Since we’re in a cabin again this winter, mostly taking care of some dental work and getting to know my (Amber) extensive family in the area, we’ve again been spoiled by the full size stove, and an oven that doesn’t burn everything. I love feeding the birds and squirrels in winter and here in NE Washington it’s been a little sparse, wildlife-wise, but we do have a couple northern flickers, squirrels and possibly chickadees(?). I bought a 20lb bag of cheap bird food and for months it went ignored. I was convinced that everyone just found it too cheap, or were maybe too wild to come near the house. In Colorado last year we had that issue for a while, if you so much as moved the birds would leave and not come back for days.
I’ve been wanting to give birds suet for years now, but since we’re vegan, I just don’t want to buy beef suet and haven’t found any vegetarian stuff in stores so far (also, most birds don’t eat cows) Little did I know that it’s super easy to make yourself.
We just happened to have a ton of vegetable shortening and raisins left over from our Christmas pudding recipe (also replacing beef suet). Peanut butter we have around for Sherlock’s Kong toy and everything else we have for multigrain bread recipes. I found this recipe online, doubled it and made a ton of blocks of suet in no time at all!
Peanut Butter Cakes for Wild Birds
- 1 1/2 cup Shortening
- 3/4 cup Peanut Butter
- 3 1/2 cup Wild Bird Seed
- 1 cup Quick Oats
- 1/2 cup Corn Meal/Polenta
Stir together your bird seed, oats, and corn meal. Set aside.
Melt the shortening and peanut butter together and stir until completely combined (you want the mixture to be a smooth liquid). Pour into the seed mixture and stir together until the seed mixture is thoroughly coated and no dry spots remain.
Spoon the mixture into moulds of your choice, spreading and smoothing to edges, and freeze until set (about an hour)… Alternatively, allow to cool in the refrigerator until the mixture can be easily moulded by hand. Form balls (or whatever shape you think your feathered friends would like), use a skewer to make a hole to hang from string, and freeze until set.
Store in the freezer until ready to use.