Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weekend fun: Mahjong, Burns Supper, and where to find Robert Burns memorials in the U.S.

 "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! "

-Robert Burns- 

Well, as you can guess, this weekend was all about Robert Burns, a Scottish poet born in Alloway on 25 January, 1759. It began with Mahjong. We had a Scottish-themed lunch that included serving the haggis and the Address to A Haggis by Robert Burns. I made smoked haddock flan. People were a little reluctant to try it but most who did told me that it was pretty good to their surprise. People just don't expect to find fish in a pie. I like it.

There is my flan on the red and white towel. :o) 

It's tradition to stab the haggis.

Look! I got a Mahjong (I won)! That card shows the combinations you have to get to win.
 Later that night, Steve and I went to the Burns Supper at the Beach Ballroom. It's a dinner and dance to celebrate the life of Robert Burns. It was pretty terrific. The men wear kilts or nice suits, and the women wear dresses or skirts with that same plaid pattern. They all looked great! Here was the schedule:

 Before they served dinner, they told us that we had to work up an appetite and started the music and dancing first. The first song in which Steve and I tried to dance was very difficult! It had a quick waltz and then a quick polka step thrown in it. We were stepping all over each other! haha. The next few dances were easier and more fun.

The food was really good. Before serving everybody they perform the Address to a Haggis, which I've included as a video for you. I've also included the words at the end of this blog so that you know what he is saying. :o)


After that it was time to eat! Haggis neeps and tatties were just haggis bits with mashed potatoes (both plain potatoes and sweet potatoes). It was so yummy. I'm not joking. For desert we had cranachan, which is like a whipped cream and raspberry layered pudding with whiskey.

After dinner, a speaker came out to talk about some interesting part of Robert Burns' life. That night they talked about how great it was to see a nation, the United States, honor a man so well who had never even stepped on its soil. There are several Robert Burns memorials around the U.S., and also interesting is that Abe Lincoln quoted him often.

Here is a list of locations I copied from Wikipedia. You should go check it out and then send me a picture when you do!

  • Replica of Burns' birthplace cottage belonging to the Burns Club Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia
  • statue in front of the old Spaulding High School building in Barre, Vermont
  • statue in Central Park, New York City (twin to the statue in London)
  • statue in Washington Park, Albany, New York
  • statue in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California
  • statue at Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • statue in Robert Burns Park, Quincy, Massachusetts
  • statue in Detroit, Michigan
  • statue on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri
  • statue in Confederate Park, Jacksonville, Florida
  • bust in Hermann Park, Houston, Texas
  • statue in Garfield Park, Chicago, Illinois
  • statue in Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • statue in Boston, Massachusetts
  • statue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • statue in Denver, Colorado
After the memorial speech, it was time for more dancing! I had such a good time. Steve was really out of his comfort zone with the dancing, but he did it anyway for me. Sometimes it took some coaxing from the other guys to get him up, but he did it! Good for him. :o)

The rest of the weekend has been pretty low key. Steve went to Stonehaven with some of his coworkers for lunch and to see some formations and faults. While he was gone, I took the dogs on their longest walk as a pair (Angel has been on lots of long walks/runs/hikes). We walked a little over 3 miles. I was really proud of Frog. He only tried to stop and turn around a few times. When we got home a gave their paws a good rub down to get rid of any salt (thanks Falene), and then we all relaxed. Later Saturday evening, we went to dinner at a friend's house. They cooked lots of Greek food, and it was so very yummy! I love Greek food. 

Anyway, highlights for my Sunday... I got to talk via Skype with my Granny and Pappy! I showed them my house and told them about how different and interesting my life has been here. I really miss them. I'm so thankful for technology.

Address to a Haggis - Robert Burns

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

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 dight, 
An' cut you up 
wi' ready sleight, 
Trenching your gushing entrails bright, 
Like ony ditch; And then, O what a glorious sight, 
Warm-reekin', rich! 

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive: 
Deil tak the hindmost! 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 owre his French ragout 
Or olio that wad staw a sow, 
Or fricassee wad make her spew 
Wi' perfect sconner, 
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view 
On sic a dinner? 

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

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, 
The trembling earth resounds his tread. 
Clap in his walie nieve a blade, 
He'll mak 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!

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