Haggis and Scotch for Burns Night in Historic Adobe
January 28, 2013
You had me at haggis.
Only there was a lot more than the fabled Scottish sheep's guts treat on hand to commemorate the annual international celebration known as Burns Night.
This year marked the 254th birthday of "Scotland's favorite son," poet Robert Burns, and this installment of the Jan. 25 occasion drew more than 60 Scotland enthusiasts, buckets of scotch and plenty of poetry, all at the Casa Serrano Adobe Friday night.
The evening was carried by several tasty scotch toasts, traditional Scottish music featuring bagpiper Michael D'Avenas and the Reel Deal Celtics, and readings by impersonator-poet Talen Thomas.
Adopting Burns’ accent and grandiose demeanor, Thomas made the Scot’s refrains resonate as if he was singing a love song.
Here's a bottle and an honest friend! What wad ye wish for mair, man? Wha kens, before his life may end, What his share may be o' care, man?
The meal—prepared by chefs Roberta and Bruce Brown of Two Chefs Catering—featured Nova Scotia haggis, MacDonald's breast of Sicin, Scot's tater cakes, pitlochry veggie compote and Campbell's salad verte.
Haggis has garnered a legendary rep for smelling like wet dog.
It’s made from a mixture of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach.
Ours tasted like chicken…pâté. And enjoyed a similar texture too.
The standouts were the potato cakes, which were crisp on the outside, soft and hot on the inside, and the cabbage.
About 80 percent of the men wore kilts.
When asked what he was wearing under his kilt, event volunteer Xavier Maruyama replied, "Nothing. Everything's in perfect working order."
The haggis didn't change my life or inspire a move to Edinburgh, but spirits—both kinds—were as high as the Scottish Highlands.
The Monterey History and Art Association deserves credit for putting together a dynamic event in a beautiful—and underused—venue.
Several future events are scheduled, including a kickoff to the city's 243rd birthday, the annual weekend-long La Merienda celebration. That's May 31 with a curated dinner of early California cuisine, nice local wines and live entertainment.