TITUS, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s a family tradition with some sweet results. It started for Jimmy Stubbs when he was just a little boy.
“I grew up on a mule farm and my dad raised sugar cane all his farming years," said Jimmy Stubbs. "He died in 1968 and I decided we are going to keep planting and raising sugar cane. We set up a mill here in ’69 and we’ve been making syrup ever since.”
So Jimmy Stubbs and his crew fire up this process every year before Thanksgiving. It’s pretty impressive how it goes from the field to the jar.
“You grow cane all year and cut it in the fall before the first frost,” he said. "We strip it, run it through this mill here and squeeze it. It’s about 80 percent water. You have to cook the water and byproducts out. You gotta set your pan at the right elevation so your byproducts and skimmings go to the back. You don’t want them cooked into the syrup.”
Sure it would be a lot easier just to buy some syrup from the store. This is time consuming, messy, and hard work.
“It’s a working process raising sugar cane," Stubbs said. "It’s all manual labor.”
But it also takes you back to a much simpler time, and memories that make you smile.
“Things we grew up with we like to hold onto,” he said.
Stubbs says he makes about 100 gallons of sugar cane syrup every year. He’ll be at it again next year, a few weeks before Thanksgiving. A little piece of the past, and a sweet reminder of a Stubbs family tradition, making their own sugar cane syrup in Titus, out along County Road 12.