We’ve clearly established that I like to make stuff, especially kitchen gifts…but lack the talent or patience to actually bake. It has caused a little trauma in my life (how will my daughters know that holiday baking is tradition, will their holiday memories be incomplete, how much money in therapy will the fact that I didn’t bake cost them, who can I get to bake and decorate cookies with them this year….answer, they’re fine. It always works out, we have plenty of surrogate bakers in our family, and they’ve both learned to bake in spite of me). Back to the bird thing…last year I discovered this recipe for bird seed ornaments…pinned under “treats for toddlers.” It looked like something I could handle.
I made 40 or so, and I think I finally have the tricks figured out. Highly recommended, especially if you have a toddler, or in my case, the patience of one. Here’s the recipe:
3/4 c flour, 3 T corn syrup, 1/2 c hot water, 1 package unflavored gelatin, 4 c birdseed. You’ll also want cookie cutters, straws and maybe some Pam spray.
Dissolve the gelatin in the hot water. Mix with the flour and corn syrup to make the glue, mix in the bird seed. Spray the cookie cutters and start pressing away. I used trees, hearts, and for circles, mason jar lids. I also used some silicone cupcake cups, and some tiny jello rings I found at a thrift store. Last year I tried a large heart jello mold, and it was actually too big. Also, the molds with pointy ends (stars, reindeer, dinosaurs) don’t work great. After a little trial and error (mostly error), I found that I needed more than just my hands, and used a small spatula to really pack and flatten the bird seed into the molds. I cut up plastic straws to stick in for the holes. I only messed up on the snowman mold once and made the hole in his leg. They dry overnight, and I find require a few extra days to really harden out of their molds.
They’re lovely, they’re easy, they’re fun…and the bird love them. So do the squirrels. But that’s entertaining in it’s own way. So if you’re on my list, and you’re still reading this, yup, you’re probably getting some.