It is Burn's night and we have sent out so much tartan for this special celebration that we must mark the date with a special blog post. Scotland's National Bard , Robert Burns was born in Alloway near Ayr on 25th January 1759 and lived in various areas of Ayrshire, Edinburgh and Dumfries where he died in 1796. His poetry writing was shaped by his experiences as a ploughman and exciseman. In 1785 Burns was a guest at a Haggis Club in Kilmarnock where five lawyers met for dinner. When asked to say grace he instead chose to address the haggis. And so began the famous tradition that is still followed today at Burns suppers across the globe.... Fair fa' your honest sonsie face Great Chieftan o' teh Puddin-race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm; Weel are ye wordy of a grace As lang's my arm.......Haggis Our children all went to school today wearing a little bit of tartan and the Selkirk Grace was recited before the canteen served up their haggis, neeps 'n tatties. We had to look up why "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 thanket." came to be called the Selkirk Grace and discovered this is because Burns was said to have delivered it at a dinner given by the Earl of Selkirk. We live and learn! We had a quick vote here in the office and Waldie's Family Butchers from Greenlaw won our favourite haggis award. So are you eating MacSween's haggis or a local speciality this evening? Or maybe you even make your own? We would love to hear your secret recipe if you do. And if you have your haggis in the fridge and you aren't sure how to cook it then here are the haggis cooking instructions from our favourite butcher and the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders: Your haggis already cooked and only needs thoroughly re-heating. Wrap the haggis tightly in tin foil and place in a large saucepan of cold water. Simmer gently for about 45 minutes per lb. but do not boil as this might burst the skin. If you would rather use an oven; place in casserole dish with a little water. Wrap in tinfoil to ensure haggis is kept moist and heat at 180 degrees Celsius (gas mark 6), until piping hot for approx 1 hour. When ready to serve, remove from foil and drain off the excess water. Haggis is suitable for microwave if cut through first and skin is removed. Additional time should be allowed for larger haggis. So there you have it. Now don your tartan and enjoy all the elements of your Burns Supper from the Address to a Haggis, The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns speech, a Toast to the Lassies, a reply from the Lassies, to recitations and songs of Burns, washed down of course by Scotland's national drink - whisky. Enjoy!