Monday, February 18, 2013

12th Annual Rocky Mountain Burns Dinner

I am remiss in thanking those who organized, welcomed and entertained me on Janaury 19th, 2013.  The event was held at the Lougheed House, a brilliant site and the food was spectacular.

The evning began with drinks, of course, it's celebrating Robbie Burns.  We were piped in by Dan Lidgren and welcomed to supper by Mark Boulay. We then had a scotch tasting, my favourite, the 12 year old Glenfarclas.  By the end of the evening it was a challenge to determine what I was drinking.

Following the scotch tasting Scott Matson said the Selkirk Grace.

The Selkirk Grace, is a prayer said afore eatin that's attreebute tae Robert Burns:

"In connection with the poet's visit to the seat of the Earl of Selkirk, it is stated by Cunningham, that at one of the meals there, Burns was asked to say Grace, and he delivered what is usually styled 'The Selkirk Grace'":

Some Folk hae meat that canna eat,
And some can eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
So let the Lord be Thanket!

Following the First Remove - Cook-a-Leekie Soup we were entertained with a beatiful rendition of 'The Flower of Scotland' sung by Ben Robinson.

Then came the Second Remove - Herb Salad and Bison Cakes.

Now it was time for the address to the haggis by the almost sober and nearly standing Bruce Cameron.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race! 
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, 
Painch, tripe, or thairm : 
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace 
As lang's my arm. 

The groaning trencher there ye fill, 
Your hurdies like a distant hill, 
Your pin wad help to mend a mill 
In time o'need, 
While thro' your pores the dews distil 
Like amber bead. 

His knife see rustic Labour dight, 
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight, 
Trenching your gushing entrails bright, 
Like ony ditch; 
And then, O what a glorious sight, 
Warm-reekin', rich! 

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive: 
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive, 
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve 
Are bent like drums; 
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive, 
Bethankit! hums. 

Is there that owre his French ragout 
Or olio that wad staw a sow, 
Or fricassee wad make her spew 
Wi' perfect sconner, 
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view 
On sic a dinner? 

Poor devil! see him owre his trash, 
As feckless as wither'd rash, 
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash; 
His nieve a nit; 
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash, 
O how unfit! 

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, 
The trembling earth resounds his tread. 
Clap in his walie nieve a blade, 
He'll mak it whissle; 
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned, 
Like taps o' thrissle. 

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care, 
And dish them out their bill o' fare, 
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware 
That jaups in luggies; 
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer 
Gie her a haggis!

After stumbling to his seat having carefully cut himself with the cerimonial knife during the address we began the Third Remove - Alberta Beef Tenderloin with Demi-Glaze servved with Vegetables (Yum!).

Followed by Ben Robinson singing 'Scotland Forever', not a dry eye in the room.

Rising once again, Bruce Cameron gave a moving Immortal Memeory.

The Immortal Memory is the main speech of the Robbie Burns evening to underline the reasons why Burns Memory is, and should be, immortal. It should bring out points as to why he is relevant in our times and society. It should help people understand what Burns said and encourage them to apply Burns principles and values to their own lives and to society around them resolving to improve both. It should persuade them to re-examine their country's nationhood, preserve it, and make it a force for good among their fellow nations. It should be a personal tribute.

We had a dessert of fresh Raspberry Cranachan Trifle and of course, whiskey cream and Jeff Robinson closed the formal part of the evning with the Toast to the Lassies.

This was originally a short speech given by a male guest in thanks to the women who had
prepared the meal. However, nowadays it is much more wide-ranging and generally
covers the male speaker's view on women. It is normally amusing but not offensive. The men drink a toast to the women's health.

The formal part being completed, we proceeded to have various forms of scotch tasting in bars around the City,

God help us all!