Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

The Haggis Chronicles

Written by Patti on February 1st, 2012

Good Morning Darlings!

When our sweet friend, Stephanie, asked Eric and I to join her Cookbookery Club back in December, we were thrilled. The premise – choose a cookbook and allow everyone to prepare a dish, then get together and chow down.

That sounds perfect for us! Of course we would love to join!

Our first month we cooked from the Momofuko Cookbook. Eric and I had just been asked to join that afternoon, so we brought wine and beer. Everything was delicious. At the end of the evening, a new cookbook is decided upon, but instead of choosing a book to cook from, we decided on a Robert Burns Scottish Dinner. With Haggis.

Uh oh. Haggis. I’ve never had it, but wowza, does it have a bad reputation. I smiled and offered our house for the next month.

All I could think about for the next month was how I was going to have to be polite when it came my way. I would eat a tiny bite and proclaim “how interesting!”

I love to be proven wrong.

It was up to me to set the mood. In my mind, Scotland is dark and brooding (maybe I read too much Macbeth as a girl…), so a black and red table seemed suitable. I wanted place cards, and the only really Scottish icon I could think of was the Loch Ness Monster, so Eric fashioned all the place cards with Nessie on them, with a lovely Celtic font.

Our table. Um, it's not blurry, it's just the fog from the Moors.

Everyone gets their own LNM- Loch Ness Monster.

Eric and I were in charge of the Colcannon – a yummy dish of mashed potatoes, cabbage, fried onions and butter. Lots of butter. It seemed like we were getting off easy, so I attempted to make Scotch Eggs. Have you ever had Scotch Eggs? Bless their hearts, they are a heart attack waiting to happen. You take a boiled egg, enrobe it in sausage, dust it with flour, dip it in raw egg and breadcrumbs – then you fry the whole thing. Is it good? OMG, it is SO good! I even attempted to make a vegetarian Scotch Egg for our darling Stephanie, by using 2 veggie patties. Of course I fried hers first. It was a bit awkward, but she was sweet enough to say it was good.

Scotch Eggs - You truly only need one half. It is so rich.

Colleen, Charlie and Byron enjoy the Scotch Eggs.

Stephanie and the vegetarian Scotch Egg

While we munched on the yummy kale chips Stephanie and Reeves brought, Byron browned toast points to serve with the Potted Meat he made to share. Potted Meat – that’s a funny name for a delicious food. Essentially, Potted Meat is pate. There was Rabbit, Mushroom and Chicken Liver – all incredibly tasty. My favorite was the Rabbit. Sorry, Bunnies.

Potted Meats and Toast Points. A snack fit for a king.

During this time of munching, Charlie was steaming the Haggis and Reeves was frying the Salmon Patties. We learned that Charlie couldn’t find a sheep’s stomach, which traditionally is how Haggis is served. He also omitted one of the sheep’s organs, but I just can’t remember which one right now. Maybe the heart. So his version was for beginners. Like me. Earlier in the day, at brunch with my favorite chef friend, Jeffrey, he gave me this advice, “think of haggis as eating meatloaf.” And you know what? That was darn good advice.

Before you know it, the Salmon Patties were fried and Charlie was unmolding the Haggis.

Reeves makes Salmon Patties.

Charlie is about to unveil the Haggis!

So? Are you dying to see it? It’s almost Haggis time!

Charlie's beautiful Haggis! Robbie Burns would be proud.

And Reeves’ gorgeous Salmon Patties were freshly fried.

Reeves' Crispy, Delicious, Salmon Patties.

And then there was the Colcannon that Eric and I had made.

Mashed potatoes, cabbage, fried onions and butter. Nothing to dislike here.

Oh, are you wondering how I liked the Haggis? Oops, sorry!

It was wonderful. Rich, meaty and scrumptious. In fact, it was so good, I asked if I could keep some and use the Colcannon on top to make a type of Shepherd’s Pie for the next night’s supper. How was that? Awesome!

Ready to eat!

Digging in.

Colleen and Byron seem to be having fun.

Reeves joins Eric at the other end of the table. Hi Guys!

After dinner, Colleen offered us all the butteriest shortbread ever, while Eric brewed tea and we all retired to the living room. Um, those shortbread cookies were so good, they were gone before I could snap a photo. Trust me on this one.

Next month – the Southern Foodways Alliance Cookbook. Any Southern Cooking is good cooking in my book. Can’t wait!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Lisa says:

    What fun! I’ve been to many a Burns night dinner complete with maybe or maybe not family tartan.
    I LOVE colcannon, cockaleekie soup, and good haggis. And they’re just such a hoot to say!

  2. Patti says:


    Next year we will do one together!


  3. Patti says:


    You are so hilarious!