Melvin’s Homemade Cane Syrup
If you don’t have a couple of bottles of molasses on the kitchen shelf all the time, it sure pays to stay chummy with folks that grow sugarcane or those that make molasses. For me, I usually have a little stand of sugar cane growing somewhere near where it might be needed if you know what I mean.
To cook up some molasses, best to get you some canes early cause it takes some tendin’ to put up molasses. A cane has ’bout three good glasses of juice if pressed real good. That’s not really that much so you better plan on needing 8 or 9 canes to get a gallon of juice for cookin’.
After gettin’ the cane, wash it real good. Use just water. Don’t use no soap. Look to see if there might be little critters anywhere on the cane. You don’t need no bugs in your molasses. After that, get you a sharp machete and start choppin’ ’em up. If’n you was goin’ to make you some rum, it’d be best to peel off that bark before choppin’ ’em up but don’t really make much difference either way for rum or molasses. Course sure would be nice if you had a cane press but most folks don’t.
Take you a big ‘o pot and put them cuttings in it and cover them with water. Oh… almost forgot, put a piece of that chopped cane in you mouth and suck all the juice out you can. Remember that sweet taste. You’ll be testing your syrup a bit along and when the cooking juice tastes as sweet as that cane stalk your done cooking the cane. Okay, you got the choppins covered with water so it get it boiling – probably take a hour or two. You’ll see them cuttins turning sort of brown. That means they’s cookin and the juice commin’ out of the cane.
When the cooking is done – when that boiling water is sweet like the cane stalk was, stop the cooking. When it cools enough to handle you gotta strain all the cuttins out o the juice. Make sure the cuttins is all out else you going to have it in your molasses.
Pour the clean juice in a clean pot and boil that juice. Boil it some more and when you think you’re done boil it a bit more. Cook it so that water cooks out o the juice and you gettin’ a thick syrup in the bottom of that pot. Watch you don’t burn it – the thicker it gets the more likely you’ll let it scald or burn. Watch it close. You might want to take the pot of the fire once in a while for a second or two if it looks like it might be too hot. You ain’t makin’ caramel so be ready to yank the pot offin the fire now. When the bubblin’ slows down a bit and you got lots o’ bubbles that sort look like glass, take the pot off the fire and spoon out a bit to see how thick it is going to be. Doubt you’ll want to cook it any more but remember it’ll thicken a bit more before you put it up. When it’s cool, put it in jars with lids.
A heaping big spoonful of molasses mashed up with a big pat of butter is good with biscuits or cornbread.