I took a recipe from Birdchick, a very groovy gal in Minnesota and modified it for UK purposes (made it metric) and concocted my own sort-of-suet-balls.
1 jar of cheap (cheep - snort!) peanut butter 450g - I used crunchy this time
1 block of lard 500g
melted these two ingredients in my big soup pot
cornmeal - 500 g
porridge oats - "some" approximately 300 g
flour - 300 g
You can also add in some berries or meal worms, whole peanuts, seeds whatever strikes your fancy.
Stir it all together. It smells like you're making peanut butter cookies and the temptation to taste a bit is fierce. I resisted, thinking of my cholesterol levels. Lard won't help the situation.
I spooned it into some plastic containers that were waiting for recycling and popped them in the fridge to re-solidify. I also took a great ladle full out to the bird feeder. An hour later, the chaffinches were giving it the first few pecks.
I've made this specifically for the woodpeckers in the neighbourhood. I'm going to press some of this crumbly stuff onto the trees. The blocks of this stuff will go in the suet cage.
I bought the ingredients for much less than it costs me to buy suet cakes. If the birds like it. I'll do it more often.
I'm fishing for some sympathy here. I have big feet. I always have had them. I knew early on that I could never be Cinderella. That glass slipper wasn't ever going to fit on my foot even if I tried cutting off a toe or two. My feet are US size 10, UK size 8 and European size 42. Big fellas. You'd think I'd be taller than I am with feet of this size.
When I was a barefoot child, I was famous for stubbing my toes. I think I have always had a bit of trouble navigating them or judging the distance I need to have in front of me to prevent the stubbing of toes. I thought I had grown out of that stage and finally developed a bit of grace. Nope. Not me.
This evening, I had to dash out to return some DVDs to Blockbuster. I stepped out of my slippers and was going to pop my feet into my work shoes when I stubbed my toes. Specifically the fourth toe on my left foot - the toe that is right next to my deformed middle toe. Broken in the basket room of the municipal swimming pool in the summer of 1980. The colours that my foot turned when I broke my toe back then were spectacular! Yellow and green right up to my ankle! I had to wear sandals all summer so that there was room for the gauze and tape dressing.
Well, tonight, it smarted when I smashed my toes into a pile of skirting boards that the joiner (carpenter) is going to start putting in our new rooms tomorrow! I said a few ouch ouch ouch ouches, hopped around a bit on the good foot, put my shoes on and got into the car.
I didn't really notice the toes again until I got home. When I took my feet out of my shoes at the back door, I couldn't fail to notice that all the toes of my left foot were covered in blood! I had actually split a toe open. Crikey! My toe had been bleeding for the best part of an hour inside my shoe and covered all the other piggies in an impressive amount of blood.
Because The Man of the Place has the camera this week, you are spared a photo of the gore!