Baking for the Birds/no really for birds

baking for the birds
One of many Chickadees that stop by daily

  I have baked a lot of food for people. For their parties and meals in the restaurant. But two or three months back I began baking for the birds; what one man calls bird pies.

 

Nuthatch/a frequent visitor
Nuthatch/a frequent visitor

The person I am referring to owns a bakery in Canada. There is an article in the FarmShow paper about what this man did in his business to use the leftover bread dough he had.

He took the bread dough and added birdseed to it and baked the bread for three hours in the oven.   I do not have the article near me but his seed cakes were in the shape of small pie If I remember correctly. The bakery drivers then delivered the bird pies to stores where the company has other baked goods. And soon the pies were a hit with the customers. Well, the customer’s birds anyway.

 

Tuffed Titmouse
Tuffed Titmouse

I attempted to contact the bakery owner through contact information that was provided but was unable to receive a response. Likely from the owner being extra busy baking for the birds. As many a business person knows, you just never know what is going to popular every time.

 

  But I know how to bake and have fed birds for many years. My idea was to add peanut butter to the dough and seeds and find out if the song birds would consume the dough as well as the seeds. Sparrows and Starlings and a couple other birds will eat some bread especially when they get really hungry. Yet birds like Chickadees and Nuthatches and Cardinals rarely eat bread.

 

An earlier batch of cakes
An earlier batch of cakes

For my first bird (seed) cakes, I used flour, peanut butter, seeds, and water. Just enough water was added to have the dough the consistency of bread dough.  After baking the first batch or two it was time to find out if a more moist mix that also included some baking powder would yield a softer cake.

By adding the baking powder and adding enough water to bring the mix to the consistency of a thick cake batter the finished cake was much better in my opinion.  The birds worked on all the finished bread; just a bit more strenuously on some of them.

 

The ingredients baking for the birs step one
The ingredients

What I would like to do is share with you a simple recipe that you can make for yourself ( if you feed the birds that is).

  •     You will need: 2 cups all-purpose flour
  •      One half cup peanut butter
  •      One cup birdseed of your own choosing
  •       one teaspoon baking powder
  •       1 1/2 cups water
  •      Also  two small bread pans
  • 8”by3 7/8” by 2 1/2”
  • shortening or veg oil

In a 2 quart bowl add the flour and baking powder and seeds mix together.

Add the peanut butter and some of the water ( a cup ) to the flour, begin mixing it all together. add the rest of the water and stir.

 

The mix
The mix

It may take a little more water to get it to the consistency you want. Should you add too much water simply add a little more flour. Start your oven warming to 330 degrees F. for a convection oven. 350 degrees for a standard oven.

Let your mixture set a few minutes. Just as in regular baking this extra time lets the dough relax (soften a little).

Now measure out 2 cups and pour this into one of the greased pans. It will take using a spatula or butter knife to get the dough out of the cup.  There should be about 2 cups of dough left place that in the second greased pan.

Place both pans in the oven and set a timer for 60 minutes.

 

Finished loaves cooling
Finished loaves cooling

Once the timer has rung turn the oven off but leave the pans inside the oven a little longer.  This helps reduce the moisture content a bit more. Then after you have removed the pans take the finished bread out of the pans to cool and you are good to go.

It is not just the birds who come to visit
It is not just the birds who come to visit

My feeding area is not fancy. It is also under a raised porch so I can have a tray right outside my studio window w/o snow or rain getting in the tray.

I am going to be baking these and other bird pies and have them available for purchase very soon.                                                                             Look me up at. http://www.bonanza.com/booths/PCJR57

Thank you for stopping by.

 

Thankfulness and Thanksgiving

 

Come on out the snow is fine.
Come on out the snow is fine.

 

 I am thankful that there is much more to life than what we see and experience.

And having a worthwhile future because of the one who is over all and paid the debt for my failing. It is not religion but acknowledging the one who is life.
Thankful for the things I and we have been given by him to enjoy and to fill up our lives when the things given are used in the right way.
I like turkey and I also like ham if you do not nor do you feel you should eat it either that is okay too.
I have had the privilege of working in food service and serving many people for a number of years, though not all in a row. Lots of food and some nice guests to boot.
Certainly, there is more that could be shared but I wanted to get this out before the holiday rather than after it.

Though this post was not about the snow,  we certainly received some over the past couple of days. (Broome County, NY )True not as much snow as some others did but that is okay too.

Night Games you didn't know about
Night Games you didn’t know about

I now have a booth at   Bonanza.com  Card’s Creative Canvases stop over and take a look, then let me know what you think.

Painted Milk Can with A Summer Scene

 This Painted milk can features a nice summer scene with Hummingbirds and a Bluejay.

 

This was then..but now it's a blended green
This was then..but now it’s a blended green

img_2647Several weeks back one of my dad’s cousins asked me if I would paint a milk can. I said yes to the project and the challenge.

The vintage milk can is in really good condition so it was not necessary to spend a lot of time sanding the milk can.

After the sanding was finished the can was spray painted to prime the surface as well as to provide a sealant.

I could not decide what to paint on the can but Denis shared with me what their idea for the scene was: and I said yes.

 

sealed and primed
sealed and primed

The next coat of paint unified the color of the surface.                                     I had used up some partial cans of spray paint that might not have covered over sufficiently if left as it was. Zinsser primer is what was used to cover the three base colors .

img_2713    Then I mixed a light yellow- green to provide a background for the painting. This was dabbed on using a 2 1/2” long bristle brush ( a standard paint brush from Walmart).

img_2722    This is how the background looks when completed.

 

Next, I started to base in the fence posts.

img_2931     I did not have a scene in mind as yet so I just started painting and would build it as it as I went.

 

img_3015  Knowing that there was to be Hummingbirds as the main characters  I had something to work towards. A country setting gave me the freedom to have tall grasses by the fence. And to provide some color, wild flowers would be painted in.  Though they are not able to be seen very well I based in the Hummingbird shapes where I wanted them to be.

Painted milk/Progressimg_3038    Next, it was time to start giving some color to the birds.

 

There are four Hummingbirds in total. Birds of my own imagination and colors.

Flowers were also being added as I went along.
img_3039img_3041
The Hummers now taking shape it was time to think about what was to be painted on the other side.

Having more than enough Hummers on the milk can already I decided on adding a Bluejay. He may be a bit out of proportion for the space he has but I think he still looks good.

img_3060img_3059  There was a lot of area to fill in with flowers yet and the Hummingbirds needed their final touch up.

And we are coming to the end of what was done to make the scene.

During the time I worked on the main painting I was also deciding whether or not to tighten up the painting by painting a portion of the top a solid color and to do the same for the bottom band.

img_3057img_3055     As you saw in the previous pictures and can see here in the finished painting, the painted milk can top and the bottom were done in a solid deep green.

I think overall the painting turned out well. Now I am waiting for Denis and Shirley to pick it up, and to hear if it meets their expectations.

 

Glad that you could spend some time with me. I trust you found it interesting as well?

Feel free to stop in and see my booth at:

http://www.bonanza.com/booths/PCJR57?utm_campaign=booth_complete&utm_medium=Notifier&utm_source=email

The person who received this milk can as a gift was very pleased with it.