Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Making sugar cane syrup, the old-fashioned way

  Years ago we had a sugar cane press at home that we used occasionally to make juice with and boil it into a syrup. When my parents moved we salvaged it and now it was restored to working condition and put to use again.
Grandpa needs all the help he can get to get this machine up and running again.

 After that was done, it was time to head to the field and cut our cane.

 That sweltering Belizean summer heat can get to a person pretty quick these days.

  The sugar cane has to be washed in order to get a clean clear-looking syrup. Or if we want to drink the juice.

 On one side the cane sticks go in. In this case two went in because they were so small.

On the other side it comes out, all wrung out and squeezed dry.

One long cane stick produces almost a pint of juice. One gallon of juice makes about a pint of thin syrup.

 The juice is a very unattractive greenish looking liquid. It will change color completely.

 Get a fire going to boil the sugar cane in.

 Here we poured it through a sieve to get some dirt out and into the pot.

 Bubbling, boiling juice.
 Grandma handing out samples of juice to the grandkids.

This is the syrup after it is just done. It settles somewhat and turns a clearer color later on. It closely resembles sorghum syrup made in the southern US, but if made right, will be sweeter and less sour.

I believe we have just started a new family tradition! Our whole family really enjoyed the day and the work together, besides, we love the syrup!

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