Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dinner with Friends

Hi! I'm Sophie Bauer Winston. I live in Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia, in a historic house with enough bedrooms to put up loads of family and friends when they visit. I'm an event planner, but I also write an advice column about cooking, decorating, holidays and things domestic. There's nothing I love more than dinner with friends and family gathered near a blazing fireplace. Or, in this weather, a barbecue around the fire pit in my backyard.

I have a wonderful, curious and rambunctious Ocicat named Mochie, and I share custody of Daisy, a hound mix, with my ex-husband, Mars. Fortunately, he's a pretty decent guy for an ex-husband. My best friend, Nina Reid Norwood, lives across the street from me. She's always fostering a homeless animal of some sort. She has a lot of moxie, so she has dragged me into awkward situations, but I love her anyway.

Last night Nina and Mars stopped by with Bernie, our British friend, and Humphrey (he's an undertaker) for bourbon barbecued ribs, fresh corn on the cob with basil butter, tomato mozzarella salad with balsamic dressing, spicy baked beans, and a pitcher of icy watermelon margaritas. We barely had room left for the tart sugar-dusted lemon bars Bernie brought from
the restaurant he manages.

Sorry I'm late. I'm Natasha. Just the one name, please. Like Cher, or more appropriately, Martha.

Excuse me. Krista said I was supposed to post first.

Don't be silly. It's the Domestic Diva Mysteries, and it's quite clear that *I'm* the domestic diva.

Maybe we should ask Krista.

Haven't you heard? Blogger suspended her account! So it's just us. You're my best friend, so I know you won't mind sharing the blog with me. Did you just say Mars ate dinner at your house last night? He told me he had a meeting.

Mars and Natasha live together. In a huge house at the end of my block.

I thought you were seeing Wolf. Was Wolf there?

Wolf is my current beau. He's a police detective, so his hours are a little bit odd, but then, as an event planner, I'm usually busy at night, so it works out for us. There is that uncomfortable issue of his wife disappearing, but in spite of rumors to the contrary, I'm confident that a man who regularly donates food to the animal shelter couldn't possibly have murdered his wife.

I just don't understand why Mars keeps coming over here. You do have the better house, but ours is decorated tastefully and there isn't fur everywhere.

I come from a long line of snoops. Sadly, that trait has already emerged in my eleven-year-old niece, Jen. Even my parents aren't beneath eavesdropping. I figure I come by my nosy genes naturally.

Did you tell them that I have my own domestic diva TV show? Tomorrow's episode is about carving watermelons and cantaloupes to use as lanterns for summer parties. You can hang the cantaloupes on wires in the trees! Well, it's been lovely to blog, but I have to run. I scored fresh eel for dinner. I'm making quinoa, and a jicama and watercress salad, mounding the eel over it, and topping it with crispy deep-fried leek.

Sheesh. I have a feeling I'll be seeing Mars again tonight!

~ Sophie


  1. I think I understand why Mars is at your house so much, Sophie.

    Hi, Sophie and Natasha - nice to meet you. Now...I don't want to seem indelicate, but what did you say happened to Krista?

  2. Laine, I was just wondering the same thing! Sophie, you have my utter admiration - if I was in your shoes, I probably would have made a few people close to you disappear...

  3. Sophie, I don't blame Mars a bit from eating at your house. Some of the things Nat comes up with - wow. BTW, those icy watermelon margaritas sound delicious. Can't wait to see what you're up to next.

    Thoughts in Progress

  4. I'm intrigued by the whole "disappearing wife" thingie. I know he seems like a good guy, Sophie, but losing a wife is pretty darned careless.

    As for this Natasha person, darlin', jicama is delightful and I've even tried that quinoa stuff (tasty), but eels are bait.

  5. I thought I ought to make an appearance so no one would think I was tied up with duct tape. Sophie used duct tape on a murderer but she's not the type to tie up innocent people. OTOH, Natasha does get frustrated when I don't let her shine!

    This time Natasha was absolutely correct. For some odd reason, Blogger decided to suspend my account last night -- when I had two blogs to post. Sophie came to the rescue here though, and Blogger reconsidered, so I'm up and running again.

    Shel, there are times when Sophie shows admirable restraint. She went shopping with me yesterday and pointed out a huge plastic storage bin for patios as an excellent place to hide a body. She didn't mention Natasha, though.

    Laineshots and Mason, there are those who hope that Mars might be thinking of more than dropping by for dinner. Natasha is a bit concerned, too, as you can see.

    Tally, Wolf isn't a careless kind of guy, either, which is worrisome. After all, wouldn't a cop be in a perfect position to know how to hide a body?

    Love that eel is bait! LOL! I hope Natasha doesn't see that!

    ~ Krista
    still alive and kicking

  6. It's always great to hear from you, Sophie. I notice that the background of this blog is very close to Natasha's signature color...

  7. I am one of those who is on the fence about you and Wolfe, Sophia. I like him, but for some reason I think you should give Mason another chance. Of course, there is a tiny part of me that wants you to grab Bernie and give him a big ol' kiss! Not sure why, maybe it's because he is British :) Anyway, whoever you choose, I am always amused when reading about you and all of the other "characters" in your life! Can't wait for the next installment!!

  8. The stories of you girls' adventures are on my TBR list. Looking forward to getting to know you!

  9. Um, Sophie? How can I get a dinner invitation?

    And I want to know more about Wolf's wife, too...

  10. Willow, I hadn't even noticed the color! Uh oh. That probably means Natasha was in on the creating of this blog.

    Ohhhh, Kelley! That's absolutely fascinating! Not saying anything more, except that Bernie has a secret. I'm delighted that you like the books.

    Signlady, I hope you'll enjoy the adventure of Sophie and Natasha!

    Heather, come on by! Mars will be there, too. And there will eventually be more developments about Wolf's wife . . .

    ~ Krista

  11. Can I come and dine with you Sophie? It's only a 4-hour car ride, wait I can be there in 2 hours by plane. BTW, what's for dinner tonight? Did I hear barbecue?

    Krista, I'm glad Blogger reconsidered. Perhaps we should sic Natasha on them.

  12. Ahhh, Blogger! I struggled with it for about an hour this morning.

    And after that struggle, I could really use a delicious supper with you, Sophie! Little did you know you were gearing up for a dinner party for all your commenters. :)

  13. Sophie -- Dinner at your place sounds like quite the treat! I'm in, if your looking for more attendees. A repeat of the bourbon barbequed ribs would be just fine, thank you. Yum.

  14. My TBR pile keeps getting bigger and bigger.

  15. I am such a doofus...I called Mars, "Mason". I am absolutely mortified that I made that mistake. I love this series so much...arrgh!!!!

  16. Watermelon margaritas? Sign me up! You're going to post the recipe, right?

  17. I can't tell you how nice it is to see so many of my friends here today. Kelley, don't worry about Mars's name. It's kind of an odd nickname. I'm always reminding people that it's short for Marshall. And about my love life, I'm seeing Wolf. Really.

    Dru just flew in and is now relaxing on the patio in my backyard with Nina Reid Norwood and a frozen bellini. I'm trying to save some of the Chesapeake Bay steamed shrimp for Elizabeth and Paige. You guys better hurry! Bernie's about to start the steaks. Mars is around here somewhere hiding from Natasha.

    Mary, I'll ask Krista if she'll let me share the watermelon margarita recipe on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen sometime.

    Annette, it's nice to meet you. I can't help wondering if you signed in as Anonymous to avoid Natasha . . .

  18. Having company again, Sophie? Steak? That's the best you could do? You have no culinary imagination.

    Has anyone seen Mars? The eel is ready.


  19. You had me until the eel. It probably tastes delicious and I know I shouldn't judge it by it's looks, but still...