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Sweet Haggis

This week the world over will echo to the sound of haggis being addressed in Robert Burns' own words :-
 
                                       ' Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
                                        Great Chieftain o' the Puddin-race!
                                        Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
                                                Painch, tripe or thairm :
                                        Weel are ye wordy of a grace
                                                As lang's my arm.'
 
Traditionally at Burns Suppers the haggis is piped in and all the company enjoy it's ritual presentation. This starts with a signal from the kitchen to the evening's Chairman that the haggis is ready, the Chairman calls on the company to be upstanding to receive the haggis. The delicacy is then carried in, traditionally by "Poosie Nancy", preceded by a Piper, round the room to the top table where a wee Dram awaits. The haggis is presented to the Chairman who will either address it himself or call upon the person who has been delegated to do the honours. If running a Burns Supper don't forget to ensure that a knife is available for use at the appropriate point in the address - ' An' cut you up wi' ready slight ' - to perform the delicate operation of cutting open the haggis. Customs can vary - at some Burns Suppers the company remain standing throughout the time that the haggis is in the room, at others, the custom is to resume seats during the recital of ' Address to the Haggis ', to allow everyone a better view of the spectacle. However when the haggis has been addressed, the company should be upstanding to toast the haggis and to enjoy the sight of the haggis being piped out.
 
Remember that you can hear ' Address to the Haggis ' , indeed all the important parts of a Burns Supper, every day of the year, courtesy of The Flag's SI Burns Supper which you will find under our Features section.
 
This week's recipe is for haggis but not the traditional fare enjoyed at Burns Suppers! Sweet Haggis is a dish which originated in the Ayrshire town of Kilmarnock and was a favourite on Saturday night High Tea tables. It was usually put on at dinner time so that it could boil in the afternoon and the hot steaming pudding was just the ticket on a cold winter's night.
 
Sweet Haggis
 
Ingredients : 3/4 lb (350 g) medium oatmeal; 4 oz (125 g) plain flour; 3/4 lb (350 g) suet, finely chopped;4 oz (125 g) soft brown sugar; 4 oz (125 g) currants; 4 oz ( 125 g) raisins; salt and pepper; water to mix
 
Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix with water. Put into a greased pudding bowl, cover and steam for 3-4 hours. Serve hot in slices. The remainder can later be cut in thick slices and fried with bacon or wrapped in foil and reheated in the oven.

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