Poetry – an excuse for a party

Ever since I visited Scotland and was subsequently invited to a Burns Night supper in Iowa, I’ve tried to host a Burns Night celebration of my own every year.

What better excuse for a party than poetry, and Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns?

I was first exposed to Burns’ poetry in a Romantic Literature course in college. My favorite of his poems remains “To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough.”

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
Gang aft agley,

If you’re not sure what all a Burns Night supper involves, you can download the Robert Burns app. Yup. Seriously. It was developed by the Scottish tourism bureau, to good effect, I would say.

My parties typically involve:

  • bagpipe music (recorded)
  • tartan worn in some fashion
  • scotch and/or Scotch ale
  • cock-a-leekie soup
  • neeps & tatties (mashed turnips & potatoes)
  • a vegetarian haggis

My party this year was a few days delayed past January 25 – postponed due to a nasty cold. Happily, we still were able to fill our table with guests.

Kilt-clad Bugman, setting the haggis at the table. Not quite as "warm-reekin', rich" as a traditional haggis, but more easily stomached for some.

Kilt-clad Bugman, setting the vegetarian haggis at the table. Not quite as “warm-reekin’, rich” as a traditional haggis, but more easily stomached for some.

This year, we were treated to a flamed plum pudding, which one of the guests brought.

flamed pudding

I’ve never seen a pudding flamed before. It was lovely!

Until next year, dear haggis – should auld acquaintance be forgot!

Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s