In honor of Earth Day, 2009, we are celebrating our first
Big Mill “BIRD and BREAKFAST.”
Find details about our earth-friendly special below.
Guy Livesay took this photo of one of our feathered Goldfinch guests
admiring our gorgeous azaleas in full bloom.
We offer food & lodging for finches, bluebirds, purple martins, barn swallows, Carolina wrens, hummingbirds, cardinals and throngs of other birds. There is no charge, but they are encouraged to pose for photos and to sing.
(Bluebird photo by Guy Livesay)
Many feathered couples stay at Big Mill Inn and they especially enjoy our homegrown sunflower seeds and suet. In fact, our Big Mill Birds are quite discerning and refuse to eat the store-bought suet.
So while I am making breakfast for our people guests, I whip up a batch of homemade suet for our Big Mill bird guests. They love it! I am excited to have discovered a great use for left over bacon fat — it makes great suet!
The woodpeckers at Big Mill really like fruit so any excess fruit goes into the suet. I have great hopes of making soap with the bacon renderings some day, but that hasn’t happened yet. Until then, it is suet.
Big Mill SUET RECIPE for the Bird
3 cups corn meal
1/2 cup shelled seeds like sunflower or thistle
1 cup crunchy peanut butter (store brand is fine)
3/4 to 1 cup rendered fat. (lard, bacon drippings, etc.
Several large pine cones
Optional: 1 cup chopped fruit and/or a cup of quick cooking oats
In a large bowl, mix the corn meal and seeds together. Using two forks cut in the peanut butter, as you would for a pie crust.
Melt the fat and pour into the corn meal and peanut butter mixture. Mix well and allow to cool. If it is too runny, add more corn meal or some oats.
Stuff the suet into a pine cone. Hang several of these stuffed cones from a limb (as in photo above.) In a few days your birds will love you. I hang mine near a feeder to speed this process.
This recipe is very flexible-and a good way to use grease and fruit. Store excess suet in the refrigerator.
(Photo of Big Mill Bed and Breakfast Goldfinch by Guy Livesay)