Saturday, November 30, 2013

Feed the Birds

Let's make suet!
If you've never made suet for the birds, you're missing out on a fun winter activity.

You can find suet recipes on the World Wide Web, or you can wing it. These are the items I gathered up this morning. Note: I opted to not use the baking mix-- I thought there might be too much miscellaneous stuff in it. Everything else is nearly a one ingredient item.

The base of suet is any fat that is solid at room temperature. I used lard but have used vegetable shortening. The consistency is gotten by adding grains, oats, etc. I added a little bit of peanut butter and brown sugar for color-- not that the birds care-- and extra energy. Everything else is a bird treat: raisins, apricots, prunes, pine nuts, sunflower kernels, and a small bit of chopped up apple. 

Melt fat. Add peanut butter and brown sugar. Stir in oats, corn meal, grits, bran cereal, a few stale crumbled stale corn flakes, and whathaveyou. I go for a consistency of... a thick muffin batter. Then add treats. 

I made a cake by pouring the cooled mixture into the used pine nut container. The rest is cooling in the pot on the patio. When it's solid, I'll smear it on some sticks I've placed in a sunny spot in the garden near the back door. 

I'm hoping to see cardinals, chickadees, tufted tit mice, house sparrow and wrens and we'll see what else. In years past my suet sticks have attracted woodpeckers.

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