Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A chip off the old block

A fat block feeder is a square wire cage that can support as many as four birds feeding at the same time. Fat blocks come in several flavours, vegetarian and insectivore, for different types of bird. Tim makes his own, after a few experiments, using ingredients we happen to have around. As a mould, he uses either an old fat block carton from the supermarket, or a Epson ink cartridge box, which happens to be about the same size.

The basic fat he's using at the moment is solid coconut oil, sold as a frying fat here in France - apparently it makes good chips. Melt one third of a 250gm block in a small pan or a glass/plastic bowl in the microwave. Don't let it get too hot. Add a yogurt pot full of semolina or cornmeal, a handful of sultanas and as many dead insects as you can find (try the windowsill). Top up with proprietary wild bird food (enough to fill your mould). Stir well and pack the mixture into the mould. Allow to cool then chill in the freezer until solid. Unmould the block and tuck it in the feeder. Hang the feeder out of reach of cats, stand back and watch the birdies!

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