“Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.”
So goes the Selkirk Grace, the traditional thanksgiving uttered before Scots the world over tuck into their Burns Night supper. Held on or around the 25th January every year, the supper marks the life of Robert Burns, seen as the national poet of Scotland. You don’t have to be from north of the border to celebrate, however; follow these easy tips and you’ll be hosting a Burns Night dinner party that’s the envy of friends and family.
Focus on food
Of course, a dinner party is more than just the grub you serve up. However, a Burns supper involves delicacies you probably won’t have cooked before, so it’s vital you invest in quality ingredients and pay extra careful attention to the food you’re preparing.
Haggis, served with tatties and neeps (potatoes and turnips) is a traditional part of a Burns supper, but with guests present, you should be aiming for three courses. For a starter, why not take advantage of one of Prestige’s many great family recipes and make some delicious, warming cock-a-leekie soup
? It’s easy to make and serves up to 10 people, saving you stress and allowing you to start thinking about entertaining your guests.,
Just how far you want to go with tradition is up to you, your guests, your surroundings and your budget. The words for the Selkirk Grace and the Address to the Haggis can be found online, although you’ll have to get to grips with Burns’ dialect yourself!
The piping of the haggis, which involves a bagpiper welcoming the haggis into the room with a few of Burns’ tunes, might be a bit more difficult to accommodate. If all else fails, bring out the ‘water of life’ – Scotch whisky!,
Don’t forget presentation!
On this most Celtic of evenings, normal dinner party presentation rules apply. We eat with our eyes, so ensure your spread looks appetising from the moment it leaves the oven. This can be achieved by placing your starters and side dishes in cookware that you can take
straight from the oven or microwave to your table, along with a range of serving utensils for everyone to dig in. Burns Night is a social evening, involving plenty of standing up, singing and toasting, so it pays to be informal with your presentation. For the final touches, invest in a tasteful tartan tablecloth to really convey that sense of national pride.
Let us know how you get on
with your Burns Night suppers, and don’t forget to address the lassies and toast the laddies!