Sunday, 29 January 2012

Of Haggis, Burns' Night and New Year's Resolutions

A very happy New Year to all of you!!
 I have to admit to having shed more than one tear on the New Year's Eve, as 2011 was a truly special year to me and I didn't want to let go of it.

However, as for as blogging is concerned, I have to admit to having done incredibly poorly over the last year, but there were reasons for that, which I will share with you over this year, bit by bit.
I did a lot of cooking in 2011 but none of it was worth blogging about.
 Most of it was about sourcing the best and most affordable local ingredients and, I have to say, Scotland has been surprisingly remarkable in that sense.

Having moved here from Italy, a country that prides itself in cooking with only local and seasonal ingredients, I expected to find no more than the typical tasteless supermarket meat and veg but I was surprisingly impressed.
The Scots pride themselves,not only in their cultural heritage and the good dram of whisky, but also in their local farm reared meat and homegrown veg.

Not to mention their love for fishing!!
I developed a love of my own for local fishmongers that stock up on crayfish
and razor clams or, as they are known here,  'spoots'- a name so fitting due to the difficulty involved in 'spooting' them out.

But there is nothing that could appeal more to a Scot than the mention of Robbie Burns.
A national poet that built a sense of pride, nationality and tradition through his literary accomplishments.
The Scots relate to that as they have for so many centuries, and what other way to celebrate a nation that has fought for individuality and independence but by celebrating the one night in the year, dedicated to Robbie Burns?
The way to do it? By having Scotland's national dish-Haggis, Neeps and Tatties on that night-25th January.
To you and me, that means, Haggis, Mashed Swede and Mashed Potato.

But let's look at Haggis.
I could tell you that Haggis is made from the wild animal thriving in the Scottish woods as displayed in the the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow
But the truth is that Haggis is no more than a kind of savoury pudding containing sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal's stomach and simmered for approximately three hours. '
The animal is fictional!

Doesn't sound appetising but I have to tell you that it is.
I'm a huge fan! Serve it with mashed swede with seasoning and plenty of butter, alongside some creamy mashed potato and it's really hard to resist.
The contrast between the spiciness of the Haggis, the sweetness of the swede and the coolness of the mashed potato is just out of this world.
Top it up with some light gravy for moisture and you're in heaven.
Trust me, it's so worth trying!.

As for my New Year be honest, I miss reading other people's blog posts more than anything. So I have decided to promise myself that I will endeavour to keep up with my fellow bloggers posts and to post on here at least once a month.
There is still so very much I want to share with you!!

Looking forward to a New Year!


  1. Happy New Year to you too!! What a great year you have had a gorgeous new baby, he is getting so big already! It went by so fast by not fast enough not to miss one of my most favorite bloggers so nice to have you back. This is quite intriguing dish you have here, not one I have ever heard of,. Very much history behind this dish. Nicely done. Hoping to see more of you here keep them coming!!! xo Claudia @Whats Cookin

  2. yipee you blogged wow and u didnt spill the beans!

  3. The best salmon in life was had in Scotland! I'm still unsure about Haggis - I never have tried it and I think I would need to - in Scotland - where it is properly made. Welcome back.

  4. Happy 2012 to you & filled with joy, food adventures like this one & good health, dear Ruth!

    I don't like Haggis at all but also savoured it when travelling in Scotland a few years ago! I also have been to that museum in Glasgow! :)

  5. Happy New Year to you too Ruth...never had Haggis...and was wondering what was in the picture ;-)
    Look forward for lots of posts from you :)
    Hope you are having a great day!

  6. Happy 2012,Ruth!!!!Welcome back :)

  7. What a great read and I am so happy to hear that all is well. I look forward to hearing that 2012 was equally fantastic!