Words from a Reader

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Saturday, September 30, 2023


I got an urge to go back to South Georgia this past week. 

I can't drive down there at this time, so I did the next best thing. I went online and found Mark's Melon Patch where I have shopped in years past.  They carry fresh produce grown in the area and they carry jellies and syrup, with no additives like corn syrup, that I cannot find in my area of North Carolina or in the area of Atlanta where my sister lives.

When I was a girl at home, Mother and I would go to a farm where sugar cane was processed. A horse or mule hitched to a pole, walked around and around while activating a machine that squeezed the juice out of the cane stalk. The juice ran into a large kettle set over a fire. This was called a cane grinding. It was a fall harvesting of the sweet cane grown on the farms. 

Mother liked the juice and we drank a few cupfuls while there. The juice was cooked down and became cane syrup. Mother took home a large bottle of juice and several jars of syrup. Although we didn't think about it then, we were able to buy for a small price, something that was pure. Nothing was added to it - no high fructose corn syrup - as is found in all the syrups on the grocery store shelves today. 
Sugar cane syrup purchased at Mark's Melon Patch online

Although I doubt many farms grow cane now and don't hold cane grindings, someone makes pure sugar cane syrup and Mark's Melon Patch sells it. 

This time of year is when the Mayhaws are gathered. The little red, tart, berries were gathered on our farm by spreading white sheets under the limbs of the low-growing bush-like trees. The limbs of the tree were then shaken and all the ripe berries fell onto the sheets. It took many of the little berries to make even one pint of jelly.

We took the berries home to Mother who had the wizardry to turn them into the most delicious jelly one could ever taste. 

As I craved some of these delicacies I decided to see if Mark's Melon Patch would ship them to me. They did. Right away I had to taste the syrup on pancakes. Soooo good. 
This morning, I opened one of the jars of Mayhaw jelly and it was as good as my mother made it. 

Two jars of Mayhaw jelly and one of pepper jelly

Do you have special foods you enjoyed in your youth and can't find where you live now?


  1. I am so glad that you can revisit those scents and tastes from your childhood. Nothing, but nothing lives up to my mother's pickles, chutneys and jams.

  2. EC, thanks for your comment. So many foods make me think of my mother. Good memories. Glenda

  3. I really enjoy learning about the sugar cane syrup and the mayhaw berries. These are new to me. I miss cloudberry jam. I was able to get some here but they don’t carry it any more. It was an autumn treat in Newfoundland.

  4. I never heard of cloudberry jam, Marie. What is a cloudberry like? Glenda

  5. This was a delightful post. I’ll check your Mark’s Melon Patch as I have never tried either the jelly or the cane syrup. Although I have made a lot of jam this past year, but no mayhaw. My mother used to have blackcurrant bushes in her yard. She would make jam from it and also some sweet liquor. It is very hard to find blackcurrant jam here. Maybe blackcurrant cannot be grown here. I also like blackcurrant ice cream – also cannot be found here.

  6. Thanks, Vagabonde, for stopping by. I have read about blackcurrent jam, but never have I seen it or tasted it. Are blackcurrents similar to blackberries like we have here?


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