Saturday, January 24, 2009


Tonight I will be at my happiest with my home full of friends, 12 in all, who will sit down at the table with my husband and I and enjoy a nice dinner. The occasion? A celebration of Scotland's National Poet, ROBERT BURNS. We will not be alone in this celebration, as all over the world people will be sitting down at gatherings large and small, all with the same agenda, and that is to pay tribute to Burns. For anyone who is not familiar with the man then a quick google of his name will tell you all about him. This year is a very special one as it is the 250th anniversary of his birth.

Food will be eaten, whisky, yes there is no "e" in Scotch Whisky, will be consumed, poems will be recited, stories told and international borders will be broken down as friends from around the world join in this most special of Scottish celebrations.

For the most part people will be served the same "BILL'o'FAYRE" which will be something like this:


For anyone confused by what is to be served , let me enlighten you.

First the soup. Easy, chicken and leek and for some reason, unknown to me, a prune is served in the bottom of each bowl. Must do some research on that one.

Next our most Scottish of dishes, haggis served with mashed turnip, and mashed potatoes. This is a small tasting course.

Now for the steak pie, a long slow cooked stew served with puff pastry on top. I like to roast root vegetables to serve alongside. This also cuts down on my workload as they sit in the oven until ready to be served.

The dessert. Cranachan is a creamy concoction of cream liqueur, oats and raspberries. Deliciously simple but impressive. This is the recipe I am giving you today.

Sweeties? The Scottish term for candy. Usually very sweet, hence the term. This year I have made tablet, posted in an earlier blog, and malt whisky truffles. The latter is most definitely an adult sweetie!

CRANACHAN serves 6

4oz pinhead oatmeal
3/4 pint double cream
2 tbsp Drambuie (a Scottish Whisky Liqueur) or you could use Malt Whisky.
2 cups raspberries. Reserve 6 for decoration

Toast oatmeal until lightly browned.
Whip cream until stiff.
Mix oats, raspberries and Drambuie into cream mixture.
Divide into individual glasses and top off with a raspberry.
Chill before serving

So as we raise a glass in honour of Robert Burns, part of me will be with family and friends in all corners of the world, many of whom will be enjoying the same celebration. Tonight I can feel a little closer to them, picture them in their dining rooms, kitchens, and for some at grander venues, but all with one thing in common, a love of our National Poet who at this time of years brings friends and families closer together to honour his name. And for that alone we are thankful.

Tonight will be fun, and I''ll report on it in a futue blog.


Some hae meat and cannae eat,
Some wid eat that want it,
We hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.

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