Recipes with Rhonda: Sorghum Cookies

March 6, 2024

My grandfather Brandenburg was an entrepreneur of sorts and grew and sold many things to support his family back in the 1930s. He had a small general store, and it seems there was a general store about every 1000 feet or less. There was a store by Aunt Alcie’s and one close to the school all within walking distance of where my mom grew up. One year Grandpa Brandenburg chose to grow sorghum cane and placed a press near grandma’s house. Sorghum brought only about .90 cents a gallon in the Great Depression and if you didn’t have a mill, you could pay someone .40 to make a gallon for you using your cane.

Sorghum cane can be squeezed to make sorghum molasses and the seeds can be used as grain in salads and is used to make flour. Unlike cane sugar and refined sugar, sorghum has nutrition and a lower glycemic index. It contains protein and potassium and was originally brought to the United States by Benjamin Franklin. Sorghum is the fifth in the world of cereal grains. During the early 1930 sorghum growing was subsidized by the farm bill also and was used as a substitute for the more expensive refined cane sugar. Maybe Grandpa took advantage of the government subsidy or maybe he grew and processed sorghum to feed the family.


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