The Basic Mix
What you need:
A large pot
A relatively flat container(s) or cake pan (at least an inch or so deep)
1 pound Super-crunch Peanut Butter
1 pound Lard (Crisco can be a substitute)
2/3 cup Sugar
4 1/2 cups Cornmeal
4 1/2 cups Flour
4 cups Oats (rolled oats are better than quick oats)
With the adult's help, heat the peanut butter, the lard, and the sugar in the large pot over medium heat until it all melts. Make sure to stir it occasionally so it doesn't burn on the bottom.
Next, slowly add the flour and cornmeal, stirring as you go. Lastly add the oats and mix the whole concoction well.
That's it; the basic mix is done!
Scoop the mixture into the cake pans or containers to a depth of about an inch and a half. Let it cool until the mixture is solid, then have the adult cut them into 4-inch squares. Put the squares into the freezer until you're ready to feed your birds.
If you want to make super special cakes, choose one of the recipes below and add it to the basic mix before you pour the mixture into the pans.
"Berry Berry Tasty Cakes"
Add 2 cups of dried berries to the basic mix.
Most berries will be great. Shop for whatever is on sale at the local supermarket or warehouse club; some recommendations include: raisins, blueberries, cherries (chopped), or currants. Try out a variety and see what your birds like the best!
"Nothing beats Nutcakes"
Add 2 cups of nuts to the basic mix.
Any type of nut will be appreciated by your birds, so look for whatever is on sale at the local market or warehouse club. Peanuts are typically the least expensive and the birds love them. Whatever you select, make sure the nuts aren't salted. If they are, it's easy to just rinse the nuts in a colander before adding them to the mix. Try out a variety to see what your birds love the most.
Add 2 cups of seeds to the basic mix.
Pick out some of your birds favorite seeds, sunflower hearts, black oil sunflower, safflower, or even a "no mess" blend and add it to the basic mix to perk up the cakes for your feathered friends.
Add a 1/4 cup of Thai chili pepper or cayenne pepper powder to the basic mix.
Add the ground pepper to the basic mix if squirrels are eating all your suet. Birds can't taste the pepper and squirrels hate it!