Seriously made me laugh, only in my life it's my mom, not my grandmother. Grandma just seems happy whenever I call. Mom, on the other hand ....
And, yeah, I'm not big on socializing with other lawyers, either. Boring as all hell.
To the matter at hand, yesterday I made pesto with basil from The Hubby and my MIL. So last night I made one of my favorite pesto dishes. I smoked some nice Alaskan salmon and accompanied that with a nice, fresh penne pesto with tomatoes (from The Hubby's little garden plot), asparagus tips, a little red pepper and sun-dried tomato. I'd meant to make enough to have left overs for lunch today but ....
Engineers aren't known for our social prowess either, and don't get me started on my Mom, it ain't pretty.
I love the idea of everything you mentioned other than the pesto. I just haven't tried the right one yet.
Something about burping it out for 3 days afterwards that has always turned me off to it.