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Springtime Suet

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I’m happy to share this guest post from Chloe Tuttle, owner of the Big Mill Bed and Breakfast, situated on the eastern edge of North Carolina in the watery wonderland known as the Inner Banks. The inn features two suites and two standard guest rooms (each with a private entrance), plus an offsite apartment. But what really stands out here are the grounds: over 200 acres to explore with vintage outbuildings, a 1978 Airstream trailer, grape arbor and its own pond where you can fish or boat. With so much nature around, it’s no wonder Chloe came up with this great recipe to feed the birds as well as she feeds her guests!

From Chloe:

Earth Day 2013 is just around the corner, so it seemed like a perfect time to celebrate the birds we love with a suet recipe they delight in eating.

When I am cooking for the bed and breakfast guests, I also make suet for our lovely feathered travelers. And this suet recipe is made from things that we all have in our larders, especially innkeepers.

Well, those of you who live north of Virginia might not have the lard, but you could render your own “Suet fat” out of bacon fat and other fats. Southerners know and understand lard and we have a deep respect for this delicacy.

Innkeeper’s Suet for the Birds

  • 6 eggshells (about ¼ cup crushed)* 

  • 1 cup lard – no substitutions unless you use rendered fat. NO CRISCO

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
    
  • 1 cup leftover granola
    
  • 1 cup uncooked oats    
  • ½ cup seeds like sunflower, pumpkin seeds or bird seed

  • ½ cup dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, blueberries, dates, etc.    
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
    
  • 1 cup corn meal
    
  • 1 cup flour    
  • 1 large pine cone & about 6 feet of strong string
  • Optional: ½ cup fresh, chopped fruit, like pears, apple, orange, strawberries or blueberries if you are using Suet right away
.

Wash eggshells and microwave wet shells for 4 minutes. Cool and crush.

Put lard and peanut butter into large cooking pan and heat on low heat till soft. Remove from heat and add eggshells, granola, oats, bird seed, dried fruit, nuts, corn meal and fresh fruit if you are using it.

Allow to cool until it is no longer “runny.”  You can refrigerate if you need it to cool quicker but it might get too stiff.

Stuff the suet into the pine cone. Tie a long string about 1/4 way down pine cone and leave about 4 feet tail on the string. Hang from a tree limb.

*(you can omit eggsshells)

Yield: 4 ½ cups

HINT: Remember that all the birds can’t eat from your suet feeder. Cardinals are ground feeders, so throw some out for them on the ground. This Innkeeper’s Suet Recipe is a great way to recycle too!

Big Mill B&B
1607 Big Mill Road
Williamston, North Carolina 27892
252-792-8787
Rates: $85-159

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