Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mmmmmolasses

Daddy. Rolling out the barrel.


His crew.
A major ingredient in recipes for cookies, cakes, pies, casseroles, meats, breads, vegetables.
Strong alcoholic drinks.
Let’s face it. If you eat. Or drink. You’ve probably eaten (or drunk . . . drinked . . . drank . . . dranked?) this.
Just picture it.
Sticky sweet. Dark. Rich.
Slows down in January.
Yep. Molasses. The boiled down juice of sugar cane and/or sugar beets.
Papa of golden sugar and grandpapa of crystallized. Major sweetener in so many things.
And an especial favourite/fattener of cattle.
And that is where this story starts . . .
Daddy had taken his (then) two children with him to feed the cows.
Okay, yes, that probably doesn’t sound all that exciting. But it meant a truck ride.
And thus, two willing participants. Aged three and two.
The truck pulled into the field where the aforementioned cows made their home. The three piled out.
Daddy got to work. His ‘helpers’ keeping a close watch.
He rolled a barrel of molasses to the ‘lick’.
Now for anyone who may not have seen this, a lick is just that. A large steel container with a wheel suspended inside which, when turned, dips into the sweet stickiness and brings it to whoever’s tongue happens to be operating the wheel.
Genius.
If one happens to be a cow.
Between you and I, attempting to place my own tongue on the business part of said wheel would have been . . . how can I say this without sounding disgusting? . . . icky.
Back to my story . . .
Daddy dipped his finger in the molasses as it poured from his smaller container. Tasted it. “Mmmm!” He smacked his lips for emphasis. “Yummy!”
He dipped the finger of his eldest child, the three-year-old, in it. Obediently, she did as he did and stuck it in her mouth. “Mmmm!”
Yep. She and the molasses were instant friends.
Dad tried the same technique with his two-year-old son. Who made a face and couldn’t be persuaded to try again, despite the subsequent coaxings of his elder sister.
Dad left them to it, elder sister enticing and smaller brother protesting, and went back to his work.
In a short time, his barrels were empty and the lick full.
He loaded the canisters and the kids back into the truck and headed for home.
Partway there, his little girl suddenly showed signs of gastric distress. He slid the truck to the side of the road, grabbed her and hustled her to the ditch.
Where she subsequently deposited about a half-cup of molasses.
Obviously she had been doing much more than coaxing her brother to eat. 
Oops.
Back home she was cheerful and smiling and ready for dinner.
But Daddy learned his lesson.
Already sweet kids don’t need further sweetening.
An important point.

11 comments:

  1. There's a limit to how much of that 'sticky sticky goo' you can hold.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dads can't be counted on to assume children are up to the worst . . .

    And I believe the word you were looking for is "dronk."

    ReplyDelete
  3. Colour me jealous. Oh to have the constitution/digestion which can evict unwanted food and be happy and ready to eat again so quickly...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I was thinking. I simply don't bounce back. Sigh.

      Delete
  4. I've heard about molasses cookies, candy etc, so several years ago I downloaded a recipe for molasses cookies. Bought the molasses, tried a bit and found it unbelievably awful, but made the cookies anyway, thinking perhaps the baking would help the taste. nope. Cookies were awful. I threw out the whole batch and the jar of molasses. it was very strong as I expected, but bitter which I hadn't expected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if it's different in your neck of the woods. Ours is quite sweet.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That was a great read Diane, thanks for sharing!

    I remember when I was younger I used to like eating vanilla ice-cream with molasses poured over the top of it. The molasses was quite chewy and hard, but wow was that good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Husby would totally go for that! I'm telling him! And getting out the molasses!

      Delete

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