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Archie Miller with Robbie Burns Day menus.

 Archie Miller with Burns Day dinner menus.

Recalling Scottish palates of the past

February 19, 2009

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SFU is now the keeper of two rare dinner menus dating back more than 100 years—including one from a turn-of-the-century Robbie Burns Day banquet—thanks to a donation from university alumnus and history buff, Archie Miller.

The New Westminster resident received the menus in 2005 from a reader of his New Westminster Record column ‘Our Past’ and he donated them to SFU’s Scottish Studies program shortly before this year’s Burns Day celebrations.

The Burns Day bill of fare is from the Ashcroft Hotel in Ashcroft B.C., dated Jan. 25, 1900. The other is from a Nov. 30, 1886, 13th Annual Festival of St. Andrew dinner hosted by the Caledonian and St. Andrew’s Society of New Westminster at the Colonial Hotel.

Both menus feature haggis, Burns’ "Great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race". The Colonial menu features such delicacies as "Partridge with Bread Sauce", "Teal and Blue-Winged Ducks", and the ever-popular "Sheep’s Head Singed".

The Ashcroft crowd celebrated the 141st anniversary of the Scottish bard’s birth with an slightly less exotic feast including "Sheepshead Broth" and "Devilled Kidney in Port Wine Sauce".

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