Tuesday, 1 February 2022
Celebrating Burns Night
How we have missed not have both guests and friends around our dinner table. So 25th January was the perfect excuse to have a do. Jack kept saying but we arent Scottish ..well blow it I love Scotland ,we both do. We love produce from Scotland - the haggis, neeps and tatties and the cheese and of course they are famous for their raspberries .Shame on us we can give the Whisky a miss but no one is perfect. We were limited for table space as it is not outside eating as we are in the depths of winter. Although it may appeal to some hardy souls to eat outside wrapped in blankets and under the stars it certainly isnt Jack's "cup of tea" The people who came were the people we had had most contact with through lockdown and had come up to see us when rules allowed. We set off with some warm sausages rools but to be truthfully there wasnt as many as there should have been as who can resisit a hot homemade sausage rolls and I think I must have eaten into teens ..well I know I did. So I quickly split some crossiants and put mozzerella cheese on the tops and stuck them in the Aga. I made some punch drink with a litre of whisky,a bottle of vermouth and 2 litres of cider. We had cock- a - leekie soup which 2 people wanted the recipe, one being a chef so it cant have been so bad . Thanks to Mary Berry. Andrew said when he looked at all my cookery books ""All you need is Mary Berry"/ everyone chuntered on at me for not sitting down, but I need to get the plates sorted etc and you know what it is like and also there was the sausage rolls which I had to spill my secret I wasnt that hungery .We had some smoked salmon and then into the main course. Haggis ..I have made it before but opted for the easy way out of going to Lewis and Cooper in Northallerton when I went to buy some Isle of Mull cheeses. Neeps, which are swedes to us out of the garden and a pan full of mashed potatoes - tatties. Probaly the easiest meal I have ever cooked. Now for the whisky sauce. Andrew makes the most amazing sauces and have often been treated to his amazing sauces over the years by the chefs he has taught. So I rang him for the recipe ..which I will keep a secret only saying it used half a litre of whisky. So there I was stirring it with gusto after I had nearly set myself and the kitchen on fire when I set on to flambe it. I had to get a tea towel to put out the flames and the metal spoon in the pan was so hot I couldnt hold it for ages.I am not exaggerating when I said the flames were way above my head probably 3 foot out of the pan and they just keep burning. I panicked as it tasted bitter, but it did come right after I had added sugar and then more sugar. Andrew in the meantime had come to the rescue and made me a batch too. Shirley made the dessert of Cranachan to continue the Scottish theme. By this time I tucked in and even found space for some main course too .I cant resist a good haggis. I had made some oatcakes and they would probably have been better if I had put a teaspoon of black peper in rather then a tablespoonful .They were spicy to say the less .Maybe that was why Catherine's decanter of port was swiftly drunk followed by another bottle and numerous bottles of red wine. I made shortbread with orange peel in and some tiffin stuff which my mother always called Scotch treat. Jacks cousin who lives up near Inch had sent us an ode for the Haggis adapted to us Sassenanchs and all too soon the night was over. You may like the recipe for the oatcakes which is very easy . 250 g oats 25g butter half teas bicarbonate, pinch of salt,"/>1 teas black pepper 100 ml of hot water and press out into a baking tin. Scored it then when it is cooked go through the scores and cut right through .