Wednesday, January 27, 2016
My Own Ode to a Haggis
I forgot to mention Burns Night! January 25 was the birthday of Scottish bard Robert Burns, and we did celebrate -- with a haggis! Dave went and bought one from our posh local butcher. It came in a tight plastic wrap, round and plump like a little grouse.
Haggis, according to Wikipedia, is "a savoury pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal's stomach."
As you can imagine, with my vegetarian tendencies, haggis has not been high on my list of things to try. But I did -- one bite. It is almost ridiculously rich, and very dark, with the soft texture of organ meat (though the grain gives it a bit of body). I can now officially say that I do not like it.
Dave, however, is a fan, and he's been working through it. Last night he had it for dinner with a fried egg on top. It is a very dense food. A little haggis goes a long way.
To properly mark Burns Night, we should have read Burns' "Address to a Haggis," but we didn't take things that far. (Though I would have enjoyed the poem much more than the haggis itself.) We should also have served whiskey, which perhaps would have made the haggis more palatable.
Speaking of eating animals, did you see the news about the cow that escaped from a slaughterhouse in New York City a few days ago? It wandered through the urban streets of Queens for a while before finally being corralled by the police. They returned it to the owner, but it was subsequently taken in by an animal rescue organization and will live a life of leisure. I was glad the cow's courage was rewarded.
I also read a fascinating article and study yesterday about common household insects -- specifically which bugs are most common in American homes. A team of entomologists surveyed 50 houses around Raleigh, North Carolina, and catalogued the insects they found. The diversity was wider than you might expect! I can only imagine what we've got living with us here -- definitely spiders, flies and occasionally moths, because I see them. And I'm sure there's all manner of critters we don't see.
Finally, we finished "Making a Murderer" on Netflix last night. I won't give anything away, but I recommend the series. It will definitely make you question the fairness of the American justice system, particularly as it serves the poor and uneducated. We were aghast at the decisions made in the case, by juries, attorneys and judges -- but it does help to do some research on the side to find out more about the trial and evidence presented. I accept the fact that we didn't see or hear everything and thus may not know the full story.
(Photo: Some discarded carpeting on our street. Wouldn't you like to see the room that came from?!)