Do you give gifts to your neighbors? We, (ahem, I) usually bake something yummy and then we go around with the boys and deliver the goods. In the past, it’s been either cinnamon rolls or my grandmother’s famous Pig Out Cookies. But this year, in light of trying to be more conscious of the amount of sugar I consume, I opted for a non-edible gift. Well, not edible for us anyway. Because even though I would try really hard to avoid “taste testing” the goodies, I know myself too well. One cookie leads to two, then two leads to four, and…well, you get my point. The holidays bring so many opportunities for sweets and treats, so I’m sure my neighbors will appreciate that we are changing it up this year. This would also be a great gift for a family with food allergies!
We made a couple of these wreaths last spring and it was fun to watch the birdies pick at them. I thought this would be a great gift for all ages, and also helps the birds when snow falls. It’s a very easy project, one that the kiddos can help with. The hardest part is just waiting for it to dry completely!
4 cups of wild birdseed
1/2 cup warm water
1 envelope of Knox gelatin
3/4 cup flour (I used all-purpose)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Pam or other non-stick spray
bunt pan or other mold
Whisk in the flour and corn syrup until well blended.
Add the birdseed and stir with a spoon or spatula until it is well coated with the flour mixture. Pour the mixture into a greased bunt pan and press the seed down to pack it into the pan. I usually spray my fingers with Pam, then press the seed to avoid having it stick to my hands.
Let harden overnight. After it has hardened for 12+ hours in the pan, flip it upside down and the wreath should easily come out of the pan. Let it dry overnight again to ensure it is completely set on all sides. Finish with some ribbon and hang in an area that is protected from the rain if possible.
**Note: I also used a heart shaped mini cake pan to make miniature feeders. I stuck a drinking straw through the seed mixture while it was still wet to ensure I’d have a place to put the string after it dried. The recipe above will make 8 small hearts (or other shape), or 1 large bunt pan wreath.
What are you giving to your friends and neighbors this year?