Cooking for Critters: Light on the Cooking, Heavy on the Peanut Butter

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While you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving feast in the comfort of your heated home, spare a thought for the birds and squirrels stuck outside.

These recipes require no cooking, just a little creativity and a lot of peanut butter. All measurements are approximate and can be changed depending on the size of the materials you have on hand or are able to find. Don’t worry; the critters won’t care.

Peanut Butter Pine Cones


  • 15 inches of string
  • 1 pine cone
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup wild birdseed


  1. Attach one end of the string to the pine cone with a loop at the other end so the pine cone will be able to hang on a branch or hook.
  2. With a knife, cover the pine cone in peanut butter while avoiding the string. 
  3. Pour the birdseed into a bowl or tray and roll the pine cone in it until completely covered in peanut butter.
  4. Hang the pine cone outside immediately or refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.

Swinging Seed Sock


  • 1 mesh laundry bag
  • 1 spool of thread
  • 1 sewing needle
  • 4 cups wild birdseed


  1. Cut a long rectangle out of the laundry bag from one of the corners and turn it inside out. Sew it up, about half an inch in, from the long open edge.
  2. Fill the bag up with birdseed and tie or sew the top closed. It’s best to do this outside, as you’ll probably spill some seed through the holes in the bag right away. 
  3. Tie or sew a loop of string at the top of the bag so you can hang it, then place it outside.

Perfect Peanut Garlands


  • About 2 feet of strong thread
  • 1 sturdy sewing needle
  • 1 bag of unshelled peanuts (unsalted is best)


  1. Thread the needle, then tie a loop at the free end of the thread to keep the peanuts from sliding off and push the needle through each peanut to string them together. 
  2. When the thread is almost full, cut the needle and its knot off and tie another loop for hanging.
  3. Hang the garland between two branches or hook or wrap it around a small tree.

Follow these instructions, and your yard animals will be the best fed on the block. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.