hello and warm greetings from Scotland….the home of Robert Burns aka Rabbie (pictured above), along with countless other famous Scots, but for now we will concentrate on good old Rabbie since on the 25th January it will be that time of year again where Scottish people all over the world will tuck into a traditional feast at there Burns Supper…we celebrate Robert Burns night on the same night every year which is the anniversary of his death, he was a legendary poet he wrote the very popular song “Auld Lang Syne” which we all sing at the end of party’s or new years….everyone knows it the world over but some may not know it was robert burns who wrote it….traditionally we would eat haggis neeps and tatties or to everyone else, haggis turnip and mashed potato. For starter’s we would have some soup, either scotch broth or cock-a-leekie soup….my favorite would be the latter, but what i don’t like about it is the chicken in the soup, but that’s easy fixed, you just don’t use it lol and obviously haggis as we all know (and 99% of people like to ignore!!) is made from sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs) combined with with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours…not a nice thought at all and certainly not good for your heart or arteries either!!….Now a days you can get different variety’s of vegetarian haggis from supermarkets that are fine but still full of fats and carbs with only a tiny bit of protein …..so this Burns Supper ill be making “Mock-a-Leekie Soup” for starter and a traditional dish “Stovies” for main course with oatcakes on the side…… that a little bit healthier for your heart…..still allot of carbohydrates but who cares haha There’s nothing wrong with a little of what you fancy hehe
Well ill be honest, iv only ever had this dish once in my life before now but ill start with a little history on my eating habits growing up and why i had never ate this dish or many other meat dishes until i knew you could make them safely with vegetarian food…. iv always tried to be vegetarian since very very young, like allot of kids they see the connection with animals and food and think “no thanks” but as i had no support and everyone thought i was “going through a phase” and because it was such a “big deal” to not eat what i was given i used to just pick at things and there’s no way you would see me eat a mooshed up mess of meat haha i always picked at things and wasted half of my dinner because i didn’t like it…..allot of kids decide to go vegetarian and are not taken seriously its terrible when the majority of people say you have to let the kids choose to be veggie themselves…. but if a vegetarian decides to bring there kids up vegetarian there’s a big shocked reply saying its not fair to force kids into a life of vegetables but the fact is no one gives there kids a choice we all make a decision based on what we ourselves think is right…. if a kid is told the truth about where the meat is coming from and what it involves most would choose to be veggie its all about being honest about where your food comes from …..NO KIDS GET A CHOICE UNLESS YOU LET THEM DECIDE……just a little thought :) Anyways i was at my husbands cousins wedding 4 years ago and to set the scene it was beautiful, the bride was stunning the house looked onto a loch and hills, the wine was flowing so later on we had a ceilidh, strip the willow and the dashing white sergeant were some of the favorites haha but in between the céilidh we had a snack of Stovies …i didn’t really know what it was but i heard the word vegetarian and i got a bowl, it was nice….don’t know if that was the wine taking affect but it stuck in my mind….i never did have it again until today as i haven’t been anywhere that had vegetarian stovies….or stovies for that matter haha if your wondering what a ceilidh is well i hope this demonstrates how fun it is….if you ever have the chance to attend a ceilidh do it you will have lots of fun and probably end up with a few bruises but you’ll live hahaha https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdH2CD-mKb8
So there’s the history of stovies in my life…..and a bit of a letting off of some steam hahaha Now lets get onto the recipes and cooking….oh and some photos :)
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and chopped
1 medium potato, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped small
1/2 cup brown rice, rinsed
1 liter of vegetable stock
tbsp chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
- Throw all of your ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil, let boil for a few mins then turn down to a simmer, leave to simmer checking and stirring every 10 mins (ish) to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom….
- If your soup is looking too thick then just add more water…..its not an exact science you just add it in and taste, if its good then its good :)
- once the veg and rice are all cooked through (about 45mins) its ready…..don’t worry if your soup takes longer to cook its ok its not exact just keep tasting and adding water.
^^^ that looks good :) ^^^
2 onion’s, halfed and sliced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large maris piper, chopped
8 new potatoes cut into 4 each (baby or salad potatoes)
5 Linda McCartney sausages, cooked and chopped chunkie
1 liter of vegetable stock
1 tsp Marmite or other yeast extract
salt and pepper
- Pop the onion into a pot with a little drizzle of water to “fry” the onions without the fat (if your not watching the calories then use a little vegetable butter) once they start to soften add the carrots to sweat, then add the baby potatoes for a few mins until they sweat or change colour a little……now add the Maris piper and stock and bring to bubble adding Marmite and thyme and salt and pepper, stir and cover and simmer for 30 mins making sure you stir and make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
- Once 30 mins is up add the sausage chunks and stir, if the veg is looking very dry then add a little more stock or water to keep from sticking, if the veg is ready and there seems to be too much moisture then just bring to a bubble with the lid off, stirring all the time, it will thicken up in no time at all.
- Serve in a bowl with a little stack of good old Scottish oatcakes to scoop it all up…..easy peasy :)
^^^ Ill be the first to admit its not very pretty….but it tastes darn good!! honestly you’ll love it :)
^^^^ This is a photo i took on Sunday, its Loch Lomond on a cold and frosty morning….it was soooo cold, i think those little ducks are frozen into the water haha just kidding hehe
^^^^ This is a photo of Dunnottar Castle on the east coast of Scotland….beautiful isn’t it..
^^^^ Glamis castle…..you may know this castle from reading Shakespeare’s Macbeth or maybe you know that Glamis was the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the birthplace of HRH The Princess Margaret! If you didn’t know those things, you do now haha
haste ye back ……hope you have a lovely Burns Supper and learn a little about Scotland…ill leave you with a little poem about a little mouse that robert burns found in winter….
Burns Original Standard English Translation
|Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murdering pattle.
I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble,
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
Still thou are blest, compared wi’ me!
|Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast,
O, what a panic is in your little breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With argumentative chatter!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.
I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
Your small house, too, in ruin!
You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
But little Mouse, you are not alone,
Still you are blest, compared with me!