|As I said yesterday, we were taking a plane to Edinborough, Scotland but the plane had to land in a place called Buckhaven. Now the funny thing is, Ziggy looked real happy. When I said we were in the Kingdom of Fife, it came to me. Ah yes! The Kingdom of Fife. Ziggy loves The Andy Griffith Show and especially the character Barney Fife. I told Ziggy that the Kingdom of Fife had nothing to do with Barney Fife but you try telling a cat something. They don't listen.
We had just arrived at Buckhaven when I turned to get Ziggy and she was gone. I looked everywhere for her. I had several people searching with me. Here she was with an old goat slammin a few ales. I mean, not a real goat, but a man who looked as though he was over 100 years old!
When I found her, she was dancing while the old timer clapped his hands. She begged me to sing a song I wrote along time ago just for her called the Ziggy Jig and I did. Click here to hear it as you read on.
After I sang the song, I asked the old man if he ever heard of Haggis. Everyone who was there just started at me like I was some kind of nut. A woman in the crowd exclaimed, "Well, you're lookin' at the all time Scottish Champion of the World Haggis Makers. He's the best and there ain't ever gonna be one like him after he goes!"
With that, he stood up, and with his cane motioned for everyone to follow him. And we did. We followed him down the road, along the creek and through the meadow to his humble 3 room home. There was about 30 or so of us.
I asked this woman, Mary McDeeley, what was so great about Haggis and she told me.
"Well, my little deary," she began, "This is the most traditional of all Scottish dishes, eaten on Burns Night which is January 25th, the birthday of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, who lived from 1759-1796 and at Hogmanay which is New Year's Eve. It is really a large round sausage; the skin being a sheep's paunch. The finest haggis of all is made with deer liver, served to the skirl of the pipes, cut open with a traditional 'sgian dubh' (black stocking knife) and accompanied by small glasses of neat Scotch whisky."
The old man added, "My great-great grandfather invented it and this recipe dates from 1856. LET'S EAT!!!"
And now, you get the recipe!
1 cleaned sheep or lamb's stomach bag
2 lbs. dry oatmeal
1 lb. chopped mutton suet
1 lb. lamb or venison liver, boiled and minced
2 cups stock
sheep heart and lights, boiled and minced
1 large chopped onion
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Toast oatmeal slowly until crisp. Mix all ingredients (except stomach bag) together. Add stock. Fill bag to just over half full, press out air, and sew up securely. Have ready a large pot of boiling water. Prick the haggis all over with a large pin so it doesn't burst. Boil slowly for 4-5 hours.
After dinner, Ziggy and I had a plane to catch to Lisbon, Portugal. Although we were tired, we had to go. The old goat accompanied us to the airport. Not the old man, but a real old goat. He knew a shortcut.
We arrived in Lisbon, Portugal the following morning. In the brochure I was carrying, I found a place to stay. It was The Hotel Lisboa Plaza. There was this guy who had these fancy pants on who did not want to let Ziggy in. But I got her up to the room. Wait til you hear!