Tomorrow marks nine years since my maternal grandmother, Ethel, passed away. She and I were very close because she lived with my parents and I my entire life. I'm an only child so I had a built in grandmother all to myself during my childhood. We were kindred spirits of sorts and I never realized how much like her I am until after she was gone.
My grandmother (I called her "nanny" and then "nan" as I got older) was a heck of a woman. She was very intelligent, classy, always dressed to the nines and had more integrity than most people you're ever likely to meet. And the woman could cook.... good gracious could she cook.
Nan made her own spaghetti sauce and meatballs from scratch and I continue this tradition by making my own... although, I've tweaked her meatball recipe to my own tastes. (I'm very vain about my meatballs, you see. They're delightful.) She also made gnocchi from scratch and I was always enlisted to help in the process, whether I wanted to or not.
For the uninitiated, gnocchi are little Italian potato dumplings. You mix together various ingredients to make a stiff dough. The dough is then rolled out to one's particular preference of thickness and cut off to form little pillows. My job in this process was to take the gnocchi that Nan had just cut and lay them out side by side (God help you if they touched) on a cookie sheet that'd be floured to within an inch of its life. This was a task that was enjoyable when I was younger then, as I got older, I grumbled about it. Grumbling about it is one of those things that my thirty-one year old self wishes she could punch my fifteen year old self for doing. I'd give anything to have those moments back but we never can quite see that when we're younger, I guess.
Anyway... Today's drawing is sketchy, the hands are bad and I need to work on my me-as-a-kid face but I love how Nan's face came out so much that I cried when I was finished with it. It's she and I, making gnocchi. I miss that woman like crazy.
Incidentally, I make my own gnocchi from scratch from time to time along with my homemade pasta sauce and meatballs... which you'll find delicious, or else.