Monday 3 February 2020

Rosemary for Me ... and Fat Treats for the Birds

The Rosemary plants in the old tin bath  have gone rampant.  One in particular was about to go over so I went out armed with strong scissors and gave it a good 'haircut'.

It looks so much better now and hopefully won't go to seed, and it meant that I had some lovely big branches to process in the kitchen, ready for use in the next few weeks recipes.  I love rosemary and use it in all sorts of things, it goes wonderfully on roasting vegetables or salmon fillets for Alan.  The smell alone in the kitchen is simply wonderful.

First I pulled off all the little leaves that would have sat below the water line in the jug.  I simply checked for bugs and then put them on a tray in the bottom oven of the Aga until they were fully dried out.  It took about 30 minutes, with me giving the tray a shake every few minutes to make sure they all dried out evenly.

After that time this is how they looked.  I then chopped them up very finely and tipped them into a clean jam jar.  Now they are ready for use in any soups, stews or breadcrumb mixtures that I make over the next few months.

The large branches are now in one of my old jugs on the worktop.  

They are better than a vase of flowers in my opinion and every time I'm close by I can't resist a stroke of the leaves to get that lovely aroma onto my fingers.  The good news is that even after just a couple of days, two of the branches are already showing signs of  getting little roots, which means I will be able to pot them up and perhaps take a couple of pots to the Van next month.

And the fat of the title?

Well, I was sorting through the fridge and found a block of coconut fat, so far past it's use by date that even I decided against using it.  Although it did still smell fresh!!   Not one to waste food though I immediately thought of all the little wild birds that are currently pinching our chickens layers pellets and corn each day and so thought I would give all our feathery friends a treat. 

I just left the fat to melt near the Aga and then tipped into it a mixture of finely chopped nuts, seeds, some leftover cooked pasta and a couple of handfuls of oats.  Once I had filled the fat with as many tasty treats as it would hold I popped it into the fridge and left it overnight to set.

The next day I chopped it into 'brownie' sized chunks and scattered them around Chicken World.  The birds loved them, both the chickens, the now resident Pheasants and all the little birds that have made our property their home.

And listening to the cacophony of birdsong I caught on my phone the other day, it sounds like they are all happy little birdies!

Sue xx


  1. Rosemary always seems to do well doesn't it, I have 3 small bushes here, I always walk past and run my fingers through it to release the smell. You have spoilt the birds, they do deserve it though and need all the help we can give them with their habitats being destroyed, we have around 40 or so Goldfinches come everyday now and we have had to put up the giant feeders for them and ended up buying a big sack of sunflower seeds for them, I don't mind though, they are all welcome to come in and feast.

  2. What a good idea. I think all of us find things at the back of the cupboard when we have a tidy out that could be used up in this way.

  3. I do miss feeding the birds but we have had to stop as all the food they dropped from the feeders attracted a rat into our garden and it made a home in our raised bed, we stopped it going in there and then it moved into the compost bin. even though I love animals, rats give me the shivers. We still have the water bath , I love to see them splashing about in there

  4. Fresh rosemary is wonderful, I agree. Such a scent and it's attractive to look at too. The flowers are such a wonderful blue as well. What's not to love.

  5. Homemade suet - very cool! I have suet out for our birds but it is store bought! Thanks for the lesson! HUGS

  6. I do this with all my meat fats that render down. Mix with oats and other bits and pieces. The birds love it. No fat going to landfill.

  7. I love your video! It sounds like Spring!

  8. Our rosemary is one of the few herbs that can withstand our cold winters. I also give them quite the haircut with a very strong scissors.

    Good job on finding something to do with the coconut fat so it was not thrown out.

    God bless.

  9. Perhaps we could tolerate a bouquet of rosemary, in the house.

    We can't have flowers in the house, because of allergies. But an herb, would be different. -smile- Have to wait till summer, to see, though.


  10. You've reminded me that I need to buy a new rosemary plant!


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