And I Can Cook, Too

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot

Jan. 25, 2006
It was on this day in 1759 that the great poet Robert (Rabbie) Burns was born in Scotland. Known not only for his poetry and his impact on both socialism and liberalism, Rabbie was known also for being a drunken sot. A few years after his death, several of his friends created a ritualized supper to honor their friend. To this day on January 25, Scots around the world celebrate the life and times of the great bard. My friend Kim is no exception. Armed with nothing but our wit and 12 bottles of single malt whiskey, we began.

Randy opened the Burns Supper with the Selkirk Grace.

Some hae meat and canna eat.
Some hae nae meat that want it.
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

Randy was promptly toasted with a glass of whiskey. Following the Grace, Kim proudly paraded into the room carrying two large haggises (haggi?), smuggled into the country from England. Kim was promptly toasted with a glass of whiskey. Kim read aloud the poem To A Haggis, after which the haggis was toasted with a glass of whiskey.

It was time to dine. Cock-a-Leekie Soup, Taters and Neeps, traditional Haggis, vegetarian Haggis, were followed by a tasty Tyspy Laird. Mid-way through dinner, Big Red offered us an original poem. Big Red was then toasted with a glass of whiskey. Following dinner, Lora did the honors of presenting The Immortal Memory, an original speech designed to show the relevance of the Bard today. Lora was immediately toasted with a glass of whiskey. At this point in the evening, someone (I think it was Walter) cried out “Wahey!” Walter was toasted with a glass of whiskey.

I’m not completely sure, but The Toast to the Lassies may have come next. Rob delivered an admirable speech on the wonders of women, and the lassies were toasted with a glass of whiskey. In congratulations of a job well done, Rob was toasted with a glass of whiskey. It was up to Robs wife, Shannon, to give the Response to the Toast. Wavering slightly, she did a beautiful job of extolling the virtues of men. We toasted the men with a glass of whiskey and quickly toasted Shannon with a glass of whiskey.

The evening over, we stood to sing Rabbie Burns best-known work:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne,

We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

It was nice to know that even if we might not remember the end of the evening, we had promised not to forget each other. As we all left the party, I tripped going down the steps. Both I, and the steps, were promptly toasted with a glass of whiskey.

Cock-a-Leekie Soup
1 lg. Onion, chopped
2 lg. Celery Stalks, chopped
4 Carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Roasting Hen
3/4 c Pearl barley
6 Peppercorns,
4 Cloves
6 lg. Leeks, separated, cleaned of any sand, and chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 c Parsley, chopped (use fresh parsley)
1/2 c Prunes, soaked overnight and chopped

Tie the peppercorns and cloves into a sachet.
Place onion, celery, carrot, leeks, barley and sachet into a large stockpot. Rinse chicken, discard any excess fat, and add to pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, skimming top. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. Remove chicken and debone. Chop the boneless chicken, and return it to the pot. Add salt, pepper, parsley, and prunes. Simmer for 15 minutes.


  • At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Sarah said…


  • At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ...Without Kristin's recount, I'm not sure I'd remember the entire evening (again). Just as she said...



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home