My Beloved Grandmother, Gülten Örstan

One week ago today my grandmother passed away. I was unable to attend her funeral (it was very far away, I never would have made it in time), so I spent that afternoon drawing her picture.

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This photograph was taken in 1995 when she was 67. This is how I will always remember her.

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She was an amazing woman and an absolutely wonderful grandmother. I will miss her dearly.

Pear Bread

This week I experimented with an applesauce bread recipe I posted previously. Instead of applesauce I thought I’d try some pear. I grated some ripe Bartlett pears (two pears made one cup of “pearsauce”) with my ever handy fruit grater:

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The pears grated extremely well, right down to the core with practically no waste.

I made a few other small changes to the recipe–I only used about 3/4 cups of brown sugar, 1 tsp baking soda instead of baking powder, and I omitted the raisins entirely.

The end result was yummy enough, although one could not really taste the pear. In fact, as I am currently eating the last piece I find it tastes very similar to banana bread.

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441 Prince Albert & Healthy Granola

I missed last week’s post, so I’m posting a drawing and a dessert again this week.

Here is a photo I took years and years ago of my parents’ neighbours’ house in Montreal. I do remember that I took the picture with my first ever digital camera, so I’m guessing it was about nine years ago. (Just to be clear, this isn’t the original digital copy–this is a photograph of a print of the original digital photo. I used the print of the original photograph to make my drawing.)

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I like looking at and drawing buildings from odd angles.

When I started this drawing I didn’t really measure things properly, and so many lines and angles were wrong and out of place. I therefore abandoned the first attempt and started a fresh drawing, but not before experimenting with colour on the abandoned copy:

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First I tried colouring the sky with some soft pastels. Not only did I not have the right colour, the paper wasn’t very suitable for pastels, and no matter how much I coloured the white of the paper still seemed to show through. I added some coloured pencil as well but it still didn’t work. I decided I wouldn’t colour the final drawing; I’ll simply add this image to the long list of oil paintings I probably won’t be making until I retire…In the meantime, here is the final drawing:

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This time I measured mostly everything, only a few small lines don’t match up with the original photo. I also took a few artistic liberties here and there, and changed or omitted a few things. I’m pretty happy with the end result.

Dessert this week isn’t really dessert, but more of a snack. Granola is super easy to make, it’s healthy, filling and yummy. I don’t follow a specific recipe, instead I usually use whatever nuts I happen to have in the pantry. Here is what I most commonly use:

(Approximately) 2 tbsps coconut oil (I’ve used olive oil as well, I don’t mind the strong flavour)

(Approximately) 2 cups organic rolled oats

Sliced almonds (I don’t measure, but I’m guessing I probably use about 1 cup)

Sunflower seeds (Again, probably about 1 cup)

Ground flax seeds (Approximately 1/4 cup)

1 to 2 tbsps organic honey

Chopped raisins (1/4 cup to 1/2 cup)

Mix the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds in a bowl. Add the honey and cocount oil and mix with your hands until all the ingredients are equally covered in both. Spread in a thin layer on a non-stick baking sheet and bake at 300 F for 10-20 mins. Let cool and add chopped raisins.

I like to cook my granola for 20 mins to make it extra crunchy. I also like to chop my raisins into very small peices to get just a little bit of sweetness in each bite–a full raisin is sometimes too much.

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Delicious with some plain yogurt.