Meridian Star

Local News

November 24, 2012

Old fashioned cane syrup being made today

MERIDIAN —     Herrington's Syrup Mill will be in operation today for those who love cane syrup, and who appreciate the way things used get done.

    Robert Herrington created a tradition of making cane syrup the old fashioned way when he revived the practice in the 1990s, using a horse to grind the sugar cane, a wood-fired furnace and a copper pan to reduce the cane juice to thick, sweet molasses.

    The process usually begins about daylight. If all goes as planned the first batch of syrup will be ready about 10 a.m.

    Herrington said the history of the operation goes back to the farm of Lewis and Emma Burnett from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. With new generations the mill was moved, both in the 1940s and the 1950s. Eventually production stopped in the mid-1960s.

    "In the early 1990s I realized a dream," Herrington said. "With the advice and knowledge of some of those cherished older mentors the old mill was resurrected."

    Herrington's aunt and uncle, Mamie Burnet and Buddy Smith, were essential in helping him get things going again.

    "Both of them are now resting after enjoying long lives of hard work, but I feel their presence and the love that helped to make a dream of mine come true," Herrington said. "When we hitch up the horses and light the fire to once again follow the tradition, I am certain that their spirit and those of many others is present."

    Herrington shared his Aunt Mamie's recipe for tea cakes using the homemade cane syrup. He found it in his grandmother's recipe box titled and written like this:

    Syrup Cookies — Mamie

    2 eggs

    1 cup syrup

    1 cup sugar

    1/2 cup oil

    2 tablespoons buttermilk

    As much flour as it takes to make stiff enough to drop with spoon and press with a fork.  

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