...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


moon suet cakes + fly me to the moon

So, you want to feed your birds through the winter...
 You want to keep the chickadees and nuthatches and woodpeckers 
and all of the other loyal feathered friends
who stick around for the cold months
happy and well-fed?

You could go buy pre-made suet blocks OR
you could render your own
'suet moon cakes,'
just like my little lady did for a fun project.

What you need to make suet moon cakes:
      - large pan (we used cast iron)
      - suet (you can probably get it from local farmers who raise livestock... we got ours from Mary
        Rose of  Northland Sheep Dairy at the Ithaca Farmer's Market
      - birdseed blend (or your own mix of sunflower seeds / hearts, millet, cracked corn, etc.... feel
         free to add mealworms or dried crickets if you want to increase protein). 
      - twist ties or twine 
      - optional: netted bag such as from a bag of oranges, lemons, or onions. 
    1) render down the suet fat by heating it in your pan.  (Unfortunately it is not the most pleasant smell,
        but the good news is that it doesn't linger long.)
    2) skim off / remove the clumps that don't render down.  fyi: your dogs will adore these little 
    3) gently stir in your birdseed mixture.
    4) let cool / harden completely.
    5) heat your pan very gently so that the suet moon cake will soften at the edges and base.  Take a   
     spatula and place it as delicately as possible on a cookie sheet.  Let it harden again.

To Hang Your Suet Moon Cake:
* you can either drill a hole through it and run twine or twist ties through to hang it from a branch (We recommend not drilling too closely to the edge, go in maybe 2") Do NOT simply try to poke a chopstick or screwdriver through... your whole cake will most likely crack!   (we stuffed our cracked moons into our existing suet cages, as in pic #1 with the chickadee who came within 30 seconds of the suet's arrival...!)   OR
* you can stretch a netted bag over your moon cake and then weave twist ties or twine through the top of it to hang it from a branch, etc.

Now when the birds come, it will look like they've flown to the moon...

And after all of this moon talk,
 I have one of my favorite moon tunes in my head. 
Here's Diana Krall's casual, live rendition of
'Fly Me to the Moon' with some wicked bass from John Clayton. 

No comments:

Post a Comment