Friday, November 18, 2011

Crafting may be hazardous to your gluten free health.

     Ok, so my title to today's blog is a little tongue-in-cheek. Sort of............
     I have been trying to do a few "homemade" items for Christmas this year. I saw this super cute idea for making bird feeders. I thought that it was a great gift idea for my Grandmas. I put the ingredients on my shopping list and set out for the store.
     The blogger suggested getting small bird food, like you would feed to a pet. So I headed for the pet department. I found the bird food. I have bought bird food before, but never really thought about what grains it contained. However, since this bird food was going to be put into my pots and pans and in my kitchen I wanted to see what was IN it. I was looking at the grains and (insert some dramatic music) it had wheat kernels. UGH! Wheat kernels are NOT going into my good cookwear. I strive soooo hard to keep a gluten free kitchen. I'm not going to screw that up for some bird feeding gifts.
      I decided I would take a walk back to the section of the store that carries outdoor bird food. I looked at EVERY bag of bird food. They all contained wheat kernels. DOUBLE UGH! I decided I would check another store, and if all else fails ask Dad. My Dad is a farmer and he would probably give me some Milo if I asked nicely. I could then just make my own mixture.
     The second store had jillions of bags also with wheat kernels. HOWEVER, they also had a couple of choices without. The bag that I picked even had allergy labeling on it. Pretty impressive, although I doubt the birds care. ha The mixture I ended up with has milo, sunflower seeds and millet. A gluten free bird's dream!
      The recipe is really easy to make. It would be really fun to do with kids on a snowday. I know I'm usually giving you guys recipes for food that WE eat, but I'm allowed to stray from the norm. Since I had to share my crazy wheat filled bird seed search, I will repay you with the fun recipe I was making.

Bird Feeders (not for human consumption)

1 Cup Birdseed (be sure to look for glutenous grains, remember that's why I wrote this post)
1/4 C Water
1 Small Envelope Knox Gelatin
Cookie Cutters, molds, mason jar lids (the open circle part)
twine or small ribbon
Wax Paper

  • mix together the envelope of gelatin with 1/4 cup of water and bring to a simmer while stirring. continue stirring until the gelatin is dissolved.

  • remove from heat and let cool for a minute.

  • stir in the 1 cup birdseed. adding a little more if there is liquid still in the bottom of the pan.

  • lay your cookie cutters out on wax paper and fill half way with the birdseed mixture.

  • cut your twine, knot the end and push the knot down into your birdseed.

  • continue filling with birdseed, covering the end of your twine and knot.

  • pack the birdseed evenly into the cookie cutter until it's full. Press it down firmly so that it is tightly packed

  • allow them to dry overnight. turning them over every now and then.

  • remove from the cookie cutters and hang them in your trees.

  • then wait by the window to watch for your first guest.

  • These are a few of the shapes while they are drying. I let them dry about 15 min. then pushed them out of the cookie cutter. Then just layed them on the wax paper to finish drying overnight.
    Stocking shaped bird feeder
    The finished products drying. Now just to wrap them up for Christmas gifts.

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