Monthly Archives: January 2012

Burns Night – there’s an App for that

OK, so the actual Night was on the 25th January but I’m guessing that many of you might be having your Burns Night event over the weekend and I have just stumbled across this great App to help you …
It is getting rave reviews and this is what the blub says ….

At last, an app to help you plan and have fun with one of the world’s greatest birthday parties. Going to an event this year? Find out what to expect, or learn something new. Better yet, why not plan your own wee birthday party in honour of Rabbie, one of history’s great partiers?

The app, produced by Spot Specific, and made super-stylish by Scott Smyth’s design, is now available from iTunes and live on the Android Market. So what are you waiting for? Download it and explore it for yourself! Thousands have already, thanks to iTunes featuring it on their New & Noteworthy picks the best new Lifestyle apps.
A stirring performance by Alasdair MacRae brings Tam o’ Shanter to life, and you can use the autocue to follow his lead and work on your own delivery without worrying about forgetting the lines or losing your place. Top singers Karine Polwart, Corrina Hewat and Annie Grace have treated us to some of their acclaimed Burns arrangements, and the built-in compass points you to Robert Burns’s birthplace, allowing you to salute him when raising your glasses to his Immortal Memory.

Learn all you ever wanted to know about Auld Lang Syne (including some of its more esoteric translations – Klingon for example), find out what it all means and cook up a storm with Burns Supper recipes.

So even if you have already had your Burns Night Supper for this year take a look and be all set up for next time.

Charlie the butcher

 

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Haggis time again

Yes, it is haggis time again. Last year around this time I gave you a bit of background history and some recipe and serving advice so have a little butchers here ….

This year has been a bit milder some we are hoping for a better supply from the highlands but it hasn’t always been that way ….

This once popular sport amongst the nobility and gentry of Britain and Europe reached its peak in the early 1920s with gentlemen converging on the stately homes of the North Yorkshire Moors from all around Europe during haggis hunting season.  Back in those days, when large haggis herds roamed the Moors in abundance, a hunt would last for several days, with literally dozens of haggis being shot (or hagged in hunting parlance) in just one session.

A good days work

A typical haggis hunting session would consist of the beaters, or haggillies to give them their correct name, taking their haggis hounds, an all but forgotten breed of specialised hunting dog, onto the Moors and herding the haggis towards the carefully positioned haggis hides.  In these hides the hunters would wait patiently until the traditional cry of ‘Hag Ho!’ went up from the chief hagilly, at which point they would take up their gun positions and attempt to hag as many of the small but elusive creatures as possible as they stampeded past.

A typical haggis hunting party

In the intervening years between then and now there have been several unconfirmed sightings of haggis around the Moors, but the sad truth is that the haggis were hunted out of existence on the Moors and are now confined to the Highlands of Scotland.

So we have to rely on haggis being rustled across the border …

Haggis smuggling (a reconstruction to protect the identity of the smugglers)

Following my posting last year about Burns Night especially the traditional address to the haggis you might want to take a butchers at this nostalgic clip

Charlie the butcher