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Syrup Making

December 6, 2011

I saw an ad for syrup today.    Reminded me of when I was young seeing syrup being made from sugar cane. Especially the day when I was three of four or so at my great uncle’s farm.  Most of the extended family was there helping. Power was supplied by an old long-eared mule that walked in a circle with a long pole attached to it.  The other end of the pole was attached to the top of a machine.  The turning of the mule in the circle rotated wheels inside the machine.   Men would feed the long stalks of sugar cane in one side, and the stalks would be crushed by the turning wheels, powered by the slow walking of the mule.   Sweet juice would come out to be caught in a bucket.  The juice was taken to be  boiled down into syrup on an outdoor cooker.   The cooker was made of cement, with a wood fire underneath, and a chimney at one end.  Above the fire were a series of sinks, or pans where the juice was boiled down into syrup.   The juice would be poured into a pan nearest the chimney and it would boil.  As it boiled and became thicker, it would move progressively away from the chimney through four separate pans until it was thick and sweet and sticky.  As I was watching, my uncle came by and gave me a helping of fresh syrup on the lid of a coffee can that he used for a plate. Ate it with my fingers sitting on the ground in the warm sun. Great tasting and a good day.

From → Observation

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