Posts filed under 'burns night'

Friday Faves 4.15

I don’t mean to fall away from blogging ever. I really don’t. It just happens. I just get busy. I didn’t get back to Scotland and recovered until a week into January, and since then have been to 3 different countries (France, Norway, USA again). And I have to say, those trips have been my most procrastinated, lasse fair trips I have ever planned/been on. Anyway, I though it’d be good to commit a little time back to blogging. Thinking about getting at least 2 posts a week, and what better way to get a post out than with a Friday faves?!

So this week’s Friday faves:

 

IDShot_540x540Coconut Milk! I have documented the lack of coffee creamer in this country. And I just can’t bring myself to stocking the fridge with single or double cream to put in my coffee (though I certainly take advantage if there’s some leftover from another recipe). And if you follow me on twitter, I have a melt down about my broken heart for my American Keurig and K-cups at least once a month. So I am so happy to welcome Coconut Milk in my life. Yeah, I like almond milk but it doesn’t do much for my coffee (chai tea lattes are another story). But coconut milk not only cuts the coffee taste, but actually makes it taste like coconut! It has literally made my mornings much sweeter.

David Lloyd Aberdeen  My gym has officially reopened.  Sadly, even with a “£4 million renovation” the gym still sucks in the same ways it always has.  But it’s nice for it to be open.  They’ve been closed since before I came back from after Christmas due to the crazy flooding in Aberdeen. So here’s to committing to twice weekly Body Pump and Pilates if only my body would cooperate.

American Ovens. I don’t have one….and boy do I want one. I am so tired of trying to bake in the country for everything to either blow up, taste bitter, get stuck, or fall apart. I try something once every month or so, only for the result to be a crumbled pile of bake goods, possibly looking like literally dog poop, and me in tears.   You don’t know how good you have it American residents.

BFFS. Since I’ve moved, I’m pretty much only guaranteed to see my closest Midwest friends once a year. And my east and west coast friends….who knows. Well this year is the year of friends! I’m going to NYC twice where I’ll see my Asian, I get to see Merima (who’s a Cali-girl) when she comes over to my side of the pond, and not only will I see Heather, Megan and Tricia at Christmas time, but I’ll be welcoming Tricia into my home, meeting Megan in Northern Ireland, and seeing Heather in London. HOLLA!  Let’s hope this helps, not hinders, homesickness.i have such pretty friendslg and tric

No. 1 Magazine. Because for some reason, Scotland’s (only?) gossip/celeb magazine has a picture of me in it- whaaaaaat?!?! I find my new socialite status more than a little amusing. And to think, in Chicago after 8 years I never even was able to attend an event where a photographer was (unless volunteering).IMG_3204
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Burns Night Supper

Not to brag, but Big E looked pretty killer n a kilt.

Not to brag, but Big E looked pretty killer n a kilt.

Ever since we first found out we were going to Scotland, all I wanted was to get E in a kilt. Now I see my fair share of men in kilts on a near weekly basis, especially in the summer. They are regularly worn to church, weddings, anything formal, and the Highland Games- generally by those who own their own kilts. But for a non-Scot, a non-kilt-owner, your only chance is a formal event. Which E’s company has 0. Enter Burns Night! An event honoring Scotland’s favorite poet, Robert Burns on his birthday January 25th.

Burns Suppers are either on his actual birthday, or the Friday and/or Saturday closest to. A lot of the big companies here host their own Burns Suppers, but of course not Erik’s…so I set out to find a public Burns Supper and got a table together. This all was a little last minute, about 2 weeks prior to the event, so options were a little slim. A lot of Burns Suppers were sold out already, but we managed to be able to get a table at the Aberdeen Council’s Burns Supper on Friday (Saturday was sold out) held at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen.

Our table.

Our table.

Good thing these fellas got killer legs.

Every man looks better in a kilt.

12605333_10102516484302307_205390791406214179_oSo what is involved in a Burns Supper? Well here’s a quick guide.  But they can be informal or formal; ours was a mix without a strict dress code. Most men were in kilts though or trews (tartan trousers that are super adorable with suspenders and a dinner jacket), and most women in dresses, though some were casual dresses, some cocktail dresses, some club dresses, and some formal gowns (ha, me!).   Anyway, all Burns Suppers follow a pretty traditional schedule. Ours was a Burns Supper was a ceilidh (pronounced /ˈkeɪ.li/ which had a live band and Gaelic folk dancing).

The evening:

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  • Piping in the Guests
    • Of course you need to be piped in! It’s getting hard for me to go anywhere these days unless I get piped there.
  • Ceilidh dancing
    • Not a totally full dance floor as no one has had enough drink, but nice opportunity to get totally sweaty before dinner
    • Ours started out with the Gay Gordons. Certainly a favorite.

Kaitlin & Cris Gay Gordoning it up

Kaitlin & Cris Gay Gordoning it up

  • Welcome Speech and The Selkirk Grace
    • Written by Burns of course:

Some hae meat and canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it;

But we hae meat, and we can eat

Sae let the Lord be thankit.

  • Piping in of the Haggis
    • Why wouldn’t the Haggis get piped in? Everyone stands up and the Haggis is brought in on a big platter with it’s own piper, where it’s brought to a table in the center of the room.12605356_10102516483933047_4100911296766726277_o
  • Address to a HaggisScreen Shot 2016-01-28 at 12.34.40 PM
    • At the lineHis knife see rustic Labour dicht the speaker normally draws and sharpens a knife, and at the line An’ cut you up wi’ ready slicht, plunges it into the haggis and cuts it open from end to end.
  • Dinner
    • Haggis, Neeps, Tatties. Your dinner must include this or it’s not a real Burns Night.
  • Toasts
  • Works by Burns
    • I’m not sure what exactly our MC read and sang…but there was reading of poetry and singing of Rabbie B’s works.
  • Ceilidh dancing
    • You’re cooled down, fed, and have more booze in your system. It’s time to dance. Have no clue how to ceilidh? Nae bother. They yell out instructions and every when it gets too complicated, pretend you are a river dancer and no one will know or care you’re just a jackass American.
    • Strip the Willow is the crowd pleaser and was played last at our supper. I think it should be played last at all events due to the mass amount of chaos going on. I tried to find the best example of it but unfortunately there are only videos with small groups. Our dinner had about 3 groups of at least 70 people in each grouping (35 men and 35 women). It was total pandemonium.

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  • The Closing
    • Everyone gives thanks to the great evening, stands in a big circle holding hands, and sings Auld Lang Syne (another hit by Rabbie!)

That’s a Burns Night!

I’m really glad to have done this. As an expat you never really know how long you’ll be around and I wanted to take advantage of something so quintessentially Scottish. I think as long as we’re here neat year and still have friends here, I’ll try and do it again. There seems to be some posh Burns Suppers held at various hotels around Aberdeen- so that’s the 2017 Burns Supper Goal! I’ll start dress shopping now….

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