*Resisting ball jokes*
I popped some popcorn for the girls the other day as a snack, and of course we ended up with the majority of the bag left over. I also have a jar at the back of our fridge that I add fat to (from bacon, roasts, burgers, etc), so I started thinking about mixing up some suet balls for the birds. Butterbean was napping so Mooch and I made these up - she loved making them but kept complaining "They smell AWFUL, Mama!" :-)
In a medium saucepan melt the fat over medium low heat. If you're not into keeping fat in your fridge or your a vegetarian, you can substitute Crisco. Add peanut butter and a good sprinkle of corn meal.
Mooch was very into stirring!
The great part about these is you can use a variety of starchy things to bind these together. We used a hunk of stale pumpernickel bread shredded into little pieces, the leftover popcorn, some bird seed the birds aren't too crazy about (it's the cheapo supermarket crap), and some raisins. You could also use dried apples, nuts, or oatmeal.
Pour the fat/peanut butter mixture over your dry ingredients and mix
Cut some square pieces of wax paper or parchment paper, and scoop about a cup of the mixture in the middle of each one. Then pull the edges of the wax paper up and twist so the suet forms a ball at the bottom. Secure the twist with leftover twist ties, string, or clothes pins.
Place them in the freezer until firm. Then tie a piece of string around it and hang it up for the birds to enjoy. A great way to take care of the birds, reduce waste, and have a little craft/bonding time with your own ankle biters!