Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Making Bird Suet

One of the things that brings a lot of enjoyment at home is watching the birds. Throughout the years, more trees have been planted on the property (especially pine trees which provide year-round shelter), and additional bird feeders have been hung in the trees.

Last year, I found a recipe that the birds seem to particularly like. It's from an Amish cookbook. The introduction to the recipe says, "The Amish so appreciate the birds in their yards that they have devised any number of ways to entice these feathered friends to their feeders.

This recipe for summer suet (suet is actually trimmed hard beef fat; lard is renedered pork fat) is a good example. It also can be used in the winter, but the advantage of it is that it doesn't turn rancid or melt in the heat of summer.

It's a good use for any odds and ends of nuts left over from baking."

The recipe is:

1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup lard, at room temperature
2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
Leftover nuts of any kind

Melt the peanut butter and lard together over medium heat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pans. Cool and then cut into squares. Wrap extra squares in plastic wrap and store in a cool place until needed.

I put the suet into existing suet feeders as well as put some into mesh onion bags that I hung in new locations.

Because the temperatures during the past week have been in the 25 degree BELOW zero range, having the suet in lots of different locations is, I feel, good for the birds so food is readily accessible.

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