Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Home-made fat balls ... yummy (if you're a bird)

Emi and I have been enthusiastically watching the birds these past few days. He's got his half-term holidays this week, and, as there's a zoo in our back garden, it's hard not to notice. Quite the opposite. In fact the challenge comes in tearing yourself away from the kitchen window. We've got our cameras sitting at the ready, waiting for something cute and/ or interesting to show up and be snapped.

This little Black Cap is one of my favourite visitors. He's really tenacious and always comes back for more.

We've been buying fat balls from the supermarket, but they look all sort of grey and grungy - not that our feathered friends seem to mind. Yesterday, however, we decided to have a go at making our own. And I have to report that they've been going down a storm outside with the avian hordes.

I'd got some left-over Trex baking fat which we melted in a saucepan over a low heat before adding a similar volume of mixed bird seed. Our recipe wasn't very accurately calibrated, and, as we were dancing around to Emi's play list, which includes at least six renditions of the theme tune from Ghostbusters, it was all a bit happy-go-lucky. But that's always the type of cooking that produces the best food. It's almost as though you stir a little bit of your good humour into the mix as you go.

Anyway our mixture didn't look desperately appetising, but then, as we didn't have feathers or beaks, we decided that our opinions probably didn't count for much.

When everything was suitably gooey and all mixed up we poured it into a clean ice-cream carton and stored it in the fridge overnight so that it could cool down and harden up.

The resulting mixture was a bit like a not-very-crispy trail bar for birds. We scooped great balls of it out of the carton using an ice-cream scoop and tied them up in recycled string bags that we'd bought onions and garlic in. Then we fixed these to the branches of the plum tree outside.

And the verdict: a feathered thumbs-up!

All the best for now,

Bonny x

1 comment:

  1. Bonny, We've been wanting to try to make our own suet - which I gather is like your fat balls. Thanks for the encouragement. Your little black cap against the beautifully blurred background made for such a stunning photograph. This is one to print and frame!