Q and A: canning apple cider syrup and starlings and blackbirds — 6 Comments

  1. James you piqued my interest with your question on the birds. I read what I could find. It seems you can eat starlings, but the concensus was that you should cool them down quickly, and to wear gloves when defeathering (I forget the correct term) because they are not ‘clean’ birds. Then they said the breast meat was the only thing large enough to save, and you can cut it into smaller pieces and grill like on a kabob, or you can stew the meat with vegies and thicken the sauce, then bake in a pie like the old nursery rhyme. They said starlings are dark like goose meat, with a bit of a wild taste, but that they are considered a delicacy in Europe. I hope this helps. In my state starlings are considered nussiance(sic) critters, but that isn’t the case in all states. Need to call fish and game to find out in your area.
    best of luck,

  2. Go to food banks. I got 20 lbs of leg-thigh quarters and a hen at one last month. I get about 45 meals from that amount of meat. Even if you eat more than I would, you can still get a month’s worth of meat from that one trip to the food bank. Some times, they give a turkey. Today, I received a package of six chicken legs, a package of ham for sandwiches, and a gallon of frozen blueberries, a package of hamburger buns, 20 cans of food, one pound of dried beans, a box of cereal, and three packages of cookies. The cookies I will give away. Since there are 11 food banks that I can go to, there is plenty of meat and beans, canned food, and sweets. Fresh fruit and vegetables when I only purchase what is on sale. Good luck.

  3. The “CAT TAIL” part of the plant, while it is yellowish in color, and young, can be bent over a bucket, and using your hand, just wipe it off into the bucket. This can be used 1/2 and 1/2 or 1/3 – 2/3 with AP flour to make muffins and pancakes. But remember to only select plants from areas where there isn’t heavy traffic, and also be watchful of any possibly poisonous water snakes.
    Dandelion greens can be cooked like turnip greens, or mixed with turnip or beet greens. But don’t pick in areas where dogs and cats might be doing their business. Poke Salat/Salad greens. YUM! The birds around my area have made my yard poke salat alley. Please remember the seeds and stems are poisonous, even if the leaves aren’t. The smaller leaves are more tender. I forgot on dandelions, pick the new yellow blossoms, rinse well and remove any green, dip in a thin batter and fry. I like them. Also the wine we used to make from the blossoms, when I was younger.
    If TN has those nice big blue crawdads, like I used to catch in AR, whole boiled, fried tails, gumbo, just to mention a few ideas to use them.
    I wish you and your family the very best.

  4. I wish the Tenn, couple lived closer to western Ill. I would invite them to live here in our great big house that we rattle around in and he could help me in my garden and I have lots of canned food and meat to be canned yet. I would love that.

  5. James and Frances
    Starlings are not protected federally, and I don’t know of any states where they are. Blackbirds however are protected federally, but can be harvested in depredation situation. The laws regarding depredation harvest are kind of mirky. Another one you might consider, if they are around, are feral pigeons. They are not protected anywhere that I know of, and are quite tasty. A lot of meat on them compared to a starling to.