So I have to say, I really love cooking. My entire family thinks I'm weird. I like being able to put out a nice spread on a big table and impress a bunch of people who don't have any interest in being domestic (a good chunk of my relatives seem surprised that I use the oven EVER, let alone on a weekly basis). I like being a host and having my house full of people having a good time with good food. SO I basically decided I didn't want to do anything productive this Sunday so I invited the (local) family over for Sunday turkey dinner. This involved at least 4 trips to the store to make:
1 bowl of Italian bean dip for appetizers (WAY more awesome than it sounds)
1 not-too-big turkey
1 dish "stuffing" with mushrooms, pine nuts and artichoke hearts
1 spinach and red bell pepper salad with candied walnuts (easy to make!) and gorgonzola
1 dish roasted yams (savory, no marshmallows or syrup, garlic and sage instead)
Relatives brought mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, apple-rhubarb crumble, and ice cream. And a pair of two-year-olds who chased each other in circles around the living room during the entire meal. It was awesome. AND, unlike Thanksgiving, I have leftovers. I am going to try and make some stock out of the turkey carcass, we'll see how that goes. And possibly turkey enchiladas. There were 8 adults, and I have decided that is the maximum reasonable dinner party size for my house.
I am also still pondering my theoretical kitchen renovation, because if we ever really want to do it, now is a good time - I am still flexible at work and it is way easier to get people to work since the construction industry has slowed down so much. I am just debating because I REALLY want to rip out the stupid breakfast bar. People say "Oh, you'll lose all that counter/storage space" but it will really open up the flow of the house. The bar sticks out to about two feet from the oven so whenever people are over they are ALWAYS standing at the end of the bar when I need to get in the oven. And the area at the opposite end of the bar - against the wall, becomes a no-man's land of crappy storage. Stuff gets stuck there but it isn't useful and it's hard to reach. That would become usable working space, and there would be a cabinet under it so that would be equivalent to about 2/3 of the storage that I would be losing under the bar area. AND there wouldn't always be giant barstools in the way whenever you're walking by the dining room table.
Oh, and that. We would eat at the table, instead of the bar. I HATE eating at the bar. I want to sit down and be out of the cooking area and be able to eat like a grown up, dammit. A girl can dream, can't she?