At last, I’ve found a recipe for birdfood cake that doesn’t fall apart. High respect for birder, Mark Golley, who wrote the book I’m using, Cooking For Birds copyright 2006. I’ve just discovered, the book is aimed at 6-8 year olds, so it’s also perfect for young nature lovers and conservationists.
My recipe is based on Chewy Bird Bars:
1 cup (C) suet, 1C peanut butter, 2 1/2 C cornmeal (or crushed cornflakes, or rice crispies), 1C wild bird seed, 1/4 C peanuts, 1/2 C raisins, 1 chopped apple.
Melt down the suet, then add the peanut butter, cornmeal, cornflakes or rice crispies, and seeds. Mix thoroughly on a low to moderate heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the apple pieces.
While it cools, prepare about 10 paper cups. Punch a hole in the base with a thick tapestry needle. Thread up the needle with strong yarn or string and tie a knot in the end that is inside the cup. Repeat with another 9 cups.
While the mixture is still soft (warm it up if it has gone too firm), place about 2tbs of the mix in each cup to half full, taking care to hold the knot free of the mixture. Gently pull the string through from the base till the knot lies in the centre and on top of the mix. Leave it to cool, outdoors if it’s a wintry day.
After about 20 minutes, the cake will have hardened enough to be removed from the cup. Then, turn it upside-down, knot at the base, and hang up in a tree. You can mix up your festivals by hanging a number of birdfood cakes in a tree – celebrating pagan tree-dressing and decorating an evergreen tree for Christmas.
Save the cups for more rounds of birdfood cakes, another day.