Linda’s Stream of Conscious Saturday combined with today’s Just Jot January had some interesting vowel twist of sap/sep/sip/sop/sup. So I thought I would play a little with some flash fiction. Come join us for some fun and interest as we try to meet today’s challenge.
The screen door slammed as Jerry entered the kitchen sniffing the air of fresh backing cornbread just coming out of the oven.
“Sup, grandma. Smells great in here.”
“Sup? All that education you have had and that’s the way you talk.”
“Sorry. Good afternoon Grandmother. How are you this fine evening?” he teased pecking her on the cheek.
“Hmp, now you are just being ridiculous,” she said as she sipped in her tea. “There is sweet tea in the fridge and get out the syrup so it can be warming up a bit.”
Reaching in the fridge, he pulled out the bottle of Georgia Cane Syrup made by Johnson’s farm at the southern part of the state. He poured himself a large glass of tea and came to sit at the table across from his grandmother as she finished slathering butter of the steaming ears of corn. Reading of the bottle of syrup he noted the date on the back label.
“Does syrup get old?” he asked.
“No, why do you ask?” she said.
“It’s got a date on the label.”
“Oh, that’s a best used date, before it starts to separate,” she explained.
She stopped with her hand on her hips and stared at her grandson. “Have you learned nothing from me and this farm? What is syrup made from?”
A gleam lit in his eyes knowing a good banter was in the making. “Well that depends. You have maple syrup where they pull sap from a tree, boil it down to make syrup.”
He glanced up to see the good natured scowl deepen on her brow.
“We don’t grow maple trees here in the south. We grow cane. Your grandpa had 2 full acres ever year before he passed. The sugar cane juice, sap, is boiled down as the cane is crushed. If you let it sit too long on the shelf it will turn to sugar crystals – separate. Here, take your plate and grab you some field peas and greens from the stove. Pork chops, corn and cornbread are already here on the table. How big a piece of cornbread do you want?”
“Normal size for now,” he said. “Then I will get a bigger slice to sop up remaining juices on my place before I add the syrup.”
“Yea, that’s the best part of the meal,” agreed Grandma as they settled in to a warm enjoyable meal.
Growing up in the late 1900’s gave a different meaning to the family meal. It was a time for fun shared over good food, teasing to help you grow with lots of assurance of love and togetherness. We seem to have lost that as we are rushing to the next battle to conquer. A lot of the encouragement has been lost and we find ourselves at times not knowing exactly what the next step needs to be. So I challenge you this year to try to regain some of that back. Love on you family members and friends and encourage each other. And as always…remember to be kind. Even when drawing a hard line if needed, it cane be done with love, encouragement and KINDNESS.