Baby Yoda, baking, and more

hand drawn Baby Yoda

My 9-year-old grandson, who always claimed he was bad at art, recently started getting GREAT at it! I asked him how he did and he told me he watches a bunch of YouTube videos teaching you how, stopping them as he needs to draw a bit and then hits play again. Impressive! He just sent me this Baby Yoda. (I should have ironed it to flatten out the creases before the photograph.) I like the way he tried out the various colors of marker along the bottom of the page.

A week or so before he sent me this drawing he and I were hanging out. He was wearing a hoodie with an image of Baby Yoda on it, and talked to me quite a bit about how much he was enjoying watching The Mandalorian with his dad. He told me he thought he’d like to play Baby Yoda onscreen. I asked if he wouldn’t prefer a speaking part, and he said, “Nah. All Baby Yoda has to do is sit there and be cute. I wouldn’t have to memorize anything or worry that they’d change things at the last minute.” It was hard for me not to laugh.


I have finally finished all the knitting of my Christmas gifts. Of course I still can’t show them to you. And this morning I dropped my handwritten, handmade Christmas cards into the mailbox. All my shopping is done, almost all curbside pickup from local stores (my favs!) with a few online from big retailers. My outdoor and indoor decorating is done. I do still have a few easy things to make in the kitchen and then package for mailing. Some of that will happen today, some likely not till Monday or Tuesday. Which means the packages will likely not arrive by the 25th, but I’m okay with that.


A few weeks ago I asked for and received some sourdough starter from a fellow member of my local BuyNothing group. I’d made sourdough years before, and have baked plenty of bread over the years, but had a hankering to do some sourdough again. So you heard about my first bake, with all its mishaps, on Thanksgiving day. The bread was okay, but not great. Several days later I made another loaf, using the appropriate proofing times and oven temps, and it was much better.

My daughter sent me a link to this recipe for cranberry-wild rice-cornmeal sourdough. I do love King Arthur flour so had to try it. I’m sorry to say it was very disappointing. And rather a pain in the butt to make. And insufficient information in the recipe. Dried cranberries: assuming that means sweetened, as that’s the only thing I’ve ever seen in stores, but would have liked it to be confirmed in the recipe. Wild rice: can you ever buy just wild rice? I only see wild rice blends. So instead I opted for a black rice. But I think the recipe should have clarified what they wanted. After all, they said they preferred whole grain cornmeal, so be clear on the other ingredients, too.

cranberry-rice-cornmeal sourdough bread

The dough wasn’t easy to work with, despite following all their directions. And then it took MUCH longer to reach that 195 degree internal temperature than the 35-40 minutes they said. And I have a new instant read digital thermometer that has been calibrated so I know it’s accurate. The ultimate loaf, while tasty enough, is hard and rather dry.

So I sliced it and froze most of it, starting out the next day to make another recipe that sounded enticing: tartine olive sourdough. Well. This bread is over-the-top wonderful! And I only had 2 cups of olives on hand, not the 3 the recipe called for. I used a combination of oil-cured olives and jarred kalamata and pimento-stuffed green olives.

3 loaves olive sourdough bread

You have to be patient, as it takes almost 2 full days from start to finish, but it is well worth it. Besides, most of that time is waiting, not actively working. Heck, some of it is sleeping. The bread is salty and chewy, savory and just plain delicious. Cut yourself a piece of extra sharp provolone and there’s a wonderful lunch.

tartine olive sourdough bread

I had to look up what a tartine was – it’s a sourdough that’s not very tangy, so it requires much more time ‘growing’. If you make sourdough, you’ll appreciate that for 1,000 grams of flour this recipe used only 31 grams of starter. I would cut the recipe in half next time, as I never need – or even want – this much bread at one time so had to freeze 2 of the loaves.


You saw my newly-painted and decorated bathroom. Well isn’t this towel woven by Master Weaver Laura Fry just the perfect accent?! She has many colors and weave structures available on her ko-fi page.

handwoven towel in my bathroom

Once I’m done with all my Christmas prep and postcard writing, I’m planning to make – or at least try out – a valance of sorts woven on my pin loom for the glass block window. May or may not work as planned.


Parting shot – I’m guessing it was starlings who found this tree perfect for making a themselves a little community.

tree of nests

9 comments to Baby Yoda, baking, and more

  • Judy T

    interesting and fun facts!

  • Judy T

    They’re actually pretty large nests. They look more like squirrel nests to me being up so high, but I’ve never seen so many clustered like that….

    • Peg Cherre

      I agree – squirrels was my first thought, but the clustering had me stumped.
      Here’s what the internets told me: Tree squirrels (Sciuridae: Sciurini) are considered to be asocial; however, communal nesting is reported for most species. … Unrelated adult males commonly nested together in both species. However, adult female fox squirrels rarely nested in groups, although communal nests were common among female gray squirrels.
      My neighborhood is heavily populated with gray squirrels, so that’s likely what the nests are.

  • Judy T

    So much to love about this post! Rusty’s drawing talents and his thinking, the thought of the tartan olive sourdough loaf, your lovely bathroom accent towel, your creativity in making your cards and your gifts, and even though I don’t care for starlings (they cause pool owners lots of problems), I love the photo of their little community.

    I find plain wild rice (with nothing else mixed in) at Dash’s, Whole Foods, and sometimes at Wegman’s.

    • Peg Cherre

      Rusty has really grown this year – physically and mentally. He’s much better at solving problems and more physically coordinated. We don’t have Dash’s or Whole Foods, but apparently Trader Joe’s carries plain wild rice. But I won’t make that recipe again, so….

      Starlings aren’t my favorites, either, but I do like the looks of that tree of nests. And I’m just guessing that it’s starlings who did that; I could be completely wrong on that.

  • Alma

    That is a GOOD Baby Yoda!

    Your breads look wonderful – I love the idea of the olive one. Plain wild rice – maybe at Lori’s?

    • Peg Cherre

      It IS a good Baby Yoda, isn’t it?!

      Apparently you can get plain wild rice at Trader Joe’s. But I won’t make that bread again anyway. The olive – YUM!! I’ll do that again, in a much smaller batch.

  • Jennifer Petschke

    You always amaze me with how much you accomplish! Love Baby Yoda drawing. Such a clever lad!

    • Peg Cherre

      I know I accomplish WAY less in a day than I did a few years ago. Much more time spent trolling the internet (such a waste of time), reading (always worthwhile), or watching TV (often a time waster). I also know I simply have less energy, along with less of a need to produce. That last part is good. But how will I get rid of everything I’ve already made and all my yarn?

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