Hope you're all well!
I'm starting to feel Christmassy now!
I'm feeling both nervous and excited at the moment and will probably have this feeling from now until the big day!
When the weather goes colder, we like to make the birds some bird cakes on top of their usual seeds and nuts. It's a useful treat for them as they need the extra fat to keep them warm at this time of the year.
I wanted to make heart shaped bird cakes but I couldn't place my big heart cutter- I'd forgotten I'd left it in with the needle felting materials!
I got out our tin of cutters and Caitlyn chose to make Star and Duck shaped cakes, as she thought the birds would like to see the duck shape (hope it doesn't put the birds off eating them!)
We made bat shaped ones for Halloween, we usually hang angels, bells and Christmas trees out closer to Christmas time and sometimes we just make them plain old circle shaped! As long as there is enough space in the shape to make a hole to hang your bird cake then anything goes.
What we used:
- One pack of lard (We used a 250g pack)
- One cup of mixed bird seed and nuts
- Half a cup of cheese
- Half a cup of raisins or sultanas
Measurements are approximate. I always use the pack of lard and then throw in various amounts of seeds/nuts/cheese and raisins depending on what I have or need to use up.
- Large Bowl to mix
- Cup to measure/scoop
- Knife to cut lard
- Fork (I find it easier to "cream" the lard than to mix it)
- Big wooden spoon
- Cutter of choice
- Tray or flat surface to make shapes on. Cover these in grease proof paper or foil)
- String or pretty ribbon
I chopped up the lard and put it in the bowl. I "creamed" it until it was soft.
Caitlyn added the bird seeds and peanuts. She stirred them in.
Then she added the cheese...
... and the sultanas.
She gave it all a good stir and then stuck her hands in to really mix it up. It's a great sensory experience for kids, but beware that some don't like it!
As you can see from the photos, Caitlyn doesn't mind getting her hands sticky and messy at all!
She spooned the mixture into our cutter shapes. She presses them down really well. She used the pencil to make a hole to thread the string through.
We made a tray full of star and duck cakes. We had a teeny amount of bird cake mixture left over, so I tied some string to a pine cone and let Caitlyn press the left over mixture into the pine cone. This will make a great natural feeder.
I then put these bird cakes into the freezer. It is easier to thread the string when the lard is cold and hard. You can leave them in the freezer for an hour or overnight. You can also store birdcakes in the freezer until you want to hang them out.
I love how Izzy is watching Danny thread the string into his bird cake here. She looks up to him so much.
When we had finished threading the bird cakes we went to hang them on the trees in the garden.
Poor Danny looks tired here!
Caitlyn hanging hers carefully.
I love this photo of Rebecca and Caitlyn! So cute! (Spot the DS in hand though! Tut! Put the DS down, I repeat, Put it down!)
So, that's our bird cakes! I've seen some recipes for them recently that use Golden Syrup, but I'll keep that for my porridge and flap jacks, sorry birdies!
Remembrance Service tomorrow! Cubs scarf is ironed, shoes polished and poppy ready! Then some nice post birthday surprises for my Mum! Eee!
See you all tomorrow!