Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 159 - Homemade Suet

Suet is the hard fat from around the kidney of sheep and cow.  I never knew that.  I just know of suet as bird food.  Some old recipes call for suet. Because suet has a high melting point, it serves as a place-holder in puddings and crusts when the dough has begun to set, and long after other fats would have melted. As a result, the structure of the pudding is already defined by the time the suet melts, leaving thousands of tiny air holes that give the pudding a light and smooth texture.

There are few people who still cook with this stuff.  When I travel to Indiana or Pennsylvania, we usually eat at the restaurant that everyone says is so good.  Nine times out of ten they are run by the Amish.  The Amish probably still cook with the real suet.  When we were in Utah and we ate at the Lion House, it was like that.  You knew that what you were eating was loaded with fat.  But it didn't matter because it tastes sooo good.  When we go home for Thanksgiving dinners or holidays, we look forward to this kind of food.  So make your own suet with the recipe below and watch the birds come for dinner!  It is their Thanksgiving and they will let you know you are doing the right thing by chirping.  They love it.
Here is a recipe for suet that the birds will love and it is inexpensive to make:
  • 2 cups Peanut Butter or Bacon Grease
  • 1 cup of corn meal
  • 1 cup of shortening (substitute for the real suet from the butcher)
  • 2 cups of Oatmeal (may add more if it isn't thick enough)
  • 1/2 cup raisins or cranberries (dried) [Mockingbirds love these and catbirds too]
  • 1 cup of nuts (peanuts or shaved almonds)
  • 1 cup of sunflower seeds
Mix and put in an open container.

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