Christmas was really a special time for all of us. Daddy (we three younger ones, namely myself, Mable, and Nett for some reason always said Daddy instead of Papa like all the others) always bought a crate of apples, oranges, a stalk of bananas, and a big round of cheese. This was really something we looked forward to having cause we never had any during the rest of the year. Mama always had the big safe full (and I mean full) of every kind of cake and pie you can name. Yes, there was always her coconut cake. To this day I love red jello because we never had this except for Christmas. It was always red with lots of whipped cream. Heavy cream was skimmed off the top of the big pans of milk and whipped.
Early fall was syrup making time. Daddy always had a big patch of sugar can and they moved the syrup mill in to grind the cane and cook the juice into syrup. Reba said it was Uncle Johnny Ford’s syrup mill but Daddy always had to oversee the cooking to it would be cooked down like Mama liked it. It had to be just so, good and thick, to suit Mama and far as I know, Daddy was only one that could cook it right. And it was good!!! I can remember the mule going round and round to keep the grinder going and someone feeding the sugar cane in. Then the juice was poured into the big long pan that was divided into sections with a fire kept going under it and as it cooked it would run from section and when it got to the last one. It was ready to be drained off into buckets and sealed.