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To beg any of you Scottish mumsnetters to help me with a Burns Supper?

(93 Posts)
Diddydollydo Thu 03-Jan-13 08:48:53

In his drunken rantings on NYE, DH has invited 4 other couples to our house at the end of Jan for a 'Burns Supper'. DH's best mate is Scottish, hence the idea and thought it would be a nice change for the rest of us. I'm quite happy to do this as I love cooking (except our house is tiny so it'll be a squeeze smile. Now here is my problem - I have NO idea what to serve apart from haggis, tatties and turnip (neeps?) so I need help! I want to do a haggis dish and a simple chicken dish and also serve some other traditional Scottish bits like shortbread etc so Scottish mumsnetters, HELP! grin

beanandspud Fri 04-Jan-13 19:56:25

I love Burns Night. I think it's compulsory to recite this poem though. grin

Brilliant, Pacific. grin

Pacific Fri 04-Jan-13 19:21:44

For those who over-indulged at Christmas. grin

FAREWEEL TO A HAGGIS (With apologies to Burns)

Fair fa' my honest sonsie face
Great failure o' the slimmin' race
Abune them a' I tak my place
Outsize am wearin'
The cellulite's a damned disgrace
On hough and airm

Ma groanin belly's here tae fill
Ma hurdie's like a distant hill
A gourmet dinner fits the bill
In time o' need
While through ma pores the booze distils
Like amber bead

Ma mou' wi' dimpled nieve I dight
An' cut ma mait wi' ready slicht
Wi' beaded bubbles winkin' bricht
Atop ma beer
Anticipate that Burns' nicht is drawin' near

Sic fancy fare as French Ragout
Escargot, brie or Irish stew
Wad gaur some skinny cratur's grue
Ach, whit a scunner
Ae leuk at me, they air their view
Ignore ma hunger

But now I've joined a slimmin club
They've daured me visit ony pub
They'll need to sellotape ma gub
Och how they nag us
It's nocht but plates o' rabbit grub
An NEA MAIR HAGGIS!

Moominsarehippos Fri 04-Jan-13 18:51:42

I remember having to learn that by heart in primary school!

Salmotrutta Fri 04-Jan-13 11:40:41

just to add - if there are any visitors/new people invited to the supper (e.g visitors from another country or whatever) there should be a welcoming toast To The Strangers Among Us and they should do a reply.

Tam O'Shanter is a rollicking good yarn if one of your guests could read it? But they would need to get the accents and pronunciation right for full effect! grin

... "Weel done cutty sark"

Groovee Fri 04-Jan-13 09:07:32

Asda sell tablet ice cream and so does the chocolate lounge in Harvey Nicks

Agent64 Thu 03-Jan-13 20:24:24

To A Mouse, On Turning Up Her Nest With The Plough would bring tears to a glass eye.

I want to have a BN now - but not a sober and reverential one Hazel wink

What's the point of that, when the man himself was anything but grin

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 03-Jan-13 17:21:22

Well, MrsKeith - surely it's just a matter of taste? And no, I don't mean good taste vs bad, I mean it's up to the host/s how they want their night to be.

When I host a BN, I like it fun and friendly, and I hope it will extend into drunken and raucous. As well as remembering/showcasing the works of the Bard, IMHO it shines a spotlight on and celebrates Scotland itself. So yes, I'd play Flower of Scotland. And I'd serve haggis crisps.

My worst ever BN was when I was in the US: it was a sober and reverential affair. And I went home sober.

forgetmenots Thu 03-Jan-13 17:00:51

Och aye mrskeith but a trad supper could be quite hard going for a novice, break them in gently and all that! Wish we could do the kitsch stuff on St. Andrew's day and leave burns nicht but there isn't much of a do on St Andrew's really.

Littlechangeforthis Thu 03-Jan-13 16:53:02

Tunnocks teacakes also!

Equis and tortalanos both sell tablet ice cream

MrsKeithRichards Thu 03-Jan-13 16:51:30

Oh fuck it, I'll say it, some of these suggestions sound like an awful tacky badly done Scottish theme night, a Burns supper is not that.

lurkerspeaks Thu 03-Jan-13 16:49:12

I lived in London last year on secondment from my Scottish base.

I had a massive burns supper for colleagues who were all v. curious. I'm a lazy cook and despite the protestations about how disgusting haggis was I decided I wasn't going to cook anything else but bought up loads of Veggie haggis (on the basis that anyone revolted by meat haggis would just eat veg). I made a massive vat of clapshot too (which is basically bashed neeps and tatties ready mixed up).

Despite only have 4 out of 16 pre dinner who were going to eat meat haggis and 12 who were vowing to only eat veggie we got through 2 meat haggi (can never decide what the plural of haggis is...) designed to feed 10 (ie enough haggis for 20 people) and had shed load of veggie left. The moral of this is that the English like haggis more than they think they will! Sod the scot who doesn't eat it!

I usually do smoked salmon and oatcakes for starters as my burns suppers are often so massive they are buffet style and soup requires you to have lots of bowls!

Cranachan for dessert as per the others and sometimes apple crumble too for those who don't like cream. Mackies ice cream is traditional.

I also had loads of tunnocks products - tea cakes/ caramel logs and Irn Bru.

We got everything we need from Waitrose (even Irn Bru) with no bother which surprised me in Central London.

You could be poncy and have a bit of whisky tasting comparing a peatie Island Malt, a lowland one and a highland one. Personally I'm a bit of a peat monster. Tasting sets are often available from the specialist retailers. You could go totally bonkers and also have scottish gin and tonics to start as we make fabulous gin (The Botanist being my favourite).

Oh and have a go at tablet it is fairly straightforward provided you don't get freaked out by bubbling sugar.

Loads of fab. kitchy textiles to decorate your table at Gillian Kyle (and no she isn't paying me to say that!)

MrsKeithRichards Thu 03-Jan-13 16:48:24

You'll need to address the haggis and appoint someone to do the toasts to the lassies and the reply from the lassies. These can and should be hilarious.

Tis lovely if you mash it with sweet potato and carrot. smile

BeeBawBabbity Thu 03-Jan-13 16:38:25

Me too manky, I planted some 'turnip' seeds a friend gave me and couldn't understand why they went wrong!

I know now to call it swede.

popcornpaws Thu 03-Jan-13 16:24:51

And the Irn Bru should be in a glass bottle, not cans or plastic bottles and not diet!!

tiffinbaker Thu 03-Jan-13 14:22:19

It's really not hard to make your own haggis - the only issue is getting hold of a skin to put it in (at a pinch you can use a boil-in-the-bag-bag - a whole sheep's gut is more authentic but can be tricky to source, or you can get hold of large-diameter sausage skins from some butchers - if all else fails you can use a baking dish and bake the haggis rather than boiling it)

Home made haggises are infinitely nicer than shop-bought and you'll impress your friends more.

Quantities for 4-6 people:

The day before (or even earlier):

Boil 75g barley in stock for about an hour.
Chop half an onion finely, fry with 200g mince or minced lights/offal or quorn mince/soya mince for a veggie version

Put the cooked mince&onion mixture into a mixing bowl and add the cooked barley and 75g oats, slosh in a little whisky. Add 1tsp salt, 1.5 tsp ground black pepper, 0.5 tsp cayenne and 0.5 tsp allspice and stir well. Allow to cool enough that you can handle it comfortably. Stir in 50g suet (or veggie suet)

Stuff into a bag (ensuring there is no air in there with the haggis) and put into the fridge, allow to mature at least overnight or for a few days.

On the day of the supper, just boil the bag for 40 minutes.

It takes zero skill and minimum effort.

Salmotrutta Thu 03-Jan-13 12:48:11

Highland Park is a lovely malt for people who don't like the iodiney taste of the Islay malts.

poachedeggs Thu 03-Jan-13 12:44:06

A good beginner's whisky would be A'Bunadh (by Aberlour) or Tomintoul 16. The gentle dram, I believe they call it! A fine whisky distilled by nice people wink

I'd not bother with anything West Coast unless you know your guests like it. The smoky taste makes me yak and I don't mind a wee dram.

ALittleBitOfMagic Thu 03-Jan-13 12:31:36

I would definitely agree with making chicken balmoral . That way you are making all the same dishes so it's easier for you. But if anyone doesn't like haggis they can just eat the chicken (I'm Scottish and hate haggis !grin)

Yy to irn bru and mackies too

And I would get tennents lager as well !

Traditionally the haggis is piped in with the chef carrying it so if you really want to get into it I'd get a cd and have the haggis "piped" in ! grin

AmberLeaf Thu 03-Jan-13 12:27:52

Oh Im so hungry for haggis now! and stovies too.

Not forgetting the tablet.

I also want to know about SGBs Burns night depravity.

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 03-Jan-13 12:25:37

See, Toomuch - your listed malts are lovely for supping, but for cranachan, I'd want something sweet, and really unpeated. For me, the best cranachan malt is Dalwhinnie, with its honey notes. Macallan would be my No 2 choice (for cranachan).

Glenfiddich or McAllans are nice whiskeys if you can't get to a whiskey shop.

Agree with McSweens Haggis and Mackies ice cream. Proper cranachan is lovely for pudding. And Edie Reader has a fantastic voice but you may need something a bit more upbeat and funky to mix it with.

And get some decent malt. ( go to an independent whisky shop if you can for advice, tell them the style you would like: peaty, smoky, golden, milder, smoother etc and they will be able to help you choose. ) I like island heavy peaty malts like Talisker and Laphroaig. also enjoy ardbeg, bruichladdich etc with spicy haggis but some lighter Speyside /Highland malts might be easier if you are not used to whisky. Glenlivet is over commercialised shit and don't for gods sake buy crappy blends if you value your guests (and their throat linings).

Have fun!!

Ye banks and braes oh bonnie doon <sings>

Totally in the mood for a burns supper now!

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