Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oh, boy, what a dummy! I am going to tell all in regards to making my seed cakes! I screwed up. I ran over to K-Mart of find some perfect bird seeds to make the cakes. I found something that looked pretty good. Here is the bag I bought:

The first thing I did wrong was to not take more pics for you guys!

Secondly, when I went to K-Mart I looked for plain gelatin, and all they had were flavored ones. I was talking to the lady in the garden shop about what I was doing, and I had said I was concerned about using sweetened jello due to bugs, etc. and she said, "Well, you are already going to have corn syrup in it". Well, duhhh...OK, so I decided I already had a flavored/sweetened one at home, so I would use that.

Problem #3 was that the one in my pantry was a sugar-free jello...which means it is sweetened with aspertame. It was also strawberry flavor, so it put a red hue on everything.

Now I am concerned about giving aspertame to the birds. Does anyone know if this would be terrible. I have tried Googling the answer, but haven't really found anything!

The recipe is soooo easy, I could go ahead and throw out this batch, and chalk it up to experience.

The 4th thing I did wrong was BELIEVE I had a small square clean roughly 4 x 4 inch plastic disposable container available (I always do)...and then as I was ready for it, there were none! What a dummy. The good thing was that I had plenty of time to work with the mixture before it dried too least 20 minutes I would say.

The square corelle serving dishes I used were the wrong sizes, but I took a butter knife and easily cut them into the sizes I wanted. I cut a 4 x 4 x 1.5 block for my cousins' suet feeder, and the biggest block I cut in half and put the half on top of the other half and pushed it down to make a thinker block for my feeder. Perfect. I left three chucks here to throw in with hers, or use in mine, if I decide it is OK to feed to this stuff to the birds.

To push down or manipulate the seeds while molding them, I suppose it would be good to oil up your fingers/hands to keep the seeds from sticking. I ended up using the back of a large spoon, and they did not stick to that AT ALL.

Here are my creations. Now I just have to wait two days for them to harden completely. Please let me know your thoughts on aspartame, if you know anything at all about safety in birds.


Julie said...

They do look awefully sexy though with the pink hue!!! :)

Cindy said...

I would use this rule that I apply to any questionable foodstuffs, for man or beast: When in doubt, throw it out. At least it probably wasn't a costly mistake.

Lynn said...

Okay, first of all please stop calling yourself a dummy!
You are experimenting, learning something new, that does not mean you are dumb, it means you are within the "learning curve". My life got considerably better in all ways when someone first told me that. So please take heed!

Okay, now, I have no idea about the diet needs of birds. If they are ON a diet, I guess the aspertine would be good. They don't want the added calories of sugar. If they eat too much will they get the runs? One of those sugar subsitutes does that to humans.
Call a vet? Do vets treat birds?
Ask Teri C. she has a bird.
Lolo likes & draws birds, she might know.
Cris feeds birds she might know.
The call is OUT. Your answer should be coming to you soon.
Good luck. They are pretty these red bricks of yours!!!!

Pokeberry Mary said...

Well, they're pretty! I don't think aspartame is a big problem for birds. Heck they eat lard, and bugs..

Can't wait to see if they like your seed cakes!

Serena said...

You're no dummy, Julie...I do things like that A LOT! :)

I'd advise to err on the side of caution re. aspartame, Julie. From my own standpoint, I refuse to take anything that contains aspartame due to all the controversy over the use of aspartame in artificial sweeteners. Aspartame contains methanol which breaks down into formaldehyde (embalming fluid) and formic acid in the human body. Here are a couple of links you might find helpful -

I'm really sorry to put a downer on it especially after all your caring and loving efforts for the birds. :(

young-eclectic-encounters said...

I don't know about birds but aspartame gives me migraines and I can not eat or drink it. I have visions of the little birdies with their little heads tucked under their wings cause their heads hurt. But you never know lots of people don't have any problem with it and my sister just to let her Parrot drink regular Pepsi
Johnina :^S

meemsnyc said...

Nice job on the seed cakes. I doubt the aspartame will be harmful, I mean... humans consume it, and I've seen birds eat really gross stuff. :)

young-eclectic-encounters said...

Look for plain gelatin with the canning supplies or next to the jello isle it is usually pretty well hidden on the top shelf, the best brand is Knox. I make knox blox and they hold up to warm little hands better than jello jigglers.

Darla said...

Clueless as to the danger it may pose to the birds.. they are the most attractive seed cakes I have seen. Keep us udated.

donna said...

I don't know about the aspartame, but I often wonder about the few drops of red food color I put in the nectar I make for the hummers. That red dye can't be good for those little tiny bodies.


yoon see said...

Hello Julie! It's great to be experimenting new creations!
Wow! Lynn has got the points.
Could ask these ladies for opinions:)
Sorry, i have no ideas on this..