I had some people ask for my suet recipe, so I'm putting it alone here - in case anyone missed it on Sunday.
1 1/2c shortening
3/4c peanut butter
Let the shortening melt on low. When it's clear, add the PB and stir
until well incorporated. Stir in honey. Turn up the heat until the
mixture just boils then take it off the heat and let it set. Meanwhile,
in a big heat resistant bowl, mix together...
1 1/2c corn meal
1/3c chopped nut topping
1 c sunflower seeds (bird feed quality)
1c chopped corn feed
When the wet mixture is still pretty warm, but not boiling hot, dump it into
the dry mixture. Stir thoroughly. Pour into suet molds (I saved all
the store bought ones and washed them out so I'd have molds to dump my homemade
into.). Should fill 3 store bought plastic thingies. Put them on a
tray and slide them into the freezer. Once they're frozen, slide them
into a big baggie and use them straight from the freezer. Birds don't
care if it's frozen. But here's the kicker, once they warm up, they keep
their shape and don't fall apart all over the porch underneath the
feeder. (Which is what happened with the last two batches of suet I
made. The first batch was too dry and it crumbled all over, the second
batch was too wet and it splopped all over.) Fair warning, though, these do get a little gooey above 80F. Not drippy - just soft.
If your suet seems too runny before you pour it into the molds, add in some more flour. If it seems too
dry, up the amount of shortening. (You can mix more in without boiling
it. The boiling helps get rid of the air in it and helps it harden,
though, so not too much more pre-boiled.) Play with it. Add in
cranberries instead of raisins. Or wild bird seed mix instead of
sunflower seeds. You could even get fancy and buy dried mealworms to add
in. Just remember as with all recipes, if you delete a dry ingredient,
add in another dry ingredient to keep the balance. And remember, as with
all recipes, your mileage may vary.
This week, I'm going to make more suet but substitute a wild bird seed mix for the chopped nuts. I'm also going to try boiling just the shortening and then adding the PB after I take it off the heat. (Sometimes the PB scalds to the bottom of the pan which is messy and makes the suet smell like burnt PB.)