Friday, November 10, 2006

I cook for the birds!

Lynne from Hasty Brook asked if I would share my suet recipe. Of course I will!

Chickadees love my suetSuet Cake
(adapted by myself from several sources from the Internets!)

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 cups quick oats
  • 1 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • Additions - bird seed, dried fruit, chopped peanuts, etc.
  • pot large enough for ingredients.
  • containers that are about the same size as your suet holder.
  1. Assemble ingredients.
  2. Heat peanut butter and lard in pan on stove, stirring until melted.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add oats, cornmeal, and whole wheat flour.
  5. Pour into containers.
  6. Freeze until hard.
Note: In the winter, suet does great but in the summer, this recipe will melt and make a mess. It also has a risk of going bad. Watch it carefully!

A larger visitorSuet Dough
(introduced to me by the amazing Julie Zickefoose, also here [click].)

  • 1 cup melted lard or beef suet
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar (optional)
  1. Melt lard and peanut butter together on a low burner.
  2. Take off heat and add remaining ingredients.
  3. Spread on cookie sheet and allow to cool in refrigerator until mixture is just hard enough to cut into pieces.
  4. Store in freezer bags and use as needed.
Note: I use a large plastic container to cool and store my bird dough (as I call it). I pour some out on my hanging platform feeder each day and the birds LOVE it. My dark-eyed Juncos which are normally ground feeders come right up on the platform to eat it. I always toss some out in the yard for them and the other ground feeders too.

Hummingbird feederWhile I'm at it, here is how I prepare my Hummingbird Juice. I have Anna's Hummers here year round and pretty soon should start seeing Rufous and/or Allen's Hummers too. So, keeping the juice flowing in the winter is a good thing. A hummer is usually the first bird I see in the morning when its cold! Oh, just FYI, the feeder in the picture is not filled with cloudy juice -- it's 42 degrees out and it's covered in condensation. Brrr!

Hummingbird Juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups cold water with ice
  1. Boil 2 cups water.
  2. Add sugar to water. Stir to dissolve.
  3. Add cold water and ice.
  4. Pour into feeders and distribute.
Note: I use the ice method because I usually am making the juice when I've already run out of hummingbird juice and the hummers are anxiously awaiting its arrival. I often get buzzed while I'm putting it out. They love it.

For what its worth, this is my favorite hummingbird feeder: The Best-1 feeder -- it's easy to clean and care for. It holds a lot of juice (I have the 32 oz one) which isn't useful in the summer as I still have to change it often but in the winter, I go ahead and fill it as the juice doesn't grow mold in the winter. I'm thinking about getting the Dr JB feeder to try as well.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Liza- this post is like one-stop shopping for bird feeding! I'm forewarding it to all of my local birding friends!

LauraHinNJ said...

Thanks for the recipes - and the help with flickr!