steep Scottish hillsides. If you don't feel up to a haggis hunt they are widely available in good butchers and supermarkets particularly around the end of January. The traditional accompaniment is of course chappit neeps and tatties but I would highly recommend you give my whisky neeps a try. I'm not a whisky fan but I do love these. Buttery, sugary, sticky and sweet. You will never go back to mashed neeps once you have tried them. Even girl loves them.
WHISKY NEEPS
1-1/2lb swede peeled and cubed
1-1/2 oz butter
4 1/2 Tbsp demerara sugar
2 Tbsp whisky
S&P


Place swede in a pan with the butter, sugar, whisky and enough water to cover.
Bring to the boil and cook uncovered over a high heat until the water has evaporated to leave a buttery glaze.
Season, serve and enjoy.

Whisky Neeps will be on the menu here tonight along with Haggis from two local butchers Davidsons of Inverurie and Scott the Butcher of Huntly. I shall report back on our favourite. Both the Neep and the Tatties are from Fernieflatt Farm.
We were lucky enough to be invited to a fantastic Burns Supper last night held at The Stagedoor Resturant. I opted to avoid haggis and chose as follows
Lobster Ravioli Termidor
Grilled Seabass Fillet
Foodie Loon's Pan Fried Highland Venison
Raspberry and Drambuie Trifle and Traditional Cranachan
Fantastic night of great food, good company and lots of fun. I even managed a spoonfull from all of Foodie Loon's choices - Haggis, Venison and Cranachan. Wilst we were dining out the kids were left with the babysitter and a supply of Haggis Pies from JG Ross the Bakers. They also gave me some of their Haggis Butteries to try. For non Aberdonians let me explain what a buttery (aka rowie or roll) actually is. The closest description might be a flattened croissant but much denser. There is certainly a lot of lard and a lot of salt in them. The are especially delicious warmed and can be served with both sweet or savoury toppings. Its assumed that they were originally created to keep fishermen sated on their long North Sea outings.
The Haggis ones are slightly smaller than standard size and are officially called Nudgers. I had one for my breakfast this morning and very nice it was too. Would be great to accompany Scotch Broth and you could definately taste the haggis through it. Lets just not think about the calories.
Breakfast fit for the Bard
I'm off to another Burns Supper this afternoon at Boy and Girl's School. Foodie Loon will be piping in the haggis whilst I'll be serving and washing up in the kitchen. Good job I bought that tea towel. In preperation for the event I was in the school earier in the week making shortbread with the P6's. As we baked our Petticoat Tails I was shocked than none of the class actually knew what a petticoat was. But I was more schocked, and saddened that many in the class had never baked before. A sign of the times.
Enjoy your Haggis tonight if you are indulging and raise a toast to Rabbie. It doesn't necessecarily need to be to a haggis. Pupils at Insch Primary have come up with an equally good Ode to a Loaf.

Fit will we hae for our breakie today?
Rich golden loaf dreapin in butter,
Cut into sodgers tae howk out ma egg
Dusted in floor an jam the like.
Ma face is a clartit fae ma mou te ma lugs
I canna get enough of ma braw golden loaf
It goes doon nice and easy,
I could eat it a day.

Seeded, dusted, broon or white,
It disna matter its iways fine.
Fae the girdle to the ashet
The smell rummles roon and roon
my belly like a hairy worm.
It goes doon nice and easy ,
I could eat it a day.

5 comments :

  1. Hope you have a wonderful Burns Night. Still not sure on the butteries, but maybe one day....
    Love your recipe for neeps :)
    Cheers
    Marcus

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  2. Ah'll gie them a go but ah'm nae ower fond o whiskey.
    Cannae believe kids hinna baked afore!!!
    Ah love Burn's Nicht - fit rare!.

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  3. Awesome! Oh I'm salivating! All of that looks so delicious! Looks like you had a fabulous meal last night and those whiskey neeps.... mmm! Love the teatowel too! Happy Burns Night! :)

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  4. Thanks for all the lovely comments here and on Facebook and Twitter. This post had my biggest ever amount of daily hits on 25th January.
    Remember - Haggis is for life, not just for Burns Night.

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