So, what does one do to make the cold, dark, dreary month of January a little more fun? Well, one way is to humor a good friend and cousin in his quest to eat (supposedly) disgusting food, drink Scotch, and listen to bagpipes. In other words, we attended my cousin Matthew's Burn's Supper on January 23rd. In case you don't want to click on the link: a Burn's Supper is a dinner given in celebration of the famous Scots poet, Robert Burns.
I'm not exactly sure what prompted Matthew to WANT to have a Burn's Supper. He is not a poet, or a poetry lover, to my knowledge. I strongly suspect that he a) wanted to make all his friends and family eat haggis b) wanted to listen to bagpipe music and c) wanted to wear a kilt. In any case, he succeeded on all accounts.
So, Matthew and his girlfriend, Rachel, put lots of work into this evening!
They researched the traditional menu, music, readings, and other traditions for the dinner. They, and other family members, cooked a lovely meal of potato soup, roast lamb, mashed turnips, boiled carrots, Shepherd's Pie, drunken triffle, shortcakes, and cheese. Oh, wait, and did I mention: Haggis.
So, the haggis. The haggis is the STAR of this event. It has an entrance, like the President at the State of the Union. Seriously. Matthew had invited our second cousin, Molly, to dinner and to play the bagpipes for the Entrance of the Haggis. Sadly, Molly forgot her bagpipes at her home in State College. She was crushed. We were resourceful and found bagpipes on the internet! Not the same, but still within the spirit of the evening. So, the music was found, haggis cooked and paraded into the dining room, and THEN the pinacle of the evening. The Address To a Haggis!!
This was the SECOND performance of the Address. If you can believe it, the first was even better. Oh yeah, there was a lot of scotch consumed post-haggis. Here are some stills from the first performance:
How did the Haggis taste? Not nearly as bad as you would suspect. Honestly, I only tried a bite. It was sweet and non-offensive, to me. Michael thought it was good, but dry. I'm glad I can say I tried it.
After dinner, we snacked on cookies and cheese and had readings of various poems. There were several Rabbie Burns' poems read, and, much to everyone's delight, Matthew had found some of my great-grandfather's poems to share with everyone. My Great-Grandpa John was apparently a bit of a poet; it seems he mostly wrote down little goofy poems about farm life, his pets, friends, and kids. It was nice to read his poems, and hear my Grandfather talk about his dad a bit.
All in all, it was a very, very enjoyable evening. Oh, yeah, Colin and Gillian stayed with Grammy and Grandpa Uhl, so Michael and I REALLY had a good time! Thank you Matthew for being such a goof, and for having such a great idea! Cheers!