Thursday, February 24, 2011
Recession Proof Suet
Photo credit: mensatic
Brrrrr, is it cold out! In the blur of sprinting from the blustery parking lot, up the stairs to the heavy door promising warmth and a Riveredge welcome, I noticed a smattering of sparrows, puffed up into feathered balls. They were pecking at seeds, long forgotten under the snow. The fact that any amount of seeds can fuel such a little body to warmth is amazing to me. But no matter how efficient they are, after a few days of such bitter cold their fat reserves can be depleted.
Making homemade suet is a great way to boost up little birds’ fat reserves and gives birdwatchers hours of enjoyment. Premade suet blocks are convenient, but with this recession-worthy recipe, even the most avid watcher and count birds all winter long.
1 cup shortening
2 cups chunky peanut butter
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup flour
3 cups total of any of the following:
-Stale baked goods, crumbled (bread, cake, doughnuts, crackers, cereal, toast)
-Stale corn or tortilla chips, crushed
- leftover canned corn
-Pizza crusts, crumbled
-Raisins or dried fruits
1 cup Black sunflower seeds
Leftovers to avoid: Cheese, any type of potatoes, salad greens, tomatoes, and veggies (except corn). They will be shunned by the song birds but will draw starlings and crows, who find them interesting.
In a large pot over low heat, melt the shortening and peanut butter. Stir in the flour and cornmeal, then all other ingredients. Spoon the mix into a container, suet cage wrapped in aluminum foil, or mesh feeder bag. Once the mix is cool it can be hung outside for the birds to enjoy.