Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Got Haggis?

The Colonial Gathering in Fair Hill, MD brought many smiles. The kids and I traveled with two friends. For both friends the Scottish Games were a first. For one a first period, for the other a first outside of Scotland. Alison (from Perth) said that the games were very similar to those at home. She took some pictures to send to her brother including a short movie with the massed pipe band playing "Scotland, the Brave". It sounded as though he would be quite surprised to learn that this goes on in the States. One of her favorite sodas was too overpriced, but she did get some English/Scottish candy, a Scottish Flag and a tee-shirt for her sister.

Sword DanceThe children had their first dance competition in the morning. Things went really well. They all made it through their dances with no big (and really not even small) mess-ups. The oldest even one a medal in one of the dances! After the dances we sat down for some lunch (fish and chips, bridies and pasties), watched a border collie sheep herding demonstation and talked to the spinners and weavers (big surprise there). We were about to head out but realized the "Address to A Haggis" was happening in only 10 minutes, and there would be samples.

Addressing the HaggisApparently, done correctly there is much pomp and procedure regarding this whole affair. First we were introduced to the whiskey (well, kinda) and then to the cook and finally to the piper. The gentleman performing the poem was kilted and in character. He was fun to listen to and watch. At the appropriate time he cut open the haggis and paused to allow the aroma to waft to his nose. The last line is given to the audience, "Gie her a haggis!" and then the piper plays and in lieu of a toast to the haggis the gentlemen reciting the poem took a drink of whiskey. We were all then invited to get in line and receive a wee bit of haggis to try.

Eating the Haggis
Here are our comments:
Alison from Perth - a little too creamy, should be a bit drier, but a good haggis.
Jess of German stock - pretty good, kind of similar to a German stuffed pig stomach.
Erin - hammy taste and smell, a little spicy, would eat it again.
Julius - pretty good.
Me - Good, spicy. I could eat this with mashed turnips and potatoes.
Sadie - didn't brave the haggis.
So, the next time you have a chance, give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised.
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