O wad some Power the giftie gie us

Bagpipes are not noted for building an appetite

Okay, in more modern English:

And would some Power the small gift give us

To see ourselves as others see us

It would from many a blunder free us

And foolish notion!

That’s from To a Louse by Robert Burns,the great Scots poet.

He’s tonight’s subject because it’s his birthday–January 25, 1759, so he would be 251 years old, if he hadn’t died at 37.

To celebrate the big day, Gail and I went out with Mike and Linda, and Pam Katz, to Nibblers for their annual Burns night dinner.

We like Nibblers because they change their menu frequently, darned near frenetically, and look for any excuse to have a special event night, just like we do.  Since the owner’s father is seriously Scots and even owns his own kilt, Burns night is a BIG DEAL to them.

To me, it’s just an excuse to get Bandler to eat haggis. Classically, this is strange meat mixed with oatmeal and cooked in sheep’s bladder.  In Pleasant Hill, it’s venison, whole oats, whisky (note that there is no “e” in whisky), leeks and spices, wrapped in cheesecloth.  Looks better, tastes better. Still makes Mike nervous.

The big thing on top is the haggis. The yellow and white stuff is turnips and potatoes, or "neaps and taties"

The rest of the food wasn’t particularly different, but the names are cute–we had inky pinky (roast beef in gravy with carrots), clapshot (turnip gratin), rumbledthumps (potatoes mashed with cabbage), skirlie ( oats cooked into a creamy polenta with caramelized onions) and a scotch egg (a hard cooked egg coated in pork sausage).

Tonight we proved that the bagpipe is not an indoor instrument–or at least that it requires a much larger room than this restaurant.  Wow, is it loud.  There were Scottish dancers, too, and poetry reading in the original Scots.

We had a pretty darned good time.  It was nice to see Pam Katz, who is getting along well and enjoying her 2 1/2 year old grandson, Aaron.  And I can say I made Mike Bandler eat haggis.

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