If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.William Morris.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Off to Arkansas

It is seems like I am playing catch up sometimes, I did not post yesterday because "the man of the place" and I went to the Canehill Harvest Festival. We left early cause we were wanting to eat there and watch the small parade they usually have. But didn't this year because it rained, the first time in 10 years. We were so hoping it would clear up but it did not. So we spent some time  there wandering around inbetween showers.
They showed you how to make sorghum syrup. If you do not know what sweet sorghum is, it is like molasses but made from  the sorghum cane. The link I have here tells you a lot more about it. It is a neat thing to watch and fascinating process.
First they take the harvested cane and run it through a pressing wheel to squeeze out the juice from the cane. Before tractors or motors, a horse or mule was the power and usually they  have one doing the work but this time because the harvest was poor due to the hot, dry summer they had it hooked up to a tractor by way of a belt. You can not make out the belt very well in this picture. The tractor is out of the picture to the left. To the right is what looks like a tree limb suspended, that is where the mule would be harnessed up and would walk in a circle to turn the press.
Then the juice needs to be cooked down so most of the liquid is evaporated and becomes a thick dark syrup. They do that in a special boiler made from copper and is over an open pit fire.

Sorry, you need to tilt your head a little to the right to get the right angle. I was going for the view of fire and the cooking pan. The pan is about 6 - 7  feet long. The raw liquid goes in one end, gets cooked and ends up at the far end. where it is drained into a bucket, cooled and put into jars for sale. We use the sorghum in place of molasses, honey or maple syrup. Just depends on what type of taste you are wanting in your dish.

Now we are in Arkansas and they were part of the Confederacy during the Civil War, so you will see men  dress as soldiers. You see Canehill  was a site of a battle during the Civil War. In N.W. Arkansas there a quite a few battle sites.

These handsome men were enjoying a little music that was being played on a stage to their left.

And there is always a small quilt show with quilts made by women in Canehill and surrounding small communities. I always enjoy seeing them because a majority of the quilts are hand quilted. There is a group there that meet and quilt each week. Here are a couple of the ladies that do meet there giving a demonstration of how to quilt. Telling the crowd what they are doing and taking questions. I'm a hand quilter and I'm all for the promotion of hand quilting. We can not lose a valuable part of quilting.

And I just love the quilts behind them so here is a closer look.

I have a thing for applique quilts. Plus hand quilted, you might of well put a bucket under my chin to catch all the drool from my mouth being in a "aah" position. So that was part of my day and then we drove around and went antique shopping.
Fun, Fun.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, those are lovely quilts. Hard to imagine the hours of work that went into each one.


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