Sunday, December 2, 2012


We missed the annual December party hosted by my husband's Scottish friend last year but remember it vividly from two years ago.  The smell of the haggis wafting up from the basement and later the crowd of musicians filling a small bedroom are what stick with me the most.  This year, we arrived two hours into the party and heard the pipes from the moment the car door opened.

We had shown our kids a few videos online of Scotland scenery, tossing the caber, and the making of haggis, so they could have a little context before getting to this party.  I actually think it helped since the house was full of Scottish...stuff.  I found it interesting though that our host served the quintessentially English PG Tips tea.

Our son, despite viewing the making of haggis online, was eager to try it, most likely for the gross-out factor in seeing his sister's face as he did so.  The stuff was in a crockpot next to the neeps and tatties.  The smell was, once again, overwhelming.  We put one spoonful into our son's mouth, and he immediately asked for more.  Before we left the party, he'd eaten two bowls full of it.  What started out as an attempt to disgust his sister seemed to have turned into a genuine appreciation of the dish.  Who knew?

After having nice conversations at a gathering across the river with a lovely group of misfits, we thanked our hosts, telling them how educational the experience was for our kids.  My husband's friend, the ruddy-faced, huge one in the kilt who won the caber-tossing games at age 21, had slipped deeply into his Scottish accent by this point in the evening despite being mostly American and assured as we walked away, "You are always welcome at my fire."  If you're offering haggis at this fire, my son will be there.

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