Blades and Bushlore

Bushlore Topics => Country and Rural Living Skills => Topic started by: Old Philosopher on February 05, 2014, 08:38:06 PM

Title: Suet Cake II
Post by: Old Philosopher on February 05, 2014, 08:38:06 PM
Awhile back I made suet cakes for the birds using deer tallow. Miserable failure. The birds thought it was disgusting. After a year, the rain and sun did more damage to it than any birds.

So, I re-thought the whole process and here is my new, improved version of suet cakes for your feathered friends in the dead o' winter.

I'm using pork tallow, which should be a lot tastier than the dead deer rind. The preferable tallow would be beef. But pork is what I have.

Suet Cakes II

I decided to mold the cake right in the cage I would be hanging in the tree. I'm using a commercial suet cage, but you could make your own out of 1" chicken wire. I formed the mold with foil inside the cage.

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae250/Old_Philosopher/Suet%20Cakes/Suet%20cake%20II/DSC03165_zpsbbdfb7fc.jpg)

I started out putting the pork fat in double boiler, but I had to transfer it to a pot on a diffuser plate because steam isn't hot enough. I use a diffuser plate for things like this (especially melting wax) to keep stuff from burning on the bottom or catching fire.

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae250/Old_Philosopher/Suet%20Cakes/Suet%20cake%20II/DSC03166_zps516f5a7e.jpg)
(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae250/Old_Philosopher/Suet%20Cakes/Suet%20cake%20II/DSC03167_zps4c6c9e5d.jpg)

After letting the fat cool so it wouldn't deep fry the seeds, I removed most of the cracklin's from the fat and filled the foil mold half way with seeds, then poured in the fat.

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae250/Old_Philosopher/Suet%20Cakes/Suet%20cake%20II/DSC03169_zps1dd8ca74.jpg)
 
(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae250/Old_Philosopher/Suet%20Cakes/Suet%20cake%20II/DSC03171_zps850c951e.jpg)

I added more seeds to fill the mold and stirred the seeds around as the fat thickened so they would be suspended equally throughout.

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae250/Old_Philosopher/Suet%20Cakes/Suet%20cake%20II/DSC03172_zpsfc9b6549.jpg)
(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae250/Old_Philosopher/Suet%20Cakes/Suet%20cake%20II/DSC03174_zps9790a7d1.jpg)

I folded the foil up just enough to prevent spills.

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae250/Old_Philosopher/Suet%20Cakes/Suet%20cake%20II/DSC03175_zps39c973f7.jpg)

The cage and mix went into the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm it up. After removing the cake from the cage, removing the foil, and putting the finished block of suet back in the cage, it's ready to present to the hungry horde outside.

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae250/Old_Philosopher/Suet%20Cakes/Suet%20cake%20II/DSC03176_zps7383f4dc.jpg)

Thanks for checking it out....
Title: Re: Suet Cake II
Post by: wolfy on February 05, 2014, 09:32:07 PM
That looks exactly like a commercial suet cake, Ol'P!   Bet the tweety-birds will appreciate your efforts this time. 8)
Title: Re: Suet Cake II
Post by: imnukensc on February 06, 2014, 06:33:47 PM
Let us know how they like this recipe, OP.
Title: Re: Suet Cake II
Post by: Spyder1958 on February 06, 2014, 06:52:29 PM
Them feathered friends are going love you O'P, Good job
Title: Re: Suet Cake II
Post by: Old Philosopher on February 11, 2014, 02:26:58 PM
Success!!!  My new recipe is apparently CHICKADEE APPROVED!   :banana:

(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae250/Old_Philosopher/Wildlife/Birds/DSC08374_zpsaae835f6.jpg)

(Quick shot through dirty window, and dirtier window screen  :-[ )
Title: Re: Suet Cake II
Post by: Bearhunter on February 11, 2014, 03:33:10 PM
That's pretty darn cool OP!
I always liked watching those little mountain chickadees, we generally had some around.

Did ya eat the cracklins... one of my favorite snacks :drool:

Sent from my SCH-S738C using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Suet Cake II
Post by: wolfy on February 11, 2014, 03:36:01 PM
EXCELLENT! :thumbsup:

You should have said it was taken in a light fog, THEN you could have showed your wife!    I'd hold off on that now, though. ???
Title: Re: Suet Cake II
Post by: Nature Boy on February 12, 2014, 09:54:10 AM
Wonderful post! Nature Girl and I just made some 'redneck' bird feeders for our frozen feathered friends during this winter storm today. We get some medium to large size pinecones, ties some jute twine to the top, smear them good with peanut butter (the cheap stuff), and roll them in an aluminum pie pan full of wild bird seed. They look like those seed balls that they sell to put in parrot cages in the pet stores. We hung them up in various locations with the jute twine in the trees around the house and on our porches. The birds love them and we get to enjoy watching them in this terrible weather.

So far we've seen chickadees, nuthatches, titmouse, cardinals, sparrows, and a big red topped woodpecker has been eyeing it as well.