Monday, January 30, 2012

Not Quite a Ceilidh

The Second Annual Burns Night Supper

We had our second Burns Night celebration on Saturday night, and it was a success. This year, I tackled a roast leg of lamb for the main dish, which turned out well. Most of our other courses were the same as last year because I saw no reason to mess with the traditional and well-liked dishes like Cock-a-Leekie Soup and Chocolate Scotch Cake.

The theatrical part of the event was much different this year, however. Last year we kept it relatively casual, asking only two guests to prepare a Toast to the Lassies and Toast to the Lads. We also went through the Ode to the Haggis a few times. This year, on the other hand, in addition to the Toasts, we required all of our guests to read a Burns poem, and we even ended the evening with the entire group singing the complete 5 stanzas of Auld Lang Syne!

Expecting people to leave their comfort zones means letting go of that little voice in your head that says, "Oh what is he/she going to say about this?" Luckily, my husband doesn't even seem to have that voice and mine is easily silenced especially when there's a theme involved.

I suppose the success of the night was helped by the fact that everyone was rather intoxicated, but as I looked around the table on the fourteenth repetition of "Auld Lang Syne, my dear..." I realized that it is a rare host who requires his/her guests to sing together. And not only had we pulled that off, but everyone was having a pretty great time doing it.

One of these years we're going to include a ceilidh in the festivities and then there will be dancing as well!


  1. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can be scary, but I would imagine your guests are still talking about what a great time they had at your party. Something that probably wouldn't have happened if they hadn't fully immersed themselves into the theme of the evening. You are definitely the hostess with the mostess!!

  2. Another brilliant celebration! I have absolutely no doubt that people look forward to your celebrations and the chance to participate in something colorful and unique - always, of course, with amazing food!

  3. A ceilidh would be great fun. I would even drive to Chicago for it, if invited....Wednesday I happened to have dinner at a place with a beer named after Robert Burns. Of cours I tried it and thought of you. "Robert Burns Scottish Export Ale Scottish Ale-A malty experience, meant to sip. Peated malt evokes the best of single malt whiskys. Come to think of it, that would be a sublime pairing. Brewed by Barleys's Brewing Company Columbus, Ohio" As I looked up the exact name of the beer just now, I was informed that Barley's hosts a Robert Burns Dinner each year.

  4. Jessica, it is not the first time I've researched hiring a ceilidh band in Chicago, and I'm sure it won't be the last. So far I haven't found a good one, but when I do you can bet I'll be planning a party.