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Selasa, 13 Desember 2011

Make Birdseed Cakes

Today’s fabulous how-to is by Emily from yarn miracle. Her beautiful shop specializes in companion animal placement, including the most luxurious cashmere bears and bunnies. Thanks, Emily, for this great & very summery tutorial!

How to make birdseed cakes

It’s nearly summer and there are birds everywhere. When Ellie and I woke up last Saturday, Birdseed Cakes just seemed like a great idea.

Neat right? To make your own, you’ll need

From the pantry:
• 3/4 c. flour
• 1/2 c. water
• 3 T. corn syrup
• 4 c. birdseed, or a mix of birdseed, raw nuts, dried fruit and other seeds
You can create combinations that are suitable for the native birds in your area, or just pick pretty ingredients if you want to use these as gifts or party favors!

From the kitchen:
• a sheet pan – line it with parchment or wax paper if you don’t want to scrub the sheet pan later.
• a rolling pin is helpful but optional
• another piece of parchment or waxed paper if you don’t want to scrub the rolling pin later.
• every cookie cutter you own
• jute or twine to create hangers

Pour the flower, water and corn syrup into a bowl and whisk it all together until it is well combined. Add the birdseed and stir everything until all the seed is coated and sticky. The mixture will be loose and messy and you’ll think you made a Terrible Mistake.

Dump the mixture on the lined sheet pan, cover with the extra sheet of parchment and use a rolling pan or your hands to compress the mess tightly to about 1/2″ thick. The more tightly you can pack it, the better it will hold together when it dries. Toddlers love this.

Once you are satisfied with the depth and density, press the cookie cutters into the “dough” and leave them in! No matter how tightly you’ve pressed, don’t take out the cookie cutters or it will still fall apart! Just fit as many cookie cutters into the dough as you can.

(Yes, those are her pajamas. I *did* mention it was Saturday morning.)

Now let them dry just like that for about 6 hours. When you are able to handle them without disaster, you can remove them from the cutters, flip them over and leave them to dry for another six hours. Plain shapes hold up better (hearts, flowers, leaves, some rabbits), things with arms and sticky out bits (gingerbread men) tend to loose their fragile arms and sticky out bits. I’m convinced that the cat’s tail survived because Ellie loves cats and the Universe didn’t want to break her heart. If you run out of cookie cutters, grease your hands and shape the remaining dough in to donuts/wreaths (these may need to dry a little longer). The scraps can be dried the rest of the way and then placed in a basket or scattered on your back porch. No sense in wasting them.

Once the cakes are completely dry, wind them with twine to create simple, rustic hangers. And now they are ready for the birds to enjoy!

Speaking of birds, here’s a beautiful little lemon yellow knit bird from yarn miracle (and organic to boot!)


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