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Glantrian Gourmets

by Bruce Heard

While reading through the editor's present draft of Joshuan's Almanac (due late this year), I found a wonderful pearl. Thanks to Ann Dupuis and Liz Tornabene for their refreshing contribution to Glantrian cuisine!

"Our esteemed Editor, Joshuan, has requested that his correspondents send him recipes of dishes served in their homelands, particularly those dishes usually reserved for the most traditional and festive holidays. It is with great reluctance that I humbly bow to this, my duty, and offer the Haggis, traditionally served in Klantyre upon turning of the new year. I also wish to humbly apologize to the reader that I was not born in a land more thoughtful of the human palate.

The Haggis

Take a stomach bag and the heart, liver, and lights -- among the common folk of Klantyre, these last three items are quaintly called the "pluck" -- of a sheep, and thoroughly wash in cold water. Turn the stomach bag inside out, scald it, scrape it lightly with a knife, then soak it overnight in cold salt water. In the morning, wash the pluck, making sure to leave the windpipe hanging over the side of the bowl to let out any, shall we say, impurities. Cover the offal with cold water, add a pinch of salt, bring the lot to a boil, then skim. Simmer the pluck for about two hours -- first making sure the kitchen is well ventilated, for the scent of simmering internal organs, at least in my home Principality, has been known to attract unwanted orcs that had been passing by. While waiting for the pluck to simmer, the cook should chop two onions coarsely and toast one pound of finely ground oatmeal. These will soon be stuffed into the Haggis and will help to cut its nasty taste. Next, drain the pluck, making sure to cut away the windpipe and all gristle. Mince the heart and lights and half the liver, then add two handfuls of shredded suet, the chopped onions, and the toasted oatmeal. It may become necessary to add to this mixture some of the water in which the pluck was boiled in order to soften it and prevent it from turning prematurely to a type of concrete. Keeping the rough surface of the stomach bag to the outside, fill it half full, then sew the opening shut with a trussing needle and a fine string. Prick the stomach bag several times with the trussing needle. My cook (who was hired by my esteemed Mater, and who no doubt regularly reports to Mater regarding my lifestyle here in Glantri) has told me in no uncertain terms that an exploded haggis is very difficult to remove from the sides of an oven -- I believe his exact words were "me laddie, it dries up lak cement, ye'll never scrape it awa' until the end o' the world shall burn it awa' with the fiery flame o' its apocalypse!" Set the Haggis into a pan, cover it with water, and cook it for about three hours, adding water as necessary to keep the sausage covered. A traditional vegetable accompaniment to the Haggis is mashed potatoes and mashed turnips, quaintly called "tatties 'n neeps." A note for the brave soul about to try the Haggis for the first time: Rumor has it that Klantyre Spirits were developed primarily to give the hapless guest enough fortitude to face his host's Haggis upon the New Year holiday.