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> Time To Start Thinking About Robert Burns!, Planning for a Burns dinner!
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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
Posted: 06-Nov-2015, 05:35 PM
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Robert Burns dinners were a regular occurrence during my growing-up. As far as I know, the St.Andrew's Society of Montgomery had been celebrating this poet for better than a hundred years. My group, Teton & District, currently participates in two of these dinners each year. It's a lot of fun, and a great excuse to put on your finest, and share an evening with friends and acquaintances in good old Scottish tradition.

Over the next month or so, I would like people to share their current operating plans for Burns dinners, along with any changes & improvements planned.

Menu plans, toasts, bar selections, music & entertainment, advertisement suggestions, and anything else that might help fellow CR listeners improve or start their own annual Burns celebration.


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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
Posted: 06-Nov-2015, 09:42 PM
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This was our itinerary for the Burns Dinner in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in 2015:



beer_mug.gif Scottish Elevator Music (Colin) (small pipes played in the corner during social hour)

*INTRODUCTION

note.gif Vocal Piece- Come And Be Welcome(ALL)

Welcome:David MacFarland

note.gif Piping in the Haggis- A Mans A Man For A That (Colin)

Address to the Haggis

Reply from the Haggis (Liz) (Liz wrote this, from the point of the poor wee Haggis, in Burn's style)

beer_mug.gif Various Toasts

~SOUP / SALAD~

*FIRST PERFORMANCE

note.gif Highland Fling- (Ceilidh & David)

note.gif Vocal Piece- Flow Gently Sweet Afton (Liz)

note.gif Piping Duet- Winter's Sleep (Colin & David)

~MAIN COURSE~

*SECOND PERFORMANCE

note.gif Vocal & Tenor Drum Piece- Roses of Prince Charlie (Liz, Colin & Bryce)

note.gif Sword Dance- (Ceilidh & David)

note.gif Vocal Piece- Highland Mary (Liz)

~DESSERT~

*FINAL PERFORMANCE

note.gif Vocal Selection- Green Grows the Rashes (Liz, Ceilidh & Aibhlin)

note.gif Pipes & Drums- ElAlamein~Skye Boat Song~Scotland the Brave (P&Ds)

note.gif Vocal Piece- Auld Lang Syne (Liz)

CLOSING:David MacFarland

Presentation of Souvenir Programs

note.gif Piping- Auld Lang Syne (David)


I believe that one of the keys to a good Burns Dinner, is music; canna have too much! Much of Burns poetry was put to music, so why not sing it laugh.gif
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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
Posted: 06-Nov-2015, 11:12 PM
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Next on the list... The Venue!

Once an itinerary is roughed-out, then start thinking about the venue. The venue will be very important; the venue should make the attendees feel at ease. What I mean... there many types of people in the world. Not all mix well; it's a fact. Try to decide what your target audience is to be, then choose a venue to suit.

For example... we (Teton & District) participate in two Burns Dinners a year; about a week a part. The venues are very different, as are the guest. One dinner is held at a ski chalet, and the guest are on the posh-side of things. The other dinner is held at the local Eagles lodge, and caters to more the working-class of people. Both are legitimate, and well-done. But, they are different.

One of the biggest factors to consider is... what will it cost each person to attend. In the first example (above), cost is not the biggest concern. But, in the second example, the one where the average working-class person or family may attend, the dinner needs to be affordable, and not break the bank wink.gif The cost of the venue has to be figured into and along with the actual meal, permits, entertainment, and the various bits & pieces that arise, to comprise a total cost per ticket. So, if staying within a budget is of major concern, then choose a venue within that budget. Otherwise, the extra that you spend on the venue will have to come from your food or entertainment budget.

Make sure to see what the maximum occupancy for the venue is. This will limit, by law, how many people may attend, including the members of the entertainment note.gif Are there going to be any issues with loud music (bagpipes) at the location? Are you allowed to have outside caterers, or are you restricted to using on-site food prep? (This may restrict a prepared haggis from being in attendance). How early can you have access to decorate? When must you be off the premises? You must ask ALL the questions to avoid unwanted surprises; and get it in writing!

beer_mug.gif Is there a bar on the premises? Will the bar be open or closed? Will this restrict the age of the attendees? (Will it discourage family participation?) Do I have to pay for the bartender? Is there a cleaning deposit? Do I have to pay for the wait-staff? Again... all this figures into the final cost per person to attend.
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Skinner 
Posted: 07-Nov-2015, 01:15 AM
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Great information breakdown on the dinner planning Sgt-Maj. I must admit I was somewhat blown away by the Jackson Hole gig. That would be one gala to see.I have relatives and friends out west, some who have spent considerable time doing work there. Mind you I said doing work there. (LOL)

Thanks for great post
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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
Posted: 07-Nov-2015, 01:49 PM
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You are most welcome, Mr. Skinner. I have more bits & pieces that I will be posting over the next month. It is good to get started, early, when doing one of these. A lot goes into one to make it a memorable evening.

As for Jackson Hole... yes, that place is not for the light of heart or pocket wink.gif
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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
Posted: 08-Nov-2015, 12:38 AM
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After one has found the correct venue, for their target audience, and it is within a reasonable budget, the meal plan becomes the next subject of concern.

A person, expert on this subject, could, probably, write a book. I am no expert. I can only report on what I have seen over the years, or contemplated on my own. But, I guess, the most important thing to remember is... you are only limited by your imagination, and, of course, money wink.gif

This is not to say, that if the dinner didn't cost the proverbial “arm & leg”, that it will not be a successful Burns dinner. On the contrary... Just because it was expensive, does not guarantee that it will be enjoyable.

So... what I think that I will do, is break it down to three levels; economic levels, that is. Again, keep in mind, just because it isn't served by a waiter in a tux, does not mean that it won't be a very memorable event!

The Informal: When I picture this event... I see one that, practically, anyone can attend. Think of this as a starter-event, even. The group that you are catering to may not own a kilt, or have ever been to a Games. This may be their first contact with anything Scottish. So, a low key, low-pressure event may be perfect to spring-board more events, and even more elaborate events, for the future. Not to mention, spark new interest in the community, and a new volunteer force!(but... that is discussion for later).

The meal for this one is simple, quaint, and above all... not expensive. Consider the “Plowman's Lunch.” A variety of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, cold meats, and breads can make for a beautiful table, and one that can be prepared by your own group, thereby saving catering cost. If you want to add something warm to this, consider a Scotch Broth! This type of meal is, also, kid-friendly, if that is to be considered, as well.

You can, possibly, imagine, a long serving table, covered in a tartan-like cloth, with inexpensive silver trays purchased from the dollar store or local Goodwill. (Really. People throw away the darnedest things.) Tartan, itself, is spendy, especially for a first event. And do you REALLY want food placed on $70.00 a yard fabric unsure.gif So, over the next several weeks, look for those coupons in the mail, for the local fabric store, and go buy a few yards of a lively plaid. It really does help dress things up and set the mood. Don't forget candles, and thistles! Yes... thistles. They grow all over America. Pick some and lay them about the table.

Your serving table, depending on the size of the crowd, can be single or double-line. If you are expecting a larger crowd, consider having the table away from the wall, allowing travel down both sides. Group your food by type: meats, vegetables, fruits, breads, etc. Leaving anything hot & messy for last (that way it doesn't get spilled along the whole of the table).

Have your plates at the beginning of the table, allowing all of the cold food to be added. Towards the end of the table, the bowls for soup and the soup, itself. Then the napkins & utensils. This particular set-up allows people to choose for themselves what their palate is in the mood for. Furthermore, it promotes a full belly, and less waste. And, don't forget Scottish Shortbread for a tasty, yet simple desert thumbs_up.gif

The Semi-Formal: Really, this method is, actually, less creative. Plan a meal (meat, side or two, salad, and a desert). This can, also, be served via a single or double-line, depending on crowd size. Once you know kind of meal you want, and the number of people to serve, then you get to shop for a caterer. Unless you know the caterer that you choose for this event personally, I might consider making an appointment, and do a bit of tasting before hiring them. Get references as well. If they have too many complaints...RUN!

The Formal: Even this level has levels; from black tie to white tie. So, trying to cover them all in this article would be daunting. Lets just say... if you are attempting this level, you can probably afford to hire a professional event planner to assist in putting this together. Many of the same ideas can be used, depending on the mood that you are trying to set. But, along with the other common aspects of the Burns Dinner, wine selection, as well as a fully-stocked bar with top-shelf labels is mandatory beer_mug.gif
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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
Posted: 08-Nov-2015, 01:17 AM
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The Address to the Haggis, by Robert Burns, is one of the most famous of poems. You may say “I've never heard of it!” And yet... for the last 200 + years, it has been recited to crowds of people around the world. For, wherever there are Scots, a Burns Dinner is sure to happen beer_mug.gif

The “Address” is written in what can be described as the “broad-Scots” dialect; English... but with attitude! If you would like to see this address given, then check out YouTube.com. Just type-in “address to a haggis” and you will see many ways of doing it. Some more fun than others.

Here is the Address:

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
Aboon them a' yet tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin was help to mend a mill
In time o'need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin', rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethankit! hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckles as wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro' blody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' hands will sned,
Like taps o' trissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer
Gie her a haggis!


Yes... It is not for the faint of heart!
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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
Posted: 09-Nov-2015, 04:25 PM
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Last year, my clever wifey, decided that the poor Haggis, after 200+ years of being a celebrated dish at Robert Burns Dinners, needed a voice, an opinion, if you will, of the the slaying and consumption of the aforementioned wee Haggis beastie!

So... in the great style of Burns, himself, Liz put pen to paper, and gave this poor creature a voice of its own. It was used the first time in the Jackson Hole Burns Dinner, last year. Once the Address to the Haggis was recited, Liz stood, and in great Broad-Scots, rebuttal-ed with this "response frae a haggis."

So, here it goes:

A Response Frae a Haggis

Fie on yer sma’ armed praise!
Tha’ speaks sich lies tae sonsie face,
An’ groanin’, lift me tae my place
In path of harm;
An’ stretch and strive as soon as mays—
Ye Rustic swarm!

An’ if my dews warm-reekin’ shine
It is nae grace if sich as thine
Dissect me all from snout tae spine
Knif’d nieves ablur;
An’ suttle in as grazin’ kine
A lowing herd.

Address me, sirs? I think ye mock!
O, downward coils this mortal clock,
‘til naught be left save sop and hock—
Sich a dinner!
Ye praise an’ then devoor me?; Och!
Nae ye didna!

If I be Chieftain, shall I take
Up arms agin’ ye? Shall I shake
A bluster-wind, a belly-ache?
MY grace be this:
Frae Rustic blade an’ all yer sake,
God save a Haggis!

© 2015 Elizabeth Stewart Clark
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LadyK 
Posted: 09-Nov-2015, 06:50 PM
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The "Response Frae a Haggis" is brilliant!

I've never been to a Burns Supper. I know the Pittsburgh St. Andrews Society does one, but I fear it's probably not the informal "starter model." I'd love to find one of those and give it a try. smile.gif
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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
Posted: 09-Nov-2015, 07:39 PM
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Dear Lady K,

I goggled a few different events, in Pennsylvania, that have occurred in the past.

Now, this years info is not up yet, but you could contact the different groups to see if you find one that you like!

http://www.pennscots.org/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Robert-Burns-S...324535/?fref=nf

http://www.standrewspittsburgh.org/

http://www.piperspub.com/events/2015/1/25/...rt-burns-supper

Victoria Freehouse: The Old City anglophile bar and restaurant has the requisite Scotch (available in flights for $20), and haggis (as part of a $30, three-course dinner) lined up for its Burns Night party. And to complete the picture, they will also have live bagpipers piping. The fun starts at 7 PM.

World Cafe Live: For its annual Burns Night bash, the University City live music venue, bar and restaurant is pulling out all the stops. The supper will include a scotch whisky tasting, a haggis procession coinciding with a recitation of the poet’s Address to a Haggis, and live music courtesy of The Jameson Sisters.

Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery: For the brewery’s Phoenixville-based pub and restaurant, the annual Burns Night festivities serve as the first of the many events it has lined up for the year. It’s also when seasonal brews Burns Scottish Export Ale and Gang Aft Agley Scotch Ale make their debut. Bag pipes will pipe and Address to a Haggis will be read as the ceremonial haggis arrives. Guests dressed in kilts will be rewarded a free pint, and prizes will be awarded to the men and women who sport the best ones.
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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
Posted: 09-Nov-2015, 08:23 PM
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I though that I would share this with you; home-made Haggis!

Now... this is the safe model; no “offal” (entrails), just good meat.

The bits & pieces that you will need to shop for:

1) Two(2) pounds of ground pork (not sausage)
2) Two(2) pounds of ground lamb
3) Ground Coriander (VERY important spice)
4) Salt & pepper
5) Large onion
6) Scottish oats (found in the bulk food section of your grocery store)
7) 2 foot x 2 foot piece of cotton material, fine-mesh cheese cloth, if you can find it.
8) A couple feet of string.

FIRST: Fry the lamb and pork SEPERATELY. You really want these meats to have their own flavor. Cook until browned. Drain-off the liquid for each meat.

SECOND: Coarsely chop the onion, and fry until translucent.

THIRD: Put four cups of water in a pot. Set the heat @ Medium to Mediun-high.
When boiling, pour in 2 cups of Scottish Oats, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot.

The Oats should cook for 10-20 minutes depending on elevation.

FORTH: Mix one(1) Tablespoon of Coriander + one(1) Tablespoon of Salt + ½ Tablespoon of Black Pepper.

FIFTH: Place drained meats, oats, onion, and spices in a bowl and mix well.

SIXTH: Take the cotton material, and fold in half. Sew a seam down the two ends. Now you have a tube. Take a piece of the string, and tie one end of the tube WELL! (If you don't tie it well, you will have a mess to clean-up).

SEVENTH: Using a cookie sheet to catch and liquid and crumbles, start filling the tube with the mixture. When full, tie the other end with the string.

EIGHTH: Place the Haggis in a pot with a cup of water. Put in the oven to steam for 1 hour at 400 degrees.

Serve with really good multi-grain crackers or breads, and Scotch, of course beer_mug.gif

Oh... the playing of bagpipe music whilst cooking NEVER hurts the flavor note.gif
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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
Posted: 13-Nov-2015, 06:27 PM
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This is an original watercolor painted by my oldest daughter. It depicts the famed Haggis creature in its natural habitat.

Notice the odd-shape of the body, and the unusual leg placement. Now, you know how the bagpipes were invented!

This was created for the Burns dinner in Jackson Hole, WY, last year. It was auctioned to raise funds for the next year. I understand it now adorns the wall of a hotel in San Francisco or Scotland smile.gif

I show this as an example to those wanting to start their own Burns dinners. Donations, for the purpose of auctions or raffles can be very useful is helping fund the next year's dinner. And they can be a lot of fun to do!


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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
Posted: 29-Dec-2015, 12:58 PM
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We have the date & time set for the Robert Burns' Dinner in Jackson, Wyoming!

January 23rd, 2016 at the Alpenhof Lodge, in Teton Village. Seating will be limited to 60.

Social hour is 6pm, with dinner being served at 7pm. The fare will be Prime Rib or Salmon, with assorted sides, and desserts.

Teton & District Performing Arts will be providing the entertainment for the evening!

A website to register is almost complete. Cost will only be $39.00.


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TetonAndDistrictPerformingArts 
  Posted: 07-Jan-2016, 01:13 PM
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The Alpenhof Lodge and Teton & District Performing Arts


presents


The 2016 Annual Robert Burns' Dinner


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Skinner 
Posted: 09-Jan-2016, 10:09 AM
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Sgt-Maj I said this before, it appears to be quite the gala. I enjoy reading about such events. It seems too many of us have lost our culture in the NOW. Oh wait, got to go there is a new app for phone. (LOL just kidding, I have an old flip style no apps thank goodness)
carry on
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