Prep 15 mins
Cook 4 mins
Use a higher proportion of black sunflower seeds to attract pretty Blue Jays.
- ribbon, string for hanging
- 5 -6 large pinecones (about 5 inches, high)
- 1 cup chunky peanut butter (no salt, no sugar)
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening (or bacon or beef drippings)
- 1⁄2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 1⁄2 cups commercial bird seed
- Tie ribbon, string or yarn to pine cone at bottom (narrow, pointy end). Cut ribbon to desired length.
- Melt peanut butter and shortening in small saucepan. Add cornmeal. Heat and stir for 3 to 4 minutes until well mixed.
- Transfer cornmeal mixture to shallow pie plate. Roll pine cone in warm mixture, using a rubber spatula, if necessary, to gently spread mixture over and in between “petals” of cones.
- Place birdseed in deep bowl. Holding pine cone in bowl, spoon birdseed over top, pushing with tip of spoon into cornmeal mixture. Chill on waxed paper lined baking sheet. Can be frozen. Hang from sturdy branch in summer or winter.
- Company’s Coming - Gifts from the Kitchen.
We do this with our students at school quite often. To get closed pinecones to open, just place on a paper plate and microwave until open. The time will vary wildly depending on the size and moisture content, but it's works everytime. Just keep your eyes peeled, because they smell AWFUL if burnt, lol. And wash out your microwave after doing. Bright red cotton string or yarn looks festive for this time of year.
I'm sure my birds are going to love these. I was a little upset with the pine cones in my yard, though. I walked all over my yard and couldn't find any cones where the petals were open. All of them were closed tightly. Oh well, I did my best. I made 7 cones and still had A LOT of the peanut butter mixture left over. This can get a bit messy, so have some paper towels handy. Thanks for the recipe (my birds thank you too). Made for My 3 Chefs, 2009.