Wednesday, January 27

Bird love....

Bird-watching is one of the highlights of our cold season. We look for them wherever we go and we live in a great place to see many different kinds. Tbird is a nickname for my youngest daughter whose actual name includes the name of a bird that is common and well-loved here. (We call her Toucie, too)

In the woods along the river, she and I saw an owl in broad daylight this week as well as a Great Blue Heron....certainly exciting when the action at the backyard feeders is slow. And it is kind of slow this year, I'm noticing, so Toucie and I have set out to tempt the birds in.  I like to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (Feb. 12-15 this year) and I want to lay out a fine spread for my peeps.

Every New Year's Day we take our live Christmas tree out to our deck along with any other greenery with which we have decked the halls. We arrange all the evergreens where we can see them from our kitchen windows and festoon them with edible treats for the birds. This year we have pinecone birdfeeders (made by spreading peanut butter on pinecones then rolling them in birdseed), garlands of raisins and cranberries strung on string, sprays of millet (from the pet store, for parakeets),  suet, and bird cookies. "What's a bird cookie?" you say? Well, wonder no more! I'll show you what our cookie-laden tree looks like tomorrow...until then, here is the recipe:

Birdseed Cookies (from our local Waldorf School cookbook)
2c whole wheat flour
1 1/2c quick cooking oats
1tsp baking soda
1c frozen juice concentrate (apple or pineapple)
1/2c nuts, chopped
1c dried fruit, chopped
3T oil
3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together flour, oats, and soda in a bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, whip oil and egg whites until foamy.
Blend  juice into egg mixture.
Blend egg/juice mixture into flour mixture.
Add nuts and fruit and blend well.
Place tablespoonfulls of dough on cookie sheet.
Gently flatten them into a disc shape, then create a hole in the center (like a doughnut or a wreath).
Bake for about ten minutes at 350.
Once cool, hang them on branches with ribbon, raffia, or string.
(The hole in the center makes it easy to hang them up, but you could make other shapes and poke a smaller hole in them before baking. We make the hole in ours big enough to slip right on to the tips of the fussing with string!)

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