Poetry, Scotland, and Haggis by Christine Campbell

Hi, Lucy,

Thank you for asking me to ‘guest’.

You are most welcome Christine. What is it you have for us to read?

I thought I’d give you a wee flavour of Scotland. Is that okay?

Sure! I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland, this way I get a kind of preview. Bring it on! 🙂

In a recent post, you remarked how much we talk about food on our blogs. Now, I really hate to disagree with my hostess; it seems such bad form. But I’m sure that can’t be true. I mean, what has food to do with writing? If I were to write a poem, I’d hardly write about food, would I? Food’s such an ordinary, everyday thing; not the stuff of poetry.

I mean, let’s face it, I’m hardly likely to have a poem in my portfolio that uses a tomato metaphor…am I?

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Dropping out of the sky like a ripe tomato

Falling to earth with its innards outwards

Oozing its contents across the sky

Ending the day with a messy goodbye.

Smearing the horizon like food in a skillet

Omeletting colours, cloud chopped and sprinkled

Frying the hills, heat dies in glory

Assaulting our senses, its bedtime story.

Oops! Seems I do have a little sunset ditty. Now there’s a thing.

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Then again, I seem to remember a certain Rabbie Burns writing about a haggis.

Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist, widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and celebrated worldwide. So, if he can write a poem about the humble haggis…

Though, in truth, he didn’t write about a haggis so much as to a haggis…

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.

There are a lot more verses, eight, to be precise, but I’ll spare you and give you a very simple recipe for making the said savoury pudding instead. It’s usually stuffed into a sheep’s stomach, of course, but, again, I’ll spare you, and suggest cooking it in a pyrex bowl or a sporran. This is not a dish for all you faint-hearted veggies out there 🙂

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1/2 lb. beef liver

2 lamb kidneys

3/4 lb. lamb shoulder

1/4 lb beef suet

2 onions, minced

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup stock

salt and lots of pepper

allspice and herbs

Boil the meats for an hour. Cool. Grate and chop, or grind them in a food processor. Chop the suet. Toast the oatmeal in a shallow pan in the oven, shaking occasionally. Mix the meats, suet, onions and oatmeal together with a cup of the stock in which liver and meats were cooked. Add salt and plenty of pepper to taste, and some herbs and allspice, if that’s what you fancy.

Turn into greased Pyrex bowl. (I was joking about the sporran…they’re too hard to digest) Cover with 2 or 3 layers of foil. Steam on a rack in a pan of boiling water for 2 hours, adding more boiling water as it boils away.

Serves 6. Serve with neeps and tatties.

Translation supplied on request.


Christine Campbell
You can find this great author on Amazon US and UK

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