|Backyard, view from bedroom window|
Speaking of frozen chickies, I've been thinking of the birds and wondering how they are managing to stay alive in these sub zero temperatures, wearing only feathers. They must be anxious for spring too. I know they fluff up their feathers, and burrow down in their nests, but still, I cannot imagine being out in this cold 24/7. I have a feeder and a suet cake out for them, but today I decided to make up some "birdie treats". Following a recipe given by Linda at Crafty Gardener, I had all ingredients on hand so it didn't take long. Linda calls it "All Season Suet" because you can use it year round - it will not melt. apparently. I don't think I'd bother with it in the summer, but figured it might be appreciated by my local birdies on these cold days. Hopefully it'll make them happy and give them some much needed energy for warmth.
Here's the easy recipe:
1 cup lard (no substitutions - do not use shortning or margarine)
1 cup crunchy peanut butter (Since I had some on hand, I also added a few extra peanuts, unsalted of course, and finely chopped.)
2 cups quick cooking oats (oatmeal)
2 cups corn meal
1 cup white flour
1/3 cup white sugar
Stir the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Over low heat, or in microwave, melt together the lard and peanut butter, stir to mix well. Pour into dry ingredients and mix well.
Form into balls or if you have a square plastic container from a purchased suet cake, you could use it as a mold.
I formed mine into balls and hung out the first two in the plastic mesh from a bag of onions. I put the others in the freezer, wrapped in saran and then in a freezer bag. It was late afternoon when I finally hung them out, I don't think they've been "discovered" yet. I'll be watching tomorrow morning to see if the woodpeckers, chickadees, etc. give them a try. Maybe I'll get some "action shots".....
Do you give your birds any special treats to help them through the winter?
"God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest." ~ J.G. Holland