So, I went to my MIL's and we made gnocchi. It was fun time together.
But at the end, she put the gnocchi in the freezer and said she was going to keep and and that she was going to make the sauce.
I tried three times to say, "I can take it home," "I want to take it home." She said, "believe me, you'll have enough to do that day without having to cook gnocchi too."
I guess I could have insisted more firmly, or just gotten them out and taken them.
But I didn't want to be unpleasant, and I was getting the impression that she was feeling sort of territorial. So, we'll have gnocchi, but it won't really be mine.
Then, she was quizzing me on the menu, and it sort of felt like she was checking up on me. I tried to push that feeling away. At one point she said, "Do you need plates, or platters, or bowls?" (I'm thinking, "you've seen my house, w/ the overstuffed china cabinet--what??")
She asked me if I was going to make stuffing. And waved the StoveTop box in front of me three or four times. I told her I wasn't sure if people in the family actually *ate* it. Eventually she said, "Oh, yes, a few of them will." (But if I make stuffing, I'm not going to use StoveTop--I'm playing in the kitchen, so I'm being selective about what I'll do easily or the hard way.)
Then she said, "Do you need a tablecloth?"
I confess--I kind of snapped. I said, "Noni, I'm 52 years old, and I have throw parties and had dinners for lots of people people. I have everything I need."
Then I felt bad bcs it turns out someone gave her two tablecloths that she doesn't really like and won't use, and she was just trying to give them a purpose in life. (of course, *I* don't want brown tablecloths either.)
So I said, "I have tablecloths that I like."
So it was fun, but I found myself really shutting down--I decided not to mention that I was going to go buy some more flatware. Instead of a conversation about how fun to get to buy silverware, she'd have been pushing for me to borrow from her.
Honestly, sometimes I feel like a 3yo.
So I'm not going to ask her how to make turkey gravy. It would be too much advice.
As it is, I'm realizing that I'm going to have to be firm about keeping people out of the kitchen, especially the aunts. There's all this discussion right now w/ MIL about who's going to bring what, and it's irritating me and (most important) scattering my concentration.