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  • Here's what I did today: hopped in the car, drove about a mile over to Hominy Valley Organic Farm, and got down to strawberry-picking business. I filled a flat for $18 (at $3/pound). If you live in the area and are looking for delicious, organic, U-pick strawberries, come see Farmer Tom Monday-Friday after 2 pm. Tell him I sent ya! Now, on to jam, and Popsicles, and pie, and galette, and pickled strawberries, and more! ??????
  • Pretty much ANY time is a good time for pickles, especially now that I've added @foodinjars delicious Quick Pickled Strawberries to the mix. Sublime!
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  • A testament to the power of social media: saw @holedoughnuts post an image of their Buttermilk Cardamom Black Pepper donut this morning, ate lunch, and then made the 20 minute drive over to enjoy some in person with @glennbenglish and Huxley!  Completely worth it. So, so good!!!
  • It's not a significant thing, nothing major. Just a walk down the driveway to gather the mail. But when I do it with Huxley, and we stop to say
  • Hominy Creek, doing its spring thang. || View from our mailbox.
  • Attended my first ever handmade/homemade swap yesterday, at a friend's sweet home in Black Mountain. SO much goodness, all thoughtfully and lovingly made. Huxley came with me and ran around with the kiddos while the swap took place. I contributed these little jars of rosemary honey, which @glennbenglish artfully topped with straw-blown watercolorings. Such a great afternoon with like-minded friends and fellow mamas! Thank you so, so much for hosting, Amanda!!!
  • Saturdays are for French toast on the porch with @glennbenglish and Huxley Wild while rain showers wash over the cove. || Used @farmandsparrow's Heritage Corn Bread and @oldworldlevain's Double Raisin & Flax Bread to make cardamom French toast, served alongside butter, maple syrup, and Hominy Valley Organic Farm strawberries, all washed down with hibiscus iced tea (our warm weather cold beverage go-to).
  • A visit today to farmer Tom Kousky of neighboring Hominy Valley Organic Farm yielded: flats of flowers (geraniums, celosia, and marigolds); starts of pickling cukes, zucchini, and yellow squash; 12 basil plants; two bundles of asparagus; a bunch of spinach; a bunch of radishes; two bunches of beets; and two pints of strawberries. The obvious way to celebrate all of this goodness was to blend up some strawberry milkshakes. Happy weekending, everyone!
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  • This was work today. Sweet, delicious, patio-consumed work. Shrimp & grits, for the win.
  • It's the time, of the season. || Recipe for my
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Sorghum Smitten

Although I was born outside of Chicago, in Joliet, Illinois, I’ve spent the greater part of my life in the southeastern U.S.. As a Southerner, then, I’ve long been privy to bits of commonly known regional information. Which is to say that I’m well aware that the sole vowel in the color “pink” is often swapped out with an “a” when said aloud (say it with me now-”Pank”), that the term “Darlin’” can be both a term of endearment and a reproach, and that there are very clearly drawn lines in the sand when it comes to the preparation of BBQ (the war of saucy versus vinegar rages large).

What I’ve been less schooled on, however, is sorghum. Though the long-running sweetener indigenous to the region before the sugar cane barons pushed it out, sorghum wasn’t part of my southern roots cuisine. Until this past year, that is. Hubs and I discovered several local producers of the grass-related sweetener and have been smitten ever since. So much so, in fact, that we offered a 3-part series of recipes showcasing all things sorghum last winter. If you missed them, here’s what we shared:

*Sorghum-Roasted Short Ribs with Ponzu Citrus Fennel Slaw

*Sorghum & Bourbon Salmon with Brussels Sprouts Braised In Sorghum & Hard Cider

*Sorghum-Glazed Pork Chops with Sorghum Collards

Sorghum is having a renaissance of sorts, it would seem. We’re not the only ones taking notice, either. NPR did a bit on the cane sweetener last week. The Local Palate, a magazine based out of Charleston, SC, has a Caramelized Apple Upside Down Cornbread Cake featuring the sticky stuff that will definitely be coming out of my oven.  Our chocolate buddies, Jael & Dan, are even offering a Sorghum Caramel Truffle (go get it, now!).

If you haven’t yet heard of sorghum, don’t be surprised if you do soon. It’s versatile, delicious, and domestically-produced.

Consider yourself now properly Southern-schooled.

10 Responses to Sorghum Smitten

  • Rhianna says:

    Oh sorghum! Where I’m from in Kentucky there was a Sorghum Festival every year a few counties over. Definitely going to check out your sorghum recipes… thanks for posting those (I’m fairly new to your blog)!

  • Tracey says:

    Even though I grew up in a military home, moving around yearly, both my parents were southern born and breed, there was always hot biscuits and sorghum on the table. Now I have been married to a southern for 30 years and we still make sure to have sorghum in the house [ along with grits and cornmeal]!

  • Rebecca says:

    I had no idea you were from Joliet! (I’m reading from there now :))

  • Melanie J. says:

    I saw that sorghum truffle this past weekend! Didn’t partake (went the hazelnut, maple, and buddha route instead….oh goodness, such decadence!), but was delighted to see that it’s enjoying a local resurgence. Man, those folks know chocolate! Already looking forward to my next visit :) P.S. May already have a line on a job in Asheville! Cross some fingers for me!

  • oukay says:

    We used to always eat the Lum and Abner’s brand where I grew up in Arkansas. We would cement mixer it with some butter to produce the most lovely golden color, apply it to bread and enjoy!

  • Danielle says:

    I just made gluten free muffins with sorghum flour. It’s a great alternative to regular flour. Now I need to find the syrup. I’ve never seen it in California, but I’ll be looking!

  • val says:

    Another southerner here with little sorghum experience. I’m eager to get on the bandwagon. I’ve bookmarked another recipe from Local Palate:
    http://www.localpalatemag.com/component/zoo/item/oven-roasted-heirloom-pumpkin-with-calabrian-chilies-fresh-curry-leaves-and-sorghum-vinaigrette.html
    I also want to try a sorghum-based ice cream.

  • I remember going to the Sorghum Syrup Festival in south Georgia with my grandparents – or rather the “Soggum Festival” as my Paw-paw would say. :-) There were greased poles, lumberjack contests and the whole nine yards. Then I would come come, mix some syrup with some Country Crock, and have myself a biscuit. ;-)

  • Katie says:

    I was just looking at our near empty container of sorghum this morning, thinking that it’s time to buy more. This transplanted Yankee loves it!

  • Laura Booth says:

    I went with my school’s FFA last week to make sorghum at the Great Smokey Mountains Farmstead! Since my friend and I were the only one’s working out of the kids we each got a jar, it is so sweet! Were gonna go in a few weeks to make it there again!