Monday, August 25, 2014

Sorghum Making

If you drive the back roads through the country in Southeastern Kentucky in late summer, you might be fortunate enough to see a strange looking crop growing in the fields.

 Its foliage is tall and green, the stalks with tassels topping the heads resemble corn without ears.

Its called sorghum cane and is used for making Sorghum molasses,it made its way to our country from Africa in the 1800 hundreds.

My father often planted some each year, to make sorghum for our family and to share with neighbors and friends.

It's sweet syrup like taste makes for some good eating, mother used sorghum in making a cake she called Molasses Cake that was so moist and flavorful I could  just about eat a whole one myself.

"Sorghum needs a warm climate to grow in." The best sorghum comes off poor land. It needs little fertilizers, withstands drought and the only weather damaging to the crop, is usually when wind blows it down.

In my fathers day the canes stalks were fed through a mill press, powered by a  mule pulling a  wooden pole attached to it .

The juice was screened and extracted into a home made evaporator cooking pan.

 The pan used a wood fire,  beneath it to cook the juice.

 The entire process took about 30 minutes to make a batch of the sweet tasty Sorghum.

It was a tedious process, one that required  a certain amount of skill, Evert Weaver a friend of my fathers was a craftsman at it for many years, and rated by many as one of the best in our community.

Been a while since I had some good sorghum, I use to try to find me some when I would go to Kentucky,  but seems like anymore its getting harder to find .

Hope you enjoyed our  Sorghum making lesson today, if you're ever down in Kentucky in the fall of the year, you just might want to check out these two places I hear they still make sorghum.

Renfro Valley, in Rockcastle  co. Ky.
West Liberty, in Morgan co. Ky.

Until next time,    God Bless.

Coleman Schell


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