Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thankful, 2014: This Kind of Sweet

Early Thanksgiving morning, baking a pie. Pouring molasses, a whole cupful.

As the bottle empties and the pouring slows, time suspends. There is no visible movement, only connection, from bottle to bowl and back again.

In that moment of stillness the thought rises up that maybe molasses is the perfect kind of sweet. Hearty, unrefined, deep. You—who as a child loved to suck on sugar cubes, who as an adult has not managed to grow out of loving any sort of sweetness, whatsoever—suddenly you know that this is the kind of sweet to covet most. White sugar is vapid, has no depth. Brown sugar (as much as you liked to sneak hard little clumps of it when Mom was baking) is something of an imposter. Honey—yes, it is richer, deeper, but it seems to lack strength. The fake sugars—they are all cheats. But molasses—that is the kind of sweet you can desire all your life. The kind that is complex, and strong. It has a history to it, but unlike that unsatisfactory word bittersweet (upset you all your life, that idea of mixing bitter and sweet) it seems to consist of the sweetness left over after the bitter, or maybe the sweetness that rose up from it. A sweetness that triumphs, that gleams, that suspends time as it pours out—even if there is never a hint of glitter.

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  1. I could not agree more. I love, love molasses. There's always a tall bottle in the cupboard. Once or twice a year I can't shake the craving for a giant spoonful of it, a soup spoon full, and at some point in the craving I give in. It's strong, this kind of sweet, and dark and mellow. It's like my body needs something in molasses that it doesn't need from any other kind of sweet. Thank you for writing this - you managed to put into words my lifelong feelings about molasses. XO, alison

    1. I was reading just recently about the health benefits of molasses! The fact that there are flavors like this--that must benefit the soul, too. What a good thing to crave.


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