A Suet Christmas

I made a lot of items for Christmas using our cow’s suet.  The first project was making Pure Tallow Soap.  This involved melting the tallow I had already made from out suet in a crockpot.

Then I slowly added lye water to the melted tallow.  Then I used my immersion blender until I reached trace.  

Then I cooked the mixture for an hour, and it passed the zap test (doesn’t sting on the tongue).  I added frankincense essential oil at this point.

I poured the mixture into molds.  They sat for a couple of days,  

Then I took them from the molds, and cut them into bars.  The circular ones had a snowflake pattern on the top and the square ones had tree patterns on top.  I somehow managed not to get a photo of the finished soap.

I also made Bird Feed Suet Ornaments using this recipe for ornaments and this one for suet cakes.  I mixed melted tallow, bird seed, peanut butter, nuts and some dried fruits and then pressed this mixture into cookie cutters.  I cut pieces of straws to make holes for yarn for hanging later.  Here are the ornaments at this point.  They went into the freezer and then I was able to remove the cutters.

I also made a Bird Feed Suet Wreath.  It was basically the same ingredients but placed in a bundt pan.  This went into the refrigerator.  I had trouble removing the wreath from the pan so had to run hot water on the outside of the pan to start to melt the tallow and then it came out.

suet wreath in fridge

And then I made Bird Feed Suet Cones.  This first involved collecting cones around our yard and drying them in front of the stove.  Tom is an expert at this as he used to gather these cones, dry them and sell them.  You can see how much they open up with drying.  It took several days.

I mixed up another batch of melted tallow, peanut butter, peanuts, bird seed and dried fruits.

suet mixture in crock pot

This got pressed onto the cones just after yarn was tied around them.  This was a little tricky as when it was too warm it didn’t stick and when it was too cold it wouldn’t either.  I finally got better at it and let them cool hanging on shish kabob sticks.

Here are the ornaments ready for wrapping as presents.

Finally I made a suet chicken leek pie

I also used shredded suet in making lemon mincemeat using a Downton Abbey Cookbook recipe.

So I used a lot of suet for making Christmas presents and food this year. It was fun and felt like I was exploring history.

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5 Responses to A Suet Christmas

  1. Cottontailfarm says:

    Everything looks wonderful. Happy New Year to you and yours.

  2. Jeanne says:

    Very interesting! I had no idea you could do so much with suet!

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