This year I have a new birdfeeder hanging from our tree which my Dad graciously passed along to me. Winters can be long and dreary here in Michigan and feeding the birds is a fun little diversion that I enjoy.
My new birdfeeder has two wire baskets for the square suet birdseed cakes, more commonly known by the brand name of Birdola. I’ve bought a couple of the Birdola cakes so far this winter season, but then (as I am so often prone to do) I began to wonder if I could Make My Own little birdseed cakes.
I started searching for recipes online and found this bird suet cake recipe at the rather unlikely website of Dave’s Repair, a site which mostly talks about appliance repair. He gave a glowing testimonial of how much the birds loved this recipe (along with bears and other assorted critters !!) so I decided to make it for myself and see how the birds in my neck of the woods like it. No bears where I live so we should be OK in that department.
It turned out the most puzzling thing would be finding the first ingredient in the recipe, good old fashioned lard. I ended up finding my lard in the Hispanic section of the grocery store. (read the follow up post: Looking For Lard – Can You Find it in a Grocery Store)
HOMEMADE BIRDSEED CAKES
1 pound lard (I used about 2 cups as I could only find a 2.5 lb tub and had to improvise)
18 oz jar crunchy peanut butter
1 cup raisins
1 cup mixed birdseed
6 cups cornmeal
5 cups all purpose flour
1. Melt the lard in the microwave. (I did 2 minutes and 20 seconds in a glass mixing bowl). Once melted, it will be a clear liquid.
2. Pour the melted lard into a very large mixing bowl. Stir in the peanut butter, raisins, and birdseed.
3. Next stir in the cornmeal, and then stir in the flour. Toward the end of this process it works a little better to just dig in with your hands to mix it up.
4. Spread the mixture in a 9×13 cake pan and cool. Once it has cooled, cut into 6 square blocks. Store in the freezer in ziploc bags.
As stated in the original recipe, this did indeed make 6 blocks that are about 4″ square by 1-1/2″ thick that fit quite nicely into my feeder.
Once I had these all made up I was little surprised at how you really can’t see too much of the birdseed. It does have a much higher proportion of cornmeal and flour. I’m very curious to see how the birds react to the mixture.
This week I’ll also be posting about another birdseed recipe I tried that hangs from the branches like a Bird Bell, and we’ll also be looking at shopping for elusive Make Your Own types of ingredients (in this case it was Lard !!). Plus I hope I can let everyone know if the birds give the recipes their approval. Stay tuned!