I posted this on facebook but will add it here as well as it is that time of year!
I am reposting what I posted last year, along with a photo of the results of a double batch. New this year are two mixed with cayenne pepper that I plan to use for attracting brown creepers without attracting critters based on a suggestion from Jenny Gaden via Janet Paisley. These can be mounted in a holder right against a tree trunk. Also, new this year, I tried saving the plastic forms from the ones I bought at the bird-seed sale.
It’s early in the winter but the birds have been going through suet fast. I bought blocks from the bird club sale but I also like to make my own suet blocks using a recipe that Jim Nix sent me. This was published in the MBC newsletter some years ago but I am publishing it here. See the attached image. This is more economical and more satisfying than purchased blocks. And it is easy. Easier, for example, than making and cleaning up a cooked breakfast for two (people). I use the purchased blocks when I run out of made blocks.
Jim gave some good guidance here “This recipe was provided to the Club many years ago, probably in the late 1980s…. I chill the suet in the refrigerator until it is firm enough to cut into squares, then individually wrap the pieces and store them in the freezer. Over the years, I have found that it is a good idea to make a triple batch since the quantities work out well with the package sizes available at Kroger for the ingredients. And producing a single batch makes just as much mess as a larger one.”
I have varied the recipe somewhat with no ill effect and also received a suggestion from another recipe to save and reuse the plastic boxes that the purchased suet comes in as forms. I have had good luck with the milk carton technique also. Also, while Jim suggests wrapping the blocks, I found that a block size square of wax paper is enough to keep them separate and they don’t have to be individually wrapped if all the blocks are put in a used bread bag.