Sunday, January 30, 2011

Birds On the Hill - Bird Cakes

I enjoy my birds year round...in late spring the hummingbirds show up, flickers & honking geese.  I feed them through spring.  Living on the top of a PA hill we have lot's of berries and natural food so once the worms come out of the ground and bugs start flying, I take a break.  I won the prize last year when I saw a Scarlet Tananger in our woods.  I forgot where I was for a moment...some exotic island maybe, with his bright red body and black wings....
Once Fall arrives and the last of the geese v formations leave, I start back up.   I use the beautiful bittersweet berries that decorated my Thanksgiving table for perches on my feeders.  Not only is it beautiful, but by Winter's end they have cleaned the branches.  Thought I'd share a few pictures from my front porch.



Here is a terrific recipe my Mom shared with me (I believe found in Birds & Blooms). Once a year we make this out in the studio over my wood stove. I have a wonderful oversized old enameled pot with a wooden handle that works perfectly.  Throughout the year, I save my old flour, oatmeal peanut butter nuts etc.  If the cupboard moths have found their way to you…the birds will love these in their food, I hate these pesky little moths….Every so often I see they find their way into my nuts or oatmeal.  I put it all in a lidded tub and wait til winter when we make our bird cakes.   I use my old onion bags to hold the bird cakes, however most Lowe's or Tractor Supplies have the little cages that seem a bit more professional.  My birds don't really care!   Keep in mind the shape you need when cutting the cakes.  Hang these from a tree or your bird feeders.  Guaranteed happy - happy birds! 

California No Melt Bird Cakes

2 C Quick Oatmeal
2 C Cornmeal
1 C Flour
1/2 C Sugar
1 C Lard
1 C Crunchy Peanut Butter
Asst nuts, sunflower seeds, birdfeed …keep in mind that the lard/pb mixture is what solidifies this. 

Melt lard and peanut butter in large pan.  Add rest of ingredients then add bird feed assortment.  Line cake pan w/wax or parchment paper  or unlined silicone cupcake/pan and pour in  pressing flat .   Leave outside or place in fridge til cold.  Use pastry scraper or large knife to cut in to  chunks.  Keep in lidded plastic container in cold area.

1 comment:

Marsha Neal Studio (Marsha's Garden Blog, Marsha Minutella) said...

Oh - great recipe for suet. I have yet to try to make any. I love watching the birds too… It is amazing the sense of peace that they bring while you just sit and watch them find food and interact with one another. Thanks for sharing!

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