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Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

As a preschooler, I loved to traipse behind my Daddy as he strolled our small farm. One of my many favorite places in the early fall was to walk down the hill to the farmer next to us who grew and processed sorghum.

I watched, mesmerized, as the small homemade mill thrashed and transformed sorghum stalks into thick goofy syrup. Most haven’t had the privilege of watching this process of turning healthy molasses into a mainstay at the dinner table. In our family, homemade hot biscuits dripped with the tantalizing tart flavored syrup. As years passed, the old farm mill nearby vanished, but not my acquired taste for its product.

I’m surprised when people outside the south are unfamiliar with our cultural treasure. Grocery stores do not carry the type of sorghum southerners eat. It’s found in select locations, without added ingredients or preservatives. A few places in several states are noted for their production. The true southern cook checks the origin of the product and uses only pure sorghum. At a food trade show in the fall of 2017, I became excited when I saw a booth promoting sorghum. Yes, it was made in one of those acceptable places for southern cooks, but that was all. A closer look revealed it was a sweet sugar cane syrup with slight flavoring of sorghum. Unfortunately, the man at the booth knew zilch about sorghum.

What is so good about this delicacy? The flavor is unique. Don’t mistake this product for syrups made from sugar cane. This tasty sweetness contains a host of nutrients from vitamins to minerals. It has a significant amount of vitamin B6 plus potassium, magnesium, and iron with lesser amounts of riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and zinc. One tablespoon of syrup supplies about 60 calories.

A google search revealed that others, like me, refer to this delectable syrup as sorghum molasses. I wondered why our modern era calls it sorghum syrup. According to varied google responses, the sugar cane industry hijacked the term molasses to use in conjunction with their sweetener―sugar.

I found few internet sources for real sorghum, most with exorbitant prices. When you acquire this “can’t-do-without” product, try these cookies. The recipe is online. Rest assured, coming from my kitchen, the sorghum I used was the real thing. Use this delightful healthy, tangy golden brown syrup in your fall cooking.

Molasses cookies uncookedGinger cookies cookedhttps://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/big-soft-ginger-cookies

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Pears—Gift of the Gods

Though the pears pictured do not have a textur...

Image via Wikipedia

 

After hot humid days with temperatures soaring over three digits, a cool front ushered in Labor Day Weekend. The welcomed coolness shifted thoughts from luscious green salads and fresh summer produce to fall fruits and cool-weather vegetables. Peaches bowed to the juicy sweet and grainy texture of pears, once called the “gift of the gods.” While pears may be available at different times, I think of those seasonal varieties from August through October.        

Over 3,000 varieties of pears exist worldwide. Better known varieties in the United States include Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, D’Anjou, and Seckel, each with distinct flavors. Pears, cousins to apples and quince, are members of the rose family. They provide rich sources of fiber and good sources of Vitamin C.       

Kieffer pears, abundant in the south, lack the mellow sweetness of the Bartlett but are excellent for canning and preserves. It’s those pears that remind me of summer’s end. Nostalgic thoughts drift toward canning pear preserves to use in Christmas fruitcakes. Pear honey, a recipe from my husband’s family, is always a hit with hot biscuits or toast and great over plain yogurt. Although often altered from the original recipe, the quality of this heavenly concoction seems unaffected by slight changes in proportions and methods. 

With pears in season, try your own adaptation. Then, enjoy the fruits of your labor. 

 Pear Honey 

    8              cups finely chopped pears 

    5              cups granulated sugar 

    1              (20 ounce) #2 cans crushed pineapple in syrup 

Cook chopped pears and sugar in a large saucepan for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add pineapple. Cook 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour into hot sterilized canning jars and seal. Place jars into a deep saucepan or water-bath canner. Cover with hot water. Bring water to a boil and process for ten minutes. Carefully remove hot jars and allow them to cool before storing. 

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