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Whilst mooching moodily round Waitrose on the Friday before the event, looking mournfully at various food options and rejecting them, my eye happened to fall upon the wonder that is McSween’s vegetarian haggis. I’ve eaten this on a number of occasions, because not only does it substitute most admirably for actual haggis, should you be a vegetarian at a Burns night supper, it’s also an excellent vegetarian option if someone is cooking you a roast lunch and wondering what to do in place of meat (along with Auntie Bessie’s Vegetarian Toad in the Hole, which is another great vegetarian roast dinner dish). Aha!

The benefits of McS V H, to my mind, were several. It’s made of oats, lentils and beans, so great for slow energy release. It’s savoury, not sweet, so nom nom nom! And I know, because I have done it in the past when I’ve had left-overs, that it is very nice eaten cold (once it’s been cooked of course). Job done! 

I duly grabbed one, and headed for the Cup o’Soups, that reliable comforting warm standby when the only hot option available is something made with a kettle. And joy of joys! I discovered that Heinz have started producing some of their iconic soups in cup o’Soup format, amongst them Cream of Mushroom, my all time favourite. (Cream of Tomato? Blech!) A packet of Heinz Cream of Mushroom Cup o’Soup and a big bunch of bananas later, and I was sorted! 

At home I cooked the haggis with lots of chopped spinach and mushrooms and a few broad beans for luck, and stuck it in a big sandwich box in the fridge. With the addition of a couple of porridge pots and four tiny pots of Ambrosia Creamed Rice for luck, I was done. Now I only had to worry about staying awake for thirty-six hours. Oh, and swimming six miles. Ooh err! 

More tomorrow.