Growing up, I didn’t have much appreciation for the taste of sorghum. Hot off the pan it was pretty good. Bottled, not so much.
That’s not to say that I didn’t appreciate sorghum. “Cane season” as we called it, starts sometime in September, and can often run well into October.
It’s a month or more filled with hard work, fellowship, and good times.
Growing up in an environment where almost all social events revolve around work isn’t so bad. It teaches you the value, and even fun of working together. It leaves little opportunity for being one of those infamous teens with nothing to do but get in to trouble.
Bundles of cane curing in the field
Even those times we got together with peers to go swimming in the creek took place after a morning of hard work - otherwise, why would you need to go swimming?
But I digress.
A load of cane maknig it’s way to the presses
Yesterday was the first day of sorghum cooking in the community where I grew up. Gabriel and I went down to visit and load up on sorghum.
Pressing. The juice, which is ultimately filtered three times is gravity fed from
the mill to the cooking house.
For me, it’s always a trip down memory lane, and though I don’t wish myself back there, living that lifestyle, I can’t deny the memories of good times.
On lunch break. An empty press
I think that many kids would benefit from a less profligate upbringing. The abundance of pampering in modern society is overrated.
Juice on it’s way from holding tank to pan. Though it looks quite gross, it
actually tastes really good - if you’re brave enough to try it!
Young people are seen as useless because they add little value to society.
The same group of people who don’t value them, have trained the to be valueless. They’re told to have fun, because they only get to be young once.
The man who taught me the art of “cooking” always emphasized cooking by sight
and feel rather than relying solely on temperature and pressure guages. In this picture you can
the the gradual change from watery on the right, to almost done on the left.
They don’t respect themselves either. After all, what is there to respect?
Teaching young guys and girls to work from a young age isn’t about keeping them too busy to get in to trouble.
Much of what comes out of the pan the light colored, foamy by-product that you see here.
It tastes just as good - kids eat it like candy - but by the time it cools, it’s so stiff
you can barely get a spoon in it. Excellent candy indeed!
“Getting into trouble” is a poor substitute for doing something worthwhile.
If parents and children worked side-by-side, children wouldn’t have to take their parent’s word for it that they’re more knowledgeable than the kid’s peers. They’d know from experience.
From the pan, the sorghum is poured through a strainer into a cooling
tank and bottled.
Now tell me, where am I going to put all this sorghum?!