Tuesday, January 25, 2011

   “I find that singing makes the time pass, Doctor.  Not gloomy songs, but cheerful ones.  Don’t you know any songs?  Isn’t there some Scotsman named Brown, or Bowen who wrote some songs?”
    He stopped cleaning the fish and looked at her with an expression of deep pain. 
    “Might you be referring to Rabbie Burns, the bard of Scotland?”
    Daphne thought about it for a moment. 
    “That sounds right.  He wrote a song about a red rose, and one about a hag.”  Her brow scrunched.  “Though why someone would want to write a song about a hag is beyond me.”
    Dr. Murray closed his eyes, then opened them and looked at her.
    “Not a hag, Miss Farnham, a haggis.  A haggis is a dish enjoyed by the people of Scotland.”
    “Really? What is it?”
    Dr. Murray described, with loving detail, the inner workings of the mysterious haggis. Daphne looked at him, speechless for a long moment.
    “Dr. Murray, I would think raw fish a treat after that!”

--Castaway Dreams, (WIP) Darlene Marshall

Today is the birthday of Robert Burns, the bard of Scotland.  I will forgo the haggis but raise a dram of Scotland's finest product (no, not haggis, that other product) tonight and toast the man who gave us so much wonderful poetry and music.


Anonymous said...

Hi Darlene. Greetings from Bonnie Galloway in Scotland.....Burns' country.

Ask McDonalds how they make their burgers.

I work in what is known as "high risk" food production (don't worry, almost all products that involve cooking and cooling are) and I can assure you that the humble haggis is an honest, wholesome and tasty dish. Most of the haggis I eat I have had the pleasure of watching enjoy the lush green grass and pure clean water of the Scottish lowlands.

If you compare the ingredients and methods of almost any mass-produced processed food the haggis would compare very favourably. It's not to everybody's taste but the Scottish Government are lobbying to have export restrictions eased so you may have soon the opportunity to find out. Like our salmon, our beef, our venison, our pheasant, our langustines, our trout, our milk and cream, our whisky: it's exported all over the world, in huge demand and enjoys a premium price. Why? Because it's the best !

Kind thoughts & best wishes


Darlene Marshall said...

My dear Martin,

I have loved both my visits to Scotland--the salmon, the dairy products, the trout, the amazing pastries (fortunately I did so much uphill and downhill walking that they did not stay on my hips as a souvenir[g]) and of course, the whisky--still my favorite Scots product.

I am not, however, prepared to praise the haggis (or the deep fried Mars bars at the fish & chips take-away in Glasgow). I do hope to return to your delightful country at some point and promise that I will keep an open mind.



Anonymous said...

Ah, the deep fried Mars bar. Touché!
I think the Indian (or Pakistani) curry is just about our national dish now and there are many fine examples- all over Scotland. Even I would avoid the Glasgow 'chippy'. French cuisine with Scottish ingredients would be my recommendation. Still not too common, I'm afraid, but the best of both worlds.