‘Oh my god, that’s the haggis exploding!’

In case you are thinking this is some kind of Scottish Armageddon, I would like to put your mind at rest and assure you that whilst it was something of a minor cataclysm, it was extremely localised.

As one of my two readers is aware, I have returned briefly to the UK to top up my rust levels, visit family and do some work on the house (not necessarily in that order)

Rust levels? Yes, when people from the UK appear to be tanned don’t be fooled. It isn’t a sun tan you see, but rust, on account of all the rain we get.

Scottish Breakfast
Scottish Breakfast By Jeremy Keith – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3253929

Anyway, I digress. One of the essential ingredients of a visit to my homeland is that British tradition, known as a fry-up (or a fry, if you are from Ulster.) There are many variations on this wonderful British institution, bacon and eggs being the central core of all of them. Get beyond that and basically anything that can be fried, can be added, with the exception of baked beans which must never be fried! (Mexicans, please note.)

As I live north of the border (Scotland, for those of you who are geographically challenged, or unaware that England is not the entire nation but only one quarter of it,) there are two items that no self-respecting Scottish breakfast would be missing – black pudding (also favoured in England and Ireland) and haggis.

Should you be unfamiliar with haggis, it is a large sausage made from things you don’t wish to know about, onion and oatmeal (wild haggis is an entirely different beast.) It is exceedingly tasty. The breakfast variety comes sliced, ready to fry and you just pop it in the pan with the other ingredients to cook up instant arteriosclerotic vascular disease and heart attack.

So, there I was on our first day back in Scotland, cooking a hearty breakfast with said ingredients, along with Portobello mushrooms. Given the size of the pan and some of the ingredients, especially the mushrooms, it was necessary to cook in batches, keeping things warm in the oven whilst the rest were cooked. Unfortunately, one of the haggis slices got damaged in the process, leaving behind quite a few pieces of oatmeal.

Into this pan, I added some oil and heated it before adding eggs, the final

Wild Haggis
Wild Haggis with its favourite food – tatties. By Emoscopes – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1420068

ingredient. As I started to flick some hot oil over the yoke there was a small popping sound and I was suddenly hit in the face by something hot, this was followed by a barrage of noises and a scene worthy of being included in the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, as pieces of oatmeal exploded, spreading their fiery destruction far and wide across the kitchen.

It was at this moment I uttered the words to which my wife replied, ‘that’s not something you hear every day.’ – ‘My god, that’s the haggis exploding.’

In case you are worried that this could be utilised in some way by the Scottish Liberation Army as an IED, I don’t believe exploding haggis will be on their list of ordnances anytime in the near future, although it will undoubtedly be on the breakfast menu.

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