Saturday, January 9, 2010

Recipe For The Birds.

After posting yesterday about feeding the wild birds, I have decided to add a quick and easy recipe for making homemade suet cakes.

They can be made inexpensively, and in bulk quantity, and offer a wholesome and life sustaining treat to our feathered friends.

Homemade Suet Cakes.
Making homemade suet cakes is simply a matter of melting fat down to a pour-easy consistency, adding a few ingredients of your choosing, then pouring the mixture into a mold. The shape of the mold is determined by the type of suet feeder you'll use.

If you are using lard or shortening for homemade suet cakes, adding equal parts of crunchy peanut butter flour will help maintain correct consistency of regular suet cakes.
To this warm and pour-able mixture you could add rolled oats, bird seed, cornmeal, raisins, unsalted nuts and anything else you think the birds would enjoy.
Then, pour your warm suet 'soup' into the mold (a bread pan where you could slice off bits for your store bought suet feeder, cupcake tins that you could pierce with wire and hang from a tree, etc.)
Keep any unused portions in the freezer for up to two months.
Things You'll Need:
lard or beef suet
quick oats
peanut butter (crunchy is better)
bread crumbs
container for mold
bird seed

Step 1
Place 1 cup of lard and 1 cup of creamy peanut butter in a saucepan over very low heat. Stir until melted.
Step 2
To the melted shortening mixture, add 3 cups plain cornmeal. Mix thoroughly.
Step 3
Here's the fun part...stir in any combination of the following: quick oats, raisins, chopped apple, bird seed, bread crumbs, or dried berries. Stir until combined.
Step 4
Pour into a plastic container lined with aluminum foil. Place in the refrigerator to cool.
Step 5
Once the suet is cooled and solid, slice into squares and place into your suet cage. Suet cages can be found with the bird feeders at most home centers.
Step 6
Store any remaining squares in the refrigerator.

If you prefer, you can roll out the mixture when cool enough to handle, and using cookie cutters cut into any shape you prefer. Insert a straw to make a hole, and add ribbon or jute string.
Hang from a tree branch.

Enjoy watching your feathered friends!


Patsy said...

Thank you that is a great idea. I like to feed the birds.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Cute, Jo... The birdies will love it.... I BUY my suet and they love it too--as long as it is the peanut kind. They love peanuts and peanut butter.

I'm showing more of my birds tomorrow.

Thanks for sharing your recipe.

DeniseinVA said...

Wonderful post Jo, I have some of these ingredients but will put the rest on my shopping list. Thank you and I know the birds thank you :)

Midwest to Midlands said...

My husband woke up early today he said, to be sure the birds had something to eat. Not sure we will make home made suet, but cute and good idea. Hope you are staying warm there.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Thank you for this reminder. It is 14 degrees as I write this--very cold for our area. My bird feeders are empty and I need to go fill them. I feel badly that I have neglected them when my birds--who give me so much pleasure--need me most! C

Shelby said...

This sounds like something I could actually do. thanks for sharing.

Barbara said...

What a wonderful idea. Have in the past made fat balls for the b irds b ut I have suet left over from the Christmas stuffing so must get using it like this. I love the way you have used pastry cutters.

We bought a sophisticated wooden house containing a lrage at ball but what happened - the squirrels dismantled it and stole the fat.

e said...

Brilliant idea, Jo! I loaded up the tree outside my kitchen window just before the snow hit three weeks ago. Fat balls and nuts hung like Christmas baubles. You can imagine how much is left now, though, and i'm 'iced' in with more snow on the way. I wish i could keep their water from freezing. It's too bliddy cold up here! :( Lizzy

Sunny said...

The suet decorations on the branch are really adorable. Thanks for the recipe.
Sunny :)

Stella Jones said...

What a lovely idea and my birds could certainly do with it. Poor things, they really struggle in this cold weather. We are -5 Centigrade today. I love your little hanging feeds. They look so pretty, just like the decorations on a Christmas tree.
Blessings, Star

Unknown said...

Great's colder than usual here in Houston, TX and I'm sure the birds would enjoy a nice treat here as well. :)

DJan said...

I LOVE those little cutout cuties. I can't stand to get my hands in all that gunk or I'd do this recipe. It's just so easy to get them from the local bird store. But who knows? I may change my mind and try them some day, it looks so adorable!

Betsy Brock said...

Oh fun...I'm going to try this! :)

Monts said...

Cutting them into shapes is a great idea, will have to try it next time. Many thanks Jo