2017 Burns Supper

KSFSS 2nd Annual Burns Supper – January 23, 2017

The Selkirk Grace (Claude Hurtubise)

Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.

Address to a Haggis (Scott Hamilton)

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dicht,
An cut you up wi ready slicht,
Trenching your gushing entrails bricht,
Like onie ditch;
And then, Oh what a glorious sicht,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmaist, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

Is there that ower his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit:
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
Oh how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his wallie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if Ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

Nice seeing your honest, chubby face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Belly, tripe, or links:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.

The groaning platter there you fill,
Your buttocks like a distant hill,
Your pin would help to mend a mill
In time of need,
While through your pores the dews distill
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour sharpen,
And cut you up with practiced skill,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, Oh what a glorious sight,
Warm-steaming, rich!

Then, spoon for spoon, they stretch and strive:
Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,
‘Til all their well-swollen bellies soon
Are tight as drums;
Then old Master, most likely to burst,
‘Thanks Be’ hums.

Is there one, that over his French ragout,
Or olio that would give pause to a sow,
Or fricassee that would make her spew
With perfect loathing,
Looks down with sneering, scornful view
On such a dinner?

Poor devil! See him over his trash,
As feeble as a withered rush,
His spindly leg a good whip-lash,
His fist a nit:
Through bloody flood or field to dash,
Oh how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his sturdy fist a blade,
He’ll make it whistle;
And legs and arms, and heads will cut,
Like tops of thistle.

You Pow’rs, that make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery ware
That slops in bowls:
But, if You wish her grateful prayer,
Give her a Haggis!

Toast to the Lassies (Stephen Brown)

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Typically for these gatherings I like to sit back, drink my scotch, and let Claude do the talking. But, in the spirit of tradition, tonight it’s my pleasure to give a toast to the lassies. We’re fortunate to have several of the lassies out with us tonight and even though a scotch club might sound like a gentleman’s exclusive, we’re delighted to have a few ladies in regular attendance. We’re always happy to see more women join the society. Now, a toast to the lassies would be woefully incomplete without some of Burns’ work and looking through his more than 500 poems, there is no shortage of material regarding women. He did get around a bit. At age 15, we are told that the first poem Burns ever composed, Handsome Nell, was composed for Helen Kirkpatrick:

O once I Lov’d (Handsome Nell)

O ONCE I lov’d a bonnie lass,
An’ aye I love her still,
An’ whilst that virtue warms my breast
I’ll love my handsome Nell.

A bonnie lass, I will confess,
Is pleasant to the e’e;
But, without some better qualities,
She’s no a lass for me.

Now, when I say that Robbie Burns got around a bit, I don’t mean that lightly. He was quite a ladies man. I mean, he was Scottish, and I suppose being a dashing, handsome poet might win some points. In fact, he is supposed to have fathered 12-16 children with at least 4 women during the span of his short 37 years. Burns’ poetry about women seems to fall into two very different categories. The first category would likely best be reserved for the tavern:

My Girl She’s Airy

My girl she ‘s airy, she ‘s buxom and gay,
Her breath is as sweet as the blossoms in May;
A touch of her lips it ravishes quite.
She ‘s always good natur’d, good humour’d, and free;
She dances, she glances, she smiles with a glee;
Her eyes are the lighteneniings of joy and delight;
Her slender neck, her handsome waist,
Her hair well buckl’d, her stays well lac’d,
Her taper white leg wth an et, and a, c,
For her a, b, e, d, and her c, u, n, t,
And Oh, for the joys of a long winter night!!!

Some poems were more “colourful” than others:

Nine inch will please a lady

Come rede me, dame, come tell me, dame,
My dame, come tell me truly,
What length o’ graith, when weel ca’d hame,
Will ser’e a woman duly?
The carlin clew her wanton tail,
Her wanton tail sae ready;
I learn’t a sang in Annandale,
Nine inch will please a lady.

Burns had a string of serious affairs and his fair share of happiness and heartbreaks. Of course, Burns learned some lessons along the way, matured, and eventually married Jean Armour (though it did take him a while to get her father’s blessing). It was during this time, you see, that some of his poetry falls into a second category, in which it’s clear that he held women in high regard:

O Saw ye Bonie Lesley

To see her is to love her,
And love but her for ever;
For Nature made her what she is
And never made anither.

Thou art a queen, fair Lesley,
Thy subjects we, before thee:
Thou art divine, fair Lesley,
The hearts o’ men adore thee.

Of course, there were poems during his later works such as “the henpeck’d husband”, but I feel that it might take away from my point here. You see, Robbie Burns came to have a great devotion to the fairer sex, which I think can be summed up with a couple verses of Green Grow the Rashes:

Green grow the Rashes, O

For you sae douce, ye sneer at this;
Ye’re nought but senseless asses, O:
The wisest man the warl’ e’er saw,
He dearly lov’d the lasses, O.
Old Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice hand she tried on man,
And then she made the lassies, O.

So tonight, gentlemen, please join me in raising a glass:

The sweetest hours that e’er I spend, Are spent amang the lasses. To the lassies!

Reply to the Toast to the Lassies (Christine Wentzell)
The Meal

Ode to a Haggis
Traditionally prepared with lamb’s pluck, oats, and spices
Paired with:
3.270 Surf ’n’ Turf in a Camels Saddle Bag (55.8% ABV)
On the nose ash, embers, treacle on leather, smouldering leaves, honey-coated kippers, toffee Pavlova, Fisherman’s Friends and camel saddle bags were all mentioned. Water brought campfire waffles and maple syrup, donuts and surf and turf savouriness to the mix. On the neat palate, we found    barbecued prawns and lobster shells, treacle toffee, ginger cake, leather, prunes, cigars, dark rum, sherry and smoke – rich and slightly challenging for some. The reduced palate was still substantial – coke clinkers, sweet tobacco, marmalade, cinder toffee, yeasty rye bread and ‘fish pie on Hobnobs biscuits’. Sherry and smoke lovers will lap it up.

Lox N Bagel
Juniper cured lake trout, everything bagel crumb, smoked apple cream cheese, pickled shallots, northern divine caviar, fried capers, baby dill
Paired with:
30.91 Deliciously Dark and Sweet (58.7% ABV)
The nose delighted us with honey flapjacks, barley sugars, Demerara and treacle tart – pumpkin pie and blackberry bushes gave it an almost autumnal air. The palate was deliciously dark and sweet – scorched meringues, orange liqueur, black bun, treacle on a welly boot and a tannic twist of oak in the tail. The reduced nose found burnt wood and leaves, singed fruit cake, stroop waffles and old tennis racket handles. The reduced palate achieved a balance between treacle toffee and muscovado sweetness and the mighty oak, while some elusive suggestions of red wine and stock reduction added a savoury complexity.

Scottish Egg
Sous vide farmers egg, English sausage, 5 year old cheddar and potato puree, frisee salad, warm bacon vinaigrette, choron sauce
Paired with:
42.24 The Bee’s Knees (59.5% ABV)
A fascinating combination of aromas ranging from sweet to salt and smoke kept us all very much engaged and interested; sea salt caramels, a salted chocolate tart using smoked sea salt and churros with salty peanut sugar and bitter chocolate.  It tastes exactly how it noses.  It was big in every sense; sweet, salty, smoky – simply stunning and best described by the following remarks; ‘dog’s bollocks’ and ‘bee’s knees’!  Reluctantly we added a drop of water, however we still enjoyed that very unusual combination we experienced neat but now, admittedly, a little tamer but still tantalizing every nook and cranny of our tongue.

Scotch Risotto
pearl barley, melted leeks, black truffle, acorn squash, parmesan reggiano, pea tendrils
Paired with:
G7.10 Texan Tea Party (59.2% ABV)
The hot air was filled with spicy sandalwood aromas from the sawdust on the floor and the sun-bleached fencing around the rodeo stadium on which perched new leather saddles waiting their turn.  A delicious smell wafted from the stand selling vanilla ice cream, marzipan and banoffee pie with oodles of caramel sauce, toffee and custard.  Beside the homemade spiced plum chutney stall we were surprised to find mulled wine mingling with oak casks containing Rye whisky and vanilla and coconut- infused Bourbon, which after adding a few drops of water became even sweeter and more spicy.

Short Rib Wellington
braised beef ribs, Wild mushroom pate, serrano ham, turnip puree, roasted similkameen carrots, Roquefort cheese, scotch whisky pan jus
Paired with:
66.82 Gritty Turned Pretty (57.5% ABV)
This smells like a heavily Sherry-fed fruit cake, a strong chocolate Porter matured in Sherry casks, a roast leg of lamb with rosemary jus and burnt honey, orange and clove glazed ham; those were just some of the remarks. A unique nose neat was followed by God’s wrath in the form of smoke, embers and brimstone on the palate sweetened by melted hot dark chocolate and spiced Brazil nuts. With water, aromas of loaf cake and mulled cider with mince pies and the taste still massive, “pull down your pants, as this one will kick your …” – don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Chocolate Molten Cake
Apple smoked chocolate , raspberry gelato , pomegranate seeds
Paired with:
36.96 Chocolate Cake Cookie (58.1% ABV)
The aromas neat were like reading the dessert menu in a restaurant.  Sticky toffee pudding, salty caramel bread and butter pudding, caramelized bananas, glace cherry cake, and orange and lemon drizzle loaf.  We needed to take a sip to decide; sweet and spicy on the tongue.  Flavours of dark fruits, dark bitter chocolate and dark spiced rum all put  together in one delicious chocolate cake cookie – can I have one please!  With a drop of water, white chocolate-coated green grapes and a ginger marzipan cake with candied citrus peel, whilst in the taste a fruit and vegetable orange carrot smoothie.

Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS