Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
The Selkirk Grace – 17th Century Blessing
Although sometimes attributed to Robert Burns, it seems that Burns may have been just quoting this traditional blessing when he delivered it at a dinner for the Earl of Selkirk in 1794. Either way, it’s usually read as part of the opening of a Burns Supper (before the Address to a Haggis), on the anniversary of Burns’ birthday, January 25. This blessing is familiar to me because a cross-stitched and framed panel of The Selkirk Grace hangs in my parents’ kitchen, as it was in my grandparents’ kitchen before that.
No haggis tonight, just a dram of Laphroaig here, but maybe we’ll work up a version of the “Great cheiftan o’ the puddin-race” for next year’s Burns Night, just so we can read the poem! Now would that be considered Scottish charcuterie, a traditional highland forcemeat? I think it would.