Burns Night Supper 2019
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Last week, on January 26th, I had the pleasure of being invited to the most charming Burns Night Supper party. It was the first of Robert Burns Birthday celebration supper that I have attended and I cannot wait for next year!
1759 - 1796
Two of our Houston Area Regency Society members, Darcy and Kevin, were kind enough to include us in their annual Burns Night Supper party in honor of the legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns. Darcy and Kevin are of Scottish ancestry and have traveled to Scotland where they were first introduced to the magical evening that is Burns Night. After their experience they promised to bring about their own Burns Night to Texas and they did not disappoint.
Robert Burns (25 Jan 1759- 21 July 1796) was a Poet and Lyricist from Alloway, Scotland. His work was often written in the Scots Language or in English with a Scots Dialect. Robbie Burns (as he sometimes went by) grew up and spent much of his life as a tenant farmer, educated by his self educated father.
Mr. Burns topics of writing were often about the political climate that was happening in most of the world including what we now know as liberalism and socialism. He was a “man of the people” collecting followers from as far as Russia.
Much revered, even to this day, the tradition of honoring such a beloved countryman started around 1801 on the anniversary of his death July 21st but eventually moved to the celebration of his birth a few year later (Jan 25).
A Burns Supper is often a very organized affair which makes the event even more memorable. Darcy and Kevin had lots of fun surprises for us throughout the evening. This is a little glimpse into my first experience at a Burns Night Supper.
We gathered in their lovely home at around 6pm and were greeting with champagne cocktails (whiskey also available). Their 1920s home is quite adorable with a lovely history. It was moved from close to downtown Houston to its current location further south by the Cockerell family and has since been called the Cockerell House. It has those fantastic hardwood floors I love so much and a picturesque staircase at the entry.
Dinner was called to order in the dining room with none other than Scottish BAGPIPE music. Like legit bagpipes were being played by Kevin! This is a very traditional part of the evening but sometimes you won’t have the luxury of anyone with actual bagpipes, only recorded music. This is called “Piping in Guests.”
Our hosts said a few words and the Selkirk Grace was said. I was so wrapped up in the whole moment that I forgot to record it. I decided to keep the camera handy after that to capture more during the dinner.
Lately I have been avoiding taking too many pictures during our regency events because it really takes away from the evening. Something I find so remarkable about our parties and events is that it is rare that anyone has their phone or camera out. Everyone is very busy being in the moment. It’s such a nice break from the technology addiction we all have.
Busting out the big boy camera immediately removes me from that relaxed natural atmosphere we are all enjoying. You are suddenly thrust back into the 21st century… le sigh…but then how would I share all these wonderful things with you.
“Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.”
-Robert Burns is said to have given this grace at a dinner given by the Earl of Selkirk-
In attendance was a gentleman with an excellent Scottish accent (and Scottish roots but wholly from Texas!). He delighted us all evening with Robert Burns poems.
Cock a Leekie Soup
This was so good ya’ll! I wreally wanted seconds.
A yummy 4 course meal was expertly prepared for us.
Our haggis was also bagpiped in with great ceremony.
Unfortunately I missed recording the beginning of the “Address to Haggis” but here is a snippet:
No matter how gross it sounds don’t let anyone tell you Haggis is not delicious! I loved it!!!
A Toast to Haggis?
Yes you toast your haggis…as you should because it is divine!
Sure it looks like boiled gut but it is hearty and tasty. Our hosts ordered this one and I will definitely eat it again. I didn’t get a picture of this main dish on my plate which I’m super bummed about.
Everything was so well prepared and such a treat! I think Scotland would be proud of our Texas hosts!
After our very satisfying meal we retreated to the parlour where another guest played the piano and Robert Burns poems were sang or read aloud.
I’m fairly positive I’m probably not wearing my sash right, and it was just some plaid fabric I had in my stash, but I really wanted to festive!