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WEDNESDAY

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Four elements make up a Burns supper: pipes, poems, potables, and pudding—specifically the “Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin’ race,” the haggis. David Pelizzari, program coordinator for tonight’s event, says that negotiations are still under way with two New Jersey vendors—the Soprano State being the source of Scots-American foodstuffs these days—for the sausage centerpiece of “A Robert Burns Supper: A Gastro-Literary Affair.” Pelizzari adds that, in accordance with modern custom, the Smithsonian’s Great Chieftain will be a sort of “beef-liver pâté.” Pâté? It’s enough to make a sow spew, as Rabbie himself might have said. My pals Irene and Chris, who host an annual Burns supper, make their haggis with a lamb’s liver and two lamb’s hearts. (You can’t get lungs anymore.) Alas. But the pain of inauthenticity might be easier to bear while washing down the feast with the “glamorous lineup of whiskies” promised by Pelizzari. Celebrate the Scottish bard in a not-so-offal way at 6:30 p.m. at the Smithsonian Castle’s Commons Dining Room, 1000 Jefferson Drive SW. $190. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Pamela Murray Winters)