For us here on Brady Street, the only life experiences the four of us have in common are the things that have happened since July.
One of those shared experiences was a story about sugarcane, and then a quest to find and experience sugarcane.
Now, it would be most ideal to go to a place where sugarcane is grown. My uncle and aunt, Myron and Mary from Mississippi, have invited us to observe their process if we can find a way to visit.
But, thanks to Kari Myers of Puerto Rico and her son Cameron, we received a package in the mail last week.
“Can you guess what that is?” I asked Dracko as he investigated the white cardboard shipping box. “Can you see where it came from?”
“Sugarcane!” he said.
At our Lee family gathering, a number of us crowded onto Lowell’s front porch to try a piece from 13-year-old Dracko to Marnell’s mother who is 78 years old. It felt a little like communion, because we all partook together. As we chewed, everyone fell silent, mesmerized.
“It’s sweet,” I said. “It’s really chewy.”
“Uh-huh,” Dracko said, heading for the porch railing to spit the fibers into the flowerbed.
“It’s surprisingly watery,” Jen said.
“It is sweet,” I said. “You can see why sugar comes from it.”
“I feel like you have to boil a lot down to get sugar,” Jen added.
Sugarcane is unlike anything I’ve ever chewed.
5 fast facts about sugarcane:
- Sugarcane is definitely sweet. As you chew, a sort of sugar water pours out into your mouth. The fibers of the sugarcane are kind of like celery but much tougher.
- Sugarcane is short-lived. In a few seconds, the sweetness is gone, and you are left with this mouthful of fibers. Most of us spit them out over the porch rail into Doris’ front flowerbed.
- Sugarcane grows from sugarcane stalks, according to the video I watched. So, no, Doris probably won’t have a stand of sugarcane in her front flowerbed just because we spit fibers there. But, if we would have planted that whole stalk that Dracko is holding on the video, maybe.
- Sugarcane stalks feel indestructible. This particular kind of stalk is reddish brown. It looks like bamboo and feels like it would be about as easy to peel as an iron crow bar. Cameron sent us one stalk, but then also nicely peeled a stalk for us. I have no idea how he accomplished it. If he hadn’t, I’m not sure that we would have ever gotten it out.
- Sugarcane, for us in the north, is a life experience that we will probably not forget. And so fun to share that time with others!
Thanks again, Kari and Cameron!
Good news! I’ve heard from several people who have actually read Captain Garrison in its entirety this week. Wow! Thanks for passing this on. I’m always happy to hear from any of you: Katrina@500-words.com. And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out Captain Garrison here.