Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Kids Corner September 2015

Try these fun bird seed ornaments and watch the birds feast :)

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 - 1/4 oz. packet unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup white flour
  • 4 cups birdseed
Other Things You'll Need
  • Twine
  • Large Non-stick pan
  • Large spatula or wooden spoon
  • Cookie cutters
  • Waxed paper
  • Cookie sheet
  • Cooling rack
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  1. To save some time later, cut about eight 10" pieces of twine and tie into a loop.
  2. Spray inside the cookie cutters with non-stick cooking spray and place them on waxed paper on top of a cookie sheet. Set aside.
  3. In a large non-stick pan, bring water and corn syrup or agave nectar to a gentle boil. You may not want to use your best pan as there may be stones or sticks mixed in with the bird seed that could damage it, although I didn't have this problem.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin to dissolve.
  5. Gradually whisk flour into water mixture. If the paste is thicker than a thick brownie batter, slowly add in a little hot water until you get to the right consistency.
  6. Quickly stir in bird seed and mix well until all the "glue" is evenly distributed among the seeds.
  7. While mixture is still warm, fill a cookie cutter halfway with the mixture, pressing firmly. Use the spoon handle to help press the seed mixture into the corners of the cookie cutter shapes, if needed. Lay the knotted end of a piece of twine at the top of the cookie cutter to create a loop for hanging and finish filling the cookie cutter with the seed mixture. Again, it's important to press the mixture firmly to create a hard block of seed. I've found the simpler the pattern of the cookie cutter, the easier it is.
  8. Allow the mixture to cool and harden for about 3 hours. I sat the ornaments in front of a fan to help quicken the process.
  9. After a few hours, push the ornaments out of the cookie cutters. If they fall apart, you either didn't wait long enough to harden or you more likely didn't press the mixture into the molds firmly enough.
  10. Put the ornaments on a wire rack to finish drying for at least 24 hours. Using a fan will quicken the process.
  11. Now the ornaments are ready to hang outside for the birds to enjoy

Kim Thompson
Practice Manager

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