Have you ever celebrated Burns Night? It's a Scottish holiday toasting the life of the famous poet Robert (also known as "Rabbie") Burns and always falling on his birthday, January 25th.
When we lived in Boston, my husband and I would go to The Haven in Jamaica Plain for the night. They always have a 3-course meal, Scottish beers, whiskey, bagpipes, traditional folk songs, and more. I highly recommend checking out this pub if you're in the area!
The piping in of the haggis is the centerpiece of the whole night. Haggis is definitely an acquired taste, consisting of oatmeal mixed with minced offal (usually lungs and kidneys, I believe) and spices, then boiled in a sheep's stomach. I promise you, it tastes much better than it sounds! Before the dish is served to the guests, someone recites the entirety of Burns' poem "Ode to a Haggis". The best line? "Gie her a haggis!"
Cranachan is often served for dessert. It usually consists of whipped or double cream, pureed raspberries (with whiskey, if you're so inclined), and toasted oatmeal. It's layered in glasses like you see here. Make sure you stick your spoon down a few layers to get a little bit of everything in each bite! I'd recommend pairing the raspberries with a toffee, butterscotch-y lowland Scotch, rather than a smoky, peaty Highland variety. (I prefer the latter for drinking on its own though!)
The next day, I really wanted more but didn't want an entire glass and didn't feel like taking the time to whip cream. So I poured a little cream and whole milk over raspberries, tossed some leftover oats on top, and found out that this makes a delicious, quick, fairly healthy snack. I think a lot of the appeal is that it reminds me of being a little kid and eating bowls of sun-warmed berries fresh from the backyard with milk and sugar in the summer. The simplest things are often the best, don't you think?