Sunday, 24 January 2016

Feeling the Burn(s)

Yesterday was my annual Burns Night supper. My friend Gordon is Scottish and it also happens to be his birthday the week before, so it's become a tradition for him, his wife and son to come over to celebrate.

I always try to do something new and, this time, I found some printable flags from Activity Village and made some bunting to hang on the mantelpiece and decorations to stick in the dessert. We also indulged in my version of a Tartan Trembler cocktail - one measure of whisky and campari shaken with ice, topped up with Irn Bru (made in Scotland from gir-ders, as the ad used to say!).

We follow the traditional Burns Night running order which you can read about on my previous post. You'll also see there the tartan shirt I wear every year as it's the only vaguely Scottish thing I own!

The main course has to be haggis, neeps (swede) and tatties (potatoes). I tried a new recipe for the swede, roasting it in olive oil, honey, cumin seeds and mild chilli powder - yum! Will definitely be making that one again.

Another yum for the dessert, Black Forest cranachan. Layers of chocolate coated, toasted oats, cherries and cream. Best to take it out of the fridge half an hour before serving though as the oats do set quite solidly in the bottom of the glass!

And no Burns Night is complete without some activities. There was a word search (again from Activity Village)...

...tossing the caber pencil. Balance the pencil on your finger on the floor, then flick it up and see how far it can go.

And our favourite, potting the haggis ie throwing furry pom-poms into a flower pot. As popular as ever though some of the competitors seemed to lack concentration.

To finish, a spot of Burns conga around the living room to that classic, Doon in the wee room, before settling down to watch a DVD. I do enjoy Burns Night - it's one of my favourite nights of the year :)

Today I tried to work off some of the haggis with my new exercise regime. I'm easily bored so I'm following a plan which involves lots of different exercises and you don't spend more than 2 minutes on any of them.

Meet the Home Jules gym:
Chair - for doing squats. Stand in front of it and bend to sit, standing up as soon as your bum hits the seat.
Step - for stepping up and down, or for tapping your feet against (the bottom step of some stairs would do fine).
Weights - for lifting your arms in various directions.
Yoga mat - press-ups, leg lifts, side plank, reverse curls and a few yoga poses for good measure.
Hula hoop - to give that tummy more of a workout - mine needs one!

I should add that I'm only a week into it so it's early days and I'm taking it at a steady pace. Feel the (slow) burn!

We're also trying to eat a bit healthier though that goes astray with things like Burns Night! This afternoon I made me and Chickpea a Mexican Hot Chocolate which has almond milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. So far so good. Until I added a dollop of cream left over from last night. Hmm, must try harder! Though it did make it luscious.

I'm also still doing the kirigami and will be updating you on progress soon - this one is from last Monday.

Well, time to heat up those Burns leftovers. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. x


  1. I like the sound of that Mexican hot chocolate! We've been making a conscious effort to get out and walk more often (we've managed about 15 miles over the weekend!) as we used to walk all the time but a combination of weather and being busy at times has turned us into a pair of lazy, flabby people! I like your little home gym set up! It sounds like Burns Night was a success again too!

  2. I remember the Burns night celebration from last year! I think I like all things Scottish except haggis, they can keep that! :-)

  3. Your burns night sounds like great fun, especially the games! I love the tossing the caber! xx

  4. Home gym made me smile. Our local tv station has been doing a Moving Monday segment. Simple things one can do from their desk. The chair squats was one of them :) I tried a smarter chocolate pudding recently that will have to share. Problem was it tasted good so had 2 portions in one sitting. I am thinking this Burns Night could be used at work one year. Have to work on this!

  5. Oooh, your Burns night party sounds super fun!!! I like the variations on the traditions Burns Night sports= ha, the pencil sounds great, a little dangerous if I were doing it! I went to a Burns night ceilidh once and thoroughly loved it! I had the veggie Haggis and it was super as were the neeps!!xx