Burns Night (25th January)

In honour of my Scottish roots I thought about making a Burns Supper tonight for dinner (haggis, neeps and tatties) but due to the lack of haggises in Illinois (there are no mountains for them to run around), and my unwillingness to pay $10 plus delivery for a tin of haggis from Amazon, we’re having lasagna instead.

True fact: Haggis only run round the mountainside in an anti-clockwise direction, therefore they have 2 legs on one side shorter than the other two. That’s how you catch them. Chase them clockwise round the mountain and they fall off. It’s a well known fact in Scotland. Ask The Google. Ignore the Wiki answer though and read the others. YW.

So the traditional Rabbie Burns poem that we read tonight is called ‘To a Haggis‘ but I’ve made my own version called ‘To a Lasagna‘….

Fair fa’ yer honest sonsie face, 
Great Chieftain o’ the pasta race.’

That’s as far as I got. It’s a work in progress.


Tomatoes. Absolutely nothing to do with Burns Night, haggis or even lasagna (except it’s an ingredient) but I didn’t have a photograph to match the blog post.

Anyway enjoy some traditional Scottish music brought into the 21st Century by Paolo Nutini.


What month is it?

What do you mean it’s December already??? I’m still in October here!

October, what a great month that was. There was Hawaii of course for mum’s 70th birthday. Then at the end there was a quick overnight trip to Chicago to see Amos Lee. The photographs from the concert have been sitting in my compact camera since then and finally got the chance to look at them today and they’re pants. One salvageable shot from the whole lot…. I must have known subconsiously that they were rubbish and therefore was not in a rush to look at them.

Anyway here is my concert shot of Amos Lee at the Chicago Theatre. Bet you could totally have guessed who it was from this shot (not!) Oh yeah, and there was also some sort of Baseball game thingy happening in Chicago that weekend too. I knew this because of the lions outside the Art Institute wearing Cubs baseball hats. I’m so sporty!

Excuse the blurry image – it was taken from a moving car. Very mean of hubby not to stop in the middle of the traffic for me dontcha think?
Chicago Theatre
Can you tell who it is? A new career as a concert photographer awaits…

But best of all a driving trip to Chicago means a slight diversion *cough* of a few miles to the Irish supermarket to stock up on goodies. My credit card overloaded that day.


Moonshine and burgers

Want to go out for lunch asks my mother?

Sure, I reply. Where do you want to go?

How about Moonshine? That’s where Marge & Jeannie took me last summer. It’s a biker hangout and I’ve always wanted to go back. They do great burgers.

I look at my mother for a full 30 seconds. Does she want to go BUY Moonshine (the drink)? Does she want to go hang out with the bikers? (Marge & Jeannie are Lady Harley-Riders) Does she want her OWN bike? (cool she can be the only Scottish Ninja Granny hanging out with the cool dudes – they’ll love her) Or does she just want a burger?

I wonder if my mum is having a mid-life crisis. Mind you she’s 68 so she’s kinda on the other-side of midlife crisis time.

Anyway I agree and off we went to Moonshine, Illinois today. It’s a tiny place with the one General Store (Moonshine General Store) and they’re famous for their burgers. You tell them what you want, give them your name, then wait till they call you. The shop is a step back in time with all sorts of antiques alongside the Coke machine. I wonder if I should buy my daughter a washing-board and ban her from using the washing machine any more as she NEVER empties it and leaves her wet clothes there till some other sucker (me!) takes her clothes out before they smell. Here daughter, use this to wash your clothes from now on. Anyway I didn’t take any photograhs inside the store as it was really busy (I think it’s always busy) but I did snap some shots outside.

So if you’re ever in rural Illinois, in the middle of nowhere and you come across a town called Moonshine (population 2) then do yourself a favour and go buy a burger and sit outside at the picnic benches along with the bikers, farm workers and tourists.

Moonshine General Store
Moonshine General Store

The store/burger bar

Moonshine, population 2
Moonshine, population 2

See, I wasn’t exaggerating when I said the population was 2!

Been muddin'....
Been muddin’….

Daughter tells me this is called a ‘gator’…. I want one 😀

The road to nowhere. Actually it's the road to Moonshine. No I was right the first time. It's the road to nowhere.
The road to nowhere. Actually it’s the road to Moonshine. No I was right the first time. It’s the road to nowhere.

What? A hill in Illinois?

The burger
The burger

And finally the burger. Complete with plastic cheese (what I call Kraft singles) and it was sooooooo good!

Anyway, you’re probably all wondering if I bought any Moonshine.

Nope, I didn’t. I like my insides they way they are.