Wintertime provides some of the best bird watching opportunities, especially if you offer them these suet cakes made in your own kitchen!
Not only does making these bird delights give you that great feeling of connecting with the natural world, it also adds another check in your zero waste column.
Instead of buying commercial suet cakes in non-recyclable plastic molds again and again, you can save the molds you’ve purchased before or ask friends to save theirs for you and use them for making this recipe. Once you and your bird-loving friends make these cakes, you won’t buy commercial ones again.
What’s so great about this recipe?
- It’s super easy to make
- Calls for readily available ingredients
- Can be done with the kids. Let them measure out the dry ingredients and mix them all together.
So let’s get started!
2 lbs. lard (do not substitute vegetable shortening!) This is the brand I use.
3 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups rolled oats
2 cups wild bird seed mix, black oil sunflower seeds or a mix of the two
Melt the lard over medium low heat in a heavy pot.*
In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients until well combined.
Once melted, carefully pour the lard into a 4+ quart, or larger, glass or ceramic bowl.
Stir in the dry ingredients a couple of cups at a time, making sure all the oats and seeds are covered in suet.
Once all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the lard, spoon into plastic suet tubs that you’ve saved up or received from a friend. Whatever containers you use, just make sure they fit into your wire suet cage holders.
Once frozen, remove 1 cake from its ‘mold’ and insert it into holder. Wipe out the mold with paper towel and store until it’s time to make another batch of suet cakes.
Store the remaining cakes in a heavy plastic bag in the freezer.
YIELD: About 8 cakes, 4″ x 4″ each
Hang your suet cake from a tree or bird feeder pole. Now sit back with a cup of tea and watch the birds flock to indulge in your gift to them. You’ll both celebrate the connection!
*I suggest turning your overhead cooking vent fan on when you begin melting the lard. It can be a pretty disgusting smell to have permeate your home if you don’t have the fan whisk the odor away.