While you’re baking and preparing for your companion flock for the holidays, don’t forget about your wild feathered companions, says Macayo. Here are some suggestions for festive, edible yard and tree decorations. These also make excellent presents for wild bird enthusiasts in your family. To make the following decorations, use either the suet or the birdseed/fruit combination.
Holiday Peanut Butter Suet
2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter 1 pound lard (animal fat-based if possible) 2 cups rolled oats 2 tbsp cornmeal 1 cup all-purpose flour
Melt the lard and peanut butter together; stir in the remainder, as well as the mixed seeds, fresh cranberries, orange bits, and other colorful ingredients.
Birdseed and Fruit Mixture
3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup water, 3 tablespoons corn syrup (add package of plain Knox gelatin for extra holding power if necessary).
4 cups birdseed, plus peanuts, fruits, berries, raisins, or anything else the birds like.
Stars and Wreaths
Shelby Enjoys Christmas, by PH Macayo
Wrap the tray in waxed paper and roll out the mixture 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Shape the mixture into stars and wreaths using cookie cutters. If you’re using suet, put it in the freezer. Allow 4-6 hours for the birdseed mixture to dry before removing the cookie cutters and turning it over to dry for another 4-6 hours. Raffia may be used to hang from trees.
Coat the exterior of the 2-1/4 “Using a paintbrush, coat the diameter peat pots with the suet mixture, then roll in birdseed and set on waxed paper to cure for 4-6 hours. String 4-5 cranberries for clappers using needle and thread; run needle through top of bell and tie at top. Decorate the top with paper twists or raffia bows that also double as hangers.
Stuffed Pine Cones
Collect cones that are just half open. Fill with suet or chunky peanut butter and cornmeal mixture (better for the birds than peanut butter alone). To hang, use raffia or colored string.
Dried Fruit Wreaths and Garlands
For Wreaths, use: Cotton string or dental floss may be used to thread a big darning needle. Make 4-6 knots “starting from one end String dried fruit (apricots, papaya, oranges, raisins, and so on) into a tiny wreath. Knot the thread together to make a circle, leaving enough at either end to construct a hanging loop. Decorate with paper twists or raffia.
Outside trees with garlands look cheerful. Thread a big needle with a length of cotton thread or dental floss of 3 to 6 feet. Loop and tie each end for hanging loops after stringing the components. String together with the following:
- Unsalted pretzels, peanuts in shells, dried fruits, pine cones, holly or pine sprigs, knotting rope around the bigger portions
- Dried fruit, popcorn with colored kernels
- Roll fresh cranberries in egg whites, then in superfine granulated sugar (lightly). Before stringing, place on waxed paper to dry.
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