A couple weeks back, we took a look at sorghum growing in the field and I told you that it used to be turned into a sweet syrup back in the old days before cane sugar became so cheap. You can still find it in the south but it is no longer mass produced. I thought you might like a recipe for making your own sorghum syrup. I will assume that you probably have an acre or so of the sorghum cane harvested and ready to go.
The first thing you should do is pick a nice cool morning and get up early. The process is pretty hot so you won't want a warm day. If your mules are already awake in the pasture, you probably over slept.
Your set up should look something like the pictures shown above. Waggons full of sorghum cane, water wagon and steam engine. You can use your draft horses to pull everything into place. You do have draft horses don't you? A friend to help is a good idea. Pick somebody with a weak mind and a strong back for the best results.
Next, you will want to fire up your steam engine. You do have a steam engine don't you? You don't? You sure you are really dedicated to becoming a sorghum syrup maker? Maybe you can borrow your neighbors steam engine. You will need it to press the canes and boil the juice. Go ahead and get going, I'll wait.
if you reach up and fiddle around with these valves every few minutes, you will make people think you really know what you are doing. They don't really do anything, but part of the process involves looking cool.
Keep an eye on the oil level as well. If you begin to run low, you can add some from your oil can. Be sure to use authentic steam engine oil.
When your engine has a good head of steam, give it a test run to check that everything is working to order. If your neighbors are sleeping, give a tug on the rope and blow the steam whistle. They will probably appreciate that you are looking after them. Nobody likes to sleep in.
If everything is running ok, connect your steam engine's drive wheel to your press using a long leather belt. Give the engine some steam and your are ready to go. Start feeding in your sorghum canes.
The press will crush the sorghum canes and free up the juice. You will want to collect the juice in a clean bucket. At this point he juice is a watery sweet liquid with a slight grassy taste.
Once you have collected the juice, pour it into your steam boxes and use the steam from your engine to heat the steam boxes.
The heat will boil the sorghum juice down to a syrup. Every once in a while, skim off the green stuff. You don't want the green stuff. Green stuff is bad, it looks ugly and tastes like grass.
Once you have the syrup all cooked up, you will have enough for the next year. Enough for you and your neighbors, friends, relatives and people that you don't really like, but you have to be nice to, because you work with them.
Now have your favorite cook person make you a big stack of pancakes and biscuits because you have syrup and nothing to put it on! Go on, get going, we are done here.