Sunday, January 28, 2007

high energy

We bought half a grass fed Angus beef last week from a local rancher. It's a big chunk of change to shell out all at once, but the freezer is full of good beef that didn't spend any part of its life in a feedlot, didn't have to endure the indignity of a large commercial slaughterhouse, and didn't have to be shipped from a thousand miles away to a distributor, then again to a grocery store, to appear on pink Styrofoam platters wrapped in plastic.

A bonus from this purchase was a box full of suet. Suet is a great food for attracting birds, but it is getting harder to find, and more expensive, in grocery stores. I've heard the reason is they are now getting more money to render the suet and put it into animal feeds or...well, I don't want to know. But this producer doesn't ship away the leftovers. He also asked if we wanted any liver; he personally does not like it and was willing to give us as much as we wanted. We got about three pounds; I've never eaten liver before, but I'm willing to try.

I put up the suet in a feeder this afternoon and was instantly mobbed by over a dozen chickadees. It's cold out, and they somehow know that this has the energy they need to make it through the night.

By the way, the heavy chain in the background of the photo was one of Calvin's ideas from last summer. I still don't know what he was up to...


Anonymous said...

If you've never eaten liver before, you may think it's strong-flavoured.

A good remedy for that is to wash it well, then soak it, sliced, in cold water in the fridge for several days, changing the water daily. I have kept it for up to a week this way; for every day in the water, the flavour gets milder.

Drain it, salt it, and bake it in a covered dish with plenty of sliced onions and maybe a bit of bacon, if you have it, until the onions are done. Delicious!

pablo said...

Liver is a great source of cholesterol!

Anonymous said...

Pablo's right but liver is also a great source of iron- everything in moderation. Liver with bacon and onions...perfection! Yumm.

Anonymous said...


Hurry, maybe there's time to get the suet back from the chickadees.

LauraHinNJ said...

I like FC's comment!

Are there bears by you Deb? I wonder what else you might attract with your generosity. I'm sure the birds will be happy and warm though!

Deb said...

wanderin' weeta- Thanks for the cooking tips! Bacon seems to make everything better. :)

pablo- Last I checked, mine was a bit high, BUT that was due to the HDL's (good cholesterol) being high off the charts. So I figure an occasional meal of liver, if I can stand it, won't change much.

lynne- I've heard that; vitamins A and D, iron, and all other kinds of good stuff.

FC- The chickadees will stand for none of that kind of talk! And, I'll give the liver a fair chance...just like I did rutabaga, which I am not planting again this year.

LauraH- Yes, the suet will have to come down in early April; nothing like waking up at 5 AM to the sound of a feeder being torn apart by a giant hungry black bear, just ten feet from the window!

LauraHinNJ said...

Shows you what I know about bears - they're sleeping now - duh! Sorry.

Deb said...

Perfectly okay, Laura, it's really hard to predict exactly when they will be active around here. I think I made the mistake of thinking the bears were well fed in July and August, hence I put up a suet feeder which had a huge midnight visitor...Yikes!