Monday, January 28, 2013

First Annual Ferguson Burns Night, USA

The First Annual Ferguson Burns Night Supper USA turned out not too shabby. I had my doubts leading up to the event with its ever-changing roster of guests. But as the food prep began, I started to feel better because everything was tasting pretty good. There’s something sort of counterintuitive about the idea of vegetarian haggis. But as I started to add in all the ingredients, I consoled myself that, at least in this situation, taste was more important than authenticity. (After all, real haggis is illegal in the USA.)

Not that I was comfortable with authenticity being sacrificed. At one point, I almost cried when everyone seemed reluctant to participate in reading and keeping with the traditional order of events. (They were warned!) But then again, it is nerve-wracking. I’ll admit that I was nervous doing Address to the Haggis. Whisky fixed that. I practiced a couple of times because even though no one else would know if I was pronouncing the Scots wrong, I would know.

There’s great slang in Scots. Sonsie, Scunner, Skinking. I think I’d like to try to find a way to incorporate more of it into American daily life. And more of these recipes. 

I substituted half red lentils and half quinoa in this recipe for vegetarian haggis, and ricotta + whipping cream for double cream on the cranachan. In addition to Talisker (Isle of Skye-- holla!) for toasting, I had ingredients for refreshing, jazzed with candied ginger Presbyterians.

Man, it made me miss Scotland. But thanks to my friends for helping to celebrate the cultural richness of the place I love most.


  1. Hi - I moved to Fife last year and so picked up on your blog. I enjoy reading your thoughts even though you aren't in Fife any longer! Anyway, wanted to let you know the Byre Theatre in St Andrews had to suddenly close which is really sad. There is a petition to save it, would you sign?

  2. Thanks for the info! I had heard and I'm planning on blogging about it tomorrow. So distressing!


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