Guidelines For Dinner Parties At Soffit House

  1. If you aren’t invited to dinner this time around, please don’t be offended.  We can’t have everyone over all the time.  We try to bring together interesting people interacting with one another.  Singles are welcome to, but not obliged to, bring dates even if we don’t know them.  Married guests leaving their spouses at home got some ‘splainin to do.
  2. We like to start around 6:00 p.m. and generally, we’re sorry to see you go whenever that time comes.  But we understand if you want to be home and in bed before midnight.  We have a spare bed available in an allergen-free room if you have a little too much to drink.
  3. All food will be prepared from scratch, or very close to it. We might use dried pasta rather than rolling out our own. Or, as we’ve done with other guests who had a great time helping us out with it, we might just conscript you to help us roll out the pasta.
  4. Booze, beer and/or wine will be consumed.  You don’t have to drink it.  But we’re going to imbibe freely.  The house drink is a vodka Aviation and if you haven’t had one, it’s worth trying.  So come thirsty.
  5. The only thing we really want a guest to bring is interesting conversation.  Bottles of wine, dishes to pass, flowers, and other gifts are warmly appreciated and will be graciously accepted as tokens of friendship, but they are absolutely unnecessary.
  6. Soffit House is not child-friendly.  We have no television, no toys, no video games, glass-topped coffee tables, unsafeguarded electrical outlets and unhatched cabinets.  There is nothing for your child to do here other than play with our pets, and they will lose interest in your child after about half an hour of play.  There are some power tools and spare sheets of lumber in the garage so if your child can amuse herself for hours on end with a double-miter saw while you booze it up in the other room, I suppose we can set her up there.  But if not, and you simply cannot leave your kids with a sitter or a grandparent for an evening, well, The Wife and I would be happy to to meet up with you and your charming-and-well-behaved children in some other venue, at some other time.
  7. We love our proteins here.  Most likely, meat of some kind will be served as the focal point of the meal, and in generous quantities.  Sometimes, fish may be served.  If you are vegetarian, not a fish-eater, or are otherwise picky about your protein, you may be out of luck.  There will be plenty of other food for you and you wouldn’t be our first dinner guest to make a (typically quite enjoyable) meal out of side dishes.
  8. Special dietary needs can be accommodated.  A preference for meat cooked to a temperature higher than “medium rare” is a “special dietary need” around here, and I’ll need at least 48 hours notice that you want your steak medium or well done.  No vegetarian dinner guest has ever left Soffit House hungry.  But if you’re a vegan, I can’t offer the same assurance; see guideline #9.

  9. You really ought to think of dinner over here as your “break day” from whatever diet or weight loss program you’re on.  You’re almost certain to be offered foods made using some kind of tasty animal fat.  I’m talking real butter, real bacon grease, real cheese, real cream.  No apologies will be made for the high fat content of any of these ingredients.  They taste good and the purported substitutes for these products produce unacceptably inferior results.  The Wife typically uses liquor (tequila and whiskey are her favorites for this purpose) instead of milk as the liquid ingredient in her batters, and butter cream frosting (primary ingredients being powdered sugar and butter-not-no-stinking-margarine).  This is all very tasty but none of it is even remotely dietetic.
  10. If you leave hungry, it’s surely going to be your own damn fault.  And we will try to send extra food home with you no matter how stuffed you say you are.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. After reading all this, I seriously want to have dinner at Soffit House!

  2. Blogbuddies are always welcome. Should you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, shoot me an e-mail.

  3. Matt Parker and S, come on down! You're the next dinner guests at Soffit House!

  4. Really though… no TV at all?It's amazing how hypnotic 45 minutes of Go Diego Go can be to a toddler.

  5. Teacher I've no doubt that you are right. But since there's no toddler here in the first place, there's no need for a TV to act as a paralytic for said toddler.Salsola, I've been wanting to have you and Mrs. Salsola over for some time. Given that you've a newborn I know that's going to be difficult, but do be aware that your companionship at a dinner here is much desired….And two comments in the thread were deleted as spam.

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