Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yummy Fat!

Still snowing! Male Downy Woodpecker at our deck

Now that the weather is cold and insects are scarce, the birds are all over the suet ball that hangs in the yard. I buy them very cheaply at a Mennonite Meat and Cheese shop north of the city. Our dog would love to get at it if he could reach the branch and stands beneath the ball sniffing the odoriferous air.

Fat adds flavour and we all crave it, especially in the winter. Perhaps we should live outdoors during the cold months like the birds and burn fat calories while keeping warm. They also have to work a lot harder than we do to find a greasy treat.

Time to start Christmas baking...suet and seeds anyone?

21 comments:

  1. Wow that's a lot of suet!! I have never seen a junco on my suet before. Does yours eat it?

    Bless you for being so kind to those birds. You have to be very dedicated to render that stuff from the real thing. I have been wanting to do it but have been too chicken. After seeing how much you were able to net out of it though, I am even more tempted to try it.

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  2. We have several neighborhood butcher shops.... now I may just have to pay them a visit. :c)

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  3. Kim- Believe me, I do not handle that smelly fat! The butcher mixes in the seed and places the mixture in the string bag. I buy it as is for $1.00. I take it out of the plastic bag as quickly as possible and hang it outside. The Juncos love this as do the Chickadees. I also have a hard square suet block that I buy at the grocery store but it is not quite as "decadent" and is twice as much money.

    Jayne- Hopefully they are bird-friendly butchers. :-)

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  4. Actually, I used to use suet in one of my Christmas recipes. My husband adores the English Plum Pudding his grandmother used to make. The recipe calls for suet. Sometimes it was hard to find a butcher who could provide me with ground suet for the pudding.

    Since no one else in the family really loved the pudding, I haven't made one in years.

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  5. Great to see someone else feeding the birds.....they have a tough time in the winter...
    Lovely photographs.......and huge suet ball....wish I could buy them that size......

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  6. In line with suet and fat, I can't help but feel that you should make Christmas bacon instead of Christmas baking today. :)

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  7. How nice to see a little downy woodpecker. I don't get them here where I live. I can just imagine the dog beneath the suet ball. Let's hope it doesn't attract a black bear!

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  8. NCMW- I have had Christmas pudding a couple of times and know that it uses suet.(So do some mincemeat recipes) I found the pudding terribly rich, but that was likely more to do with the hard sauce on top.


    Cheryl- The large suet ball does last a while. It is cold enough that it is not rotting, thank goodness.

    AC- You men! My husband would polish off the bacon and leave the shortbreads. I prefer my fat sweetened.

    Kathie- We had a black bear in town 2 winters ago and it created quite a stir. He was spotted behind pizza shops, not at backyard feeders. The Downy is our most common woodpecker. I would love to see a Red-headed or Red-bellied at my feeder sometime.

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  9. Sad, but true--fat makes things taste good.
    (Sigh)

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  10. I wish I could feed the birds. That song from Mary Poppins compelled me to do so for many years and the birds around me grew fat and jolly. And then I bought two kittens and that put an end to my bird feeding days.
    I wonder if The New Employer would let me place a bird table on the roof terrace....

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  11. Yes, it's time to roll out the fat. The suet cakes I bought don't look at tempting as your suet from the butcher!

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  12. Lovely pics Ruth and a timely reminder that I need to get some suet for the cold that's on the way here...

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  13. Those birds have got it good. Life is good when you have a generous benefactor. The "Suet Gods" smile down kindly!

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  14. I have never seen anything like that, but I am sure that the birds would love it..a raccoon or two also ..

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  15. You have a great butcher to mix your suet for you! I also refuse to make suet. I buy the cakes and slide them into the feeders as fast asw I can. Your birds are blessed to have you care so much for them.

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  16. Thanks for all the comments. This suet bag mysteriously disappeared overnight. I cannot find a trace of it anywhere...

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  17. I don't think I'd want to live outside during the winter but do hope to go camping afer Christmas. Hopefully I can do a little better than eating suet. Maybe I'll settle for a steak with a little fat around the edge.

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  18. Hi Ruth,
    I'm glad you and the birds got to enjoy that suet bag for a few days anyway. What do you suppose took it? Could you tell from the footprints in the snow?

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  19. Larry- I hope you write about your camping trip. Ruthie, I could see no clues leading me to the suet thief, but then it has snowed again overnight.

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  20. Hi Ruth, do you mind sharing where you get the cheap suet, if it exists still? I would love to pick some up. They look nicer and heartier than the ones that are mass-made.

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  21. Kellie, I buy this suet at Stemmler Meats St Clements
    http://www.stemmlermeats.ca/

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