Friday, December 28, 2018

DIY For The Birds

As most of you know, I like to make things.  I bake, I cook, I knit, sew and crochet.  I am always willing to try a new craft or recipe.  The problem with this is that everything I'm good at is either fattening and unhealthy or some little kid in China can make the same thing for pennies.  Christmas was a good example.  I made cinnamon rolls and only one was eaten by my grandson.  We have so many left over cookies, some pecan pie Chex mix and candy.  I realize I always make more food than necessary, but everyone is aware of calories and nutrition so there is always leftover snacks.  Another example is a Christmas stocking I recently saw at Goodwill for $1.99 that looked homemade, but I know it wasn't.  I bought it, just to get the pattern.  Why I bought it, I have no idea.  Why would I ever make it?  Even at 71 years of age, my decision making skills are sometimes suspect.

I am aware of the fact that I need to get the same satisfaction from making stuff without the problems.  I decided to cook for the birds.   I have experience.  I used to make homemade dog treats.  The wild birds and animals usually aren't fussy.  I do have to keep in mind that birds and wildlife have special needs too but as long as I stick to the basic guidelines, animals will eat anything.  Quite a while ago I saw a recipe on facebook.  I saved it.  It was from the Garden Answer facebook page.  The video is called DIY Birdseed Wreath.

I remembered this recipe on a recent trip to Fleet Farm.  We buy big seed blocks for the birds.  They are about 8 x 8 x2 inches.  They cost about $6.99 each but sometimes they go on sale for $3.99.

When we find a sale, we buy several.  After spending $20 on 5 of them, I thought of this recipe.  During a lull in the holidays, I decided to make one.  Even with the sale price, this DIY recipe can be made for a much lower cost.  Since the recipe was on a video,  I wrote down the recipe for easier access.

Birdseed  Wreath

Spray Bundt pan with baking spray

1 package gelatin 
1 cup warm water
6 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups flour
6-8 cups birdseed

Mix together well and
press firmly into bundt pan
Dry 24 hours.

It turned out great.  Even after a full day of rain, it held up nicely.  It didn't fall apart or get soft.  The birds are enjoying it.  They have to work for the seeds and the birds seem to enjoy working for their meal.  Rather than hang it from a ribbon, we found an old metal pie plate.  We clipped on the plastic hangers from a hanging pot and hung it from a bird feeder away from the squirrels.

I think I will make more.  Maybe I can find some small bundt pans or make a block like the ones we can purchase.