Lamb Sausage and Hasselback Potatoes For Robbie Burns Day

Anything But Haggis For Robbie Burns Day

"There's more.  Internal evidence." Roger's voice betrayed his pride.  "See there? It's an article against the Excise Act of 1764, advocating the repeal of the restrictions of export of liquor from the Scottish Highlands to England.  Here it is" -- his racing finger stopped suddenly on a phrase -- ' "for as has been known for ages past, "Freedom and Whisky gang tegither." '  See how he's put that Scottish dialect phrase in quotes?  He got it from somewhere else."

"He got it from me," I said softly.  "I told him that -- when he was setting out to steal Prince Charles's port."

"I remembered."  Roger nodded, eyes shining with excitement.  "But it's a quote from Burns," I said, frowning suddenly.  "Perhaps the writer got it there -- wasn't Burns alive then?"

"He was," said Bree smugly, forestalling Roger.  "But Robert Burns was six years old in 1765."

"And Jamie would be forty-four."  Suddenly, it all seemed real.. He was alive -- had been alive, I corrected myself, trying to keep my emotions in check.  I laid my fingers flat against the manuscript pages, trembling.

"And if -- " I said, and had to stop to swallow again.  "And if time goes on in parallel, as we think it does --" Roger stopped, too, looking at me.  Then his eyes shifted to Brianna.

She had gone quite pale, but both lips and eyes were steady, and her fingers were warm when she touched my hand.

"Then you can go back, Mama," she said softly.  "You can find him."

Voyager (Chapter 21)

Talk about getting on the Voyager roller coaster!  Just on Monday Jamie and Claire were having some oatbread and broth at Madame Jeanne's on their first night back together and now, here at the week's mid-point, the fair ride seems to have been put in reverse...

The fact that we know she HAS to go back for the story to progress is beyond the point here.  So is the fact that I've read it fifty a few times before.

But we're here to celebrate a Scottish bard, so let's wipe away the sad tears and the happy ones too, pull out our bagpipes and celebrate this great poet, who, while a little tough to understand at times, certainly seemed to have love his Scotland.

fennel-chilis

Mr. Burns's Address to a Haggis seems appropriate here.   However, any poem that addresses a haggis with the lines...

The groaning platter there you fill, Your buttocks like a distant hill,

...doesna need to be on a food blog.

Not even an 18th Century Scottish food blog.

lamb sausage

And before all you haggis fans get you knickers in a knot, let me say that I have had a few haggis in my time and I quite enjoy a good one -- from a very good restaurant -- smothered in whisky cream sauce.  However, I have no interest in grinding up offal and stuffing it into sheep's stomach.  So...

If it makes you feel better that the full title to this post is actually "I'll Make Anything But Haggis For Robbie Burns Day," then rest assured.  The abridged title got your attention, though, didn't it?

Instead, we're having my non-haggis interpretation of that very fine example I enjoyed at the Invergarry Hotel.  Served with the traditional neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes), the plate was made spectacular by a malt whisky and roasted onion sauce.

Mr. Burns:  I give you Lamb Sausage flavoured with fennel, mint and preserved lemon, served with a buttery Hasselback potato, candied turnips and that whisky cream sauce.  (Somethings don't need translation.)

lamb sausage

Loch Oich - one of the most beautiful places on earth

My Heart's in the Highlands

(Robert Burns, 1789)

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here, My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer; Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe, My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North, The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth ; Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

Farewell to the mountains, high-cover'd with snow, Farewell to the straths and green vallies below; Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods, Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here, My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer; Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe, My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

candied-turnip

hasselback potatoes


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