Ever eager to explore new cultural traditions (except, in this case, for maybe the main course) I've happily accepted an invitation to my first ever Burns Supper this coming weekend. This is later than traditional for some reason, perhaps it took a while to type up the three page single-spaced invitation/instructions/tourist guide that we also got. Mandatory tartan, bring single-malt scotch, assigned speeches...all in all it looks like it should be quite the event.
Not being the least bit Scottish myself, I have done some research and feel like I have a handle on the public/common knowledge. I have my work cut out for me: must buy the tartan (and spin a tale about the clan connection...should be fun) and some single-malt scotch, and then prepare some Burns to read. What I would like is personal input from anyone here who has any experience with this thing, particularly:
- Suggestions of which Burns to read (there are two of us so we need two things, or something for a couple)
- Something to show we went to the effort to learn something, like a traditional greeting or toast.
- Good single malt scotches? I don't drink Scotch so I am clueless here. (Can I take Drambuie or is that too chi-chi?)
- Things to avoid doing/saying so as not to look like the neophyte I am.
- Good original Scottish yarns.
Thanks for any and all help you can offer. I'll post about the bash afterwards, at least what I can remember after the Scotch tasting.