This is the continuing saga of Grace, a baby boomer, adventurer and lover of the environment, as extracted directly from her diary, as she wrote it. Grace lives between her residences in Canada and Ecuador.
It is exactly as written in her diary.
This afternoon we went for a walk to Samuel's sugarcane factory. We came in the back lane from my house through the cane fields. It is somewhat similar to making maple syrup and maple sugar.
The sugarcane is brought to the factory by donkeys or mules from nearby fields. It is then fed through a press that squeezes out all the liquid. The liquid is much sweeter than maple sap, and takes about one and a half hours to become Panela, which is the step before raw sugar.
The canes, after the liquid is taken out, are dry and brought around to the other side and fed into a underground fire. There are four large pans of sap boiling on top at different stages of thickness.
When it is just the right thickness and temperature it is poured into the final vat. Here it is blended with a large wood pallet until it is ready to be poured into the moulds. The men work fast pouring and levelling. It is then cooled and the moulds removed and packed into bags for shipping.
We sampled the liquids from the different vats, I found it really nice with fresh squeezed lemon juice in it to cut the sweetness.
For our benefit today, Samuel had them make candy statues for us. This is done by blending the sugar to just the right thickness and then quickly pulling it up into a statue which is hard to the touch immediately.
He also had Mayra and I make candy. This is done by putting a thin layer of melted sugar on a piece of banana stock. Once it cools we took it off and and stretch and pulled it for about 20 minutes. We put lemon juice on our hands to keep it from sticking, you had to work it very fast. I ended up with it stuck to my hands and couldn't get it to let go, was rather funny and sticky, but my hands cleaned up with lemon juice and water after I got the most of it off.
Mayra was buying 20 pounds of Panela to make a drink called chicha for their wedding. It is made in a hollowed out gourd. Albert got to carry it home on his shoulder, he was ready for lemonade when he got to my house.
Grace is the Project Administrator for Touch The Jungle in the Intag area of Ecuador
Support GRACE and her Touch The Jungle projects via her Auction.
To read More Adventures of Grace - go to the alphabetical index of my blogs at http://www.andrehugosplace.com/index-of-blogs.html and look for Grace
Slide Show Photos are also from Grace's Diary.
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