Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Haggis Pancakes

Despite the new year’s resolutions….it’s been ages since I posted anything!! Very very bad, but work has been mad and life even more hectic with walking trips, pottery, knitting and birthdays. Anyway, today it is Shrove Tuesday, which is also known as Pancake Day! And even though I’m not planning to give anything up for Lent I feel this is a tradition worth honouring. Pancake Day and Lent were whole new concepts to me when I first moved to the UK. In the Netherlands, we would eat pancakes occasionally as a meal, but as my family is not religious, I never realised it was a tradition associated with the church. Traditionally, people would finish all their food on Shrove Tuesday before fasting for 40 days over lent. This specially included finishing all the milk, eggs and butter which were traditionally eaten as pancakes.

We decided to have pancakes with a Scottish twist…partially cause we’re off skiing next week (hooray…France, here we come!) and I got given a veggie haggis that needed eating. I do enjoy a normal haggis as well, but this was the one I received. I think it is one of these meals with a high yuck (!) factor but actually its very, very good and not much different from eating pate or black pudding. This traditional Scottish dish is made by mincing sheep heart, liver and lungs with oatmeal, onion, herbs and spices. All of this is then put into the sheep stomach. It was made famous by the Robert Burns poem, which I still don’t totally understand. But my favourite haggis story is that it is a small animal with legs shorter on one side then the other, so it can run around the hills. To catch it, you make it run in the other direction so that it rolls off the hill and then catch it on its way down. But anyway, I digress, especially as our haggis was a veggie one

So as a main I stir fried some onion, curly kale with bits of vegetarian haggis and had this on a wholemeal pancake with a creamy mustard and whiskey sauce. It was a very tasty combination with the slightly crunchy kale and a smokey hint of Laphroaig. Then for dessert we went for the old traditional combination of a plain pancake with lemon and sugar, it’s still my favourite in all its simplicity.

Apologies, but having difficulties with the pictures...coming soon hopefully!