Martha Mondays: Suet Birdfeeders

November 23, 2009

This week’s Martha Mondays was my pick – suet birdfeeders from November Living. Let me say I am so, so, sorry. If you made this and it stunk up your house as badly as it did mine, I apologize. I think this is truly the nastiest Martha thing I’ve ever made. My grocery store did not have suet so I ended up at a butcher. Mr. MarthaAndMe chopped it up for me since I was grossed out by it. The directions say to render this until it liquifies. It seemed to me like that would be pretty simple but it wasn’t. It took FOREVER, it smelled horrible, and I was not sure when it was actually done. There were lots of chunks of stuff still floating around in the liquid fat, but it was starting to burn. I pulled the plug and strained it.

Martha says you have to strain it with cheesecloth – I just used a sieve. Then you have to let it harden, then melt it and strain it again. Can I just say, this seems like a LOT of work for birds. Seriously, can you see Martha taking an entire afternoon to make these birdfeeders? I think not. I’m sure she buys them from someone who makes organic artisan suet birdfeeders or something.

So I did let it harden and liquify it again, but I confess I did not strain it the second time – there was nothing in it to strain out. I just did not care enough. I mixed in the sunflower seeds, peanuts and cranberries and we smushed it into plastic containers with string in it and froze it. I actually halved this recipe, but somehow it made 4 containers full. I was a little concerned when about 3 hours after I put it in the freezer it wasn’t sticking together.

I left it in overnight. This morning we checked them and they all seemed loose, but we hoped for the best. We took the most solid one outside and tried to get it out of the container. You can see from the photo that it completely fell apart.

What a mess and what a disappointment. I’m wondering if maybe the butcher didn’t give me enough suet? Maybe I should have kept on cooking it down even though it was on low and was burning? I don’t know what to think, but it sure would be a lot easier to just BUY one of these suet things in the store for $2 than to spend this much time horsing around and ending up with such a mess!

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