We went on a European tour last night in our Robbie Burns Day celebrations…
Although the SO is Latvian, he has a love of anything Scots. This is a man who has never been to Scotland yet owns two kilts with all the appropriate regalia (which are worn at any conceivable opportunity) and celebrates Robbie Burns Day every year.
So of course, we hosted a Robbie Burns dinner last night. Complete with a haggis being ushered in to bagpipe music, dinner guests taking part in the recitation of the “Ode To A Haggis” and a first course of haggis, neeps (mashed turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes).
But then we took a turn to the south east and ended up in Spain with a main course of paella. Probably not the most logical pairing but I never got around to making my annual paella in 2013 and I needed something that reminded me of warmth and summer in the midst of the snow, ice and cold we’ve been dealing with for the last month.
My family has no Spanish blood but paella holds a special place in our ‘foodie’ family. When my sister and I both moved away from home, our mother gifted us with big paella pans and her recipe (which I still use). I have hauled that paella pan on boats to island cottages, held Paella Fests in my backyard and made paella in ovens and over BBQs. My next goal is to try the traditional method and make it over a wood fire…hopefully in 2014.
Paella is one dish that truly satisfies my love of feeding others. I love placing the filled pan down on a table and watching people pick what they like the most (shrimp, chicken, chorizo, clams, rice, mussels, etc.). And people can dive back in for seconds and thirds as they wish…
And then we ended the night by journeying back to Scotland. Robbie Burns was much toasted as different Scotches were imbibed.
Maybe next year I will go with a more traditional Scottish main course. Any suggestions?