Tag Archives: Muddy Pond Sorghum Mill

Muddy Pond Sorghum is SWEET!

10 Jan


My grandfather Phillip Justice was a North Carolinian and a huge fan of sorghum syrup. Grandpa felt naked at the dinner table without a piece of bread in his left hand. And that hand was usually soaking up some leftover gravy, potlikker from greens, or, most likely, some dark sorghum syrup. My Dad remembers trips to his Grandmother’s house in the hills of Western NC where he actually witnessed sorghum being made. It was a time consuming project, but a project that often evolved into a community gathering.

Deep in the hills of Tennessee, midway between Nashville and Knoxville, lies a little community called Muddy Pond. During September and October, you can smell the aroma of fresh made sorghum syrup being made by the Guenther family. Stop by the Muddy Pond Sorghum Mill and watch step by step as sorghum syrup is being made. You can taste the syrup while it is still warm and purchase some to take home with you. You can watch the horses walk around the cane mill as the juice is being squeezed out of the sorghum cane. You may hear the train whistle blow as the wood fired, steam locomotive boiler makes the steam that boils the juice down to syrup.After making sorghum syrup since the mid-1960’s with others in the community, John and Emma Guenther started the family operation in the early 1980’s. Three of their sons; Mark and wife Sherry, Pete and wife Doreen, and Eddie and wife Ruth also run the mill. John and Emma’s daughter, Judy, helps at the mill. Several of the grandchildren can be seen filling containers and labeling jars.

What Is Sorghum Syrup?

Sorghum syrup is made from the juice of sorghum cane. Muddy Pond Sorghum is pure sorghum syrup with no additives. Don’t mistake sorghum syrup for molasses. Molasses is the by-product of the sugar making industry. Sugar cane juice is boiled down to make sugar and the syrup that is left is called molasses. It is usually strong and dark. Sorghum syrup is mild and can be eaten alone or on biscuits, rolls, and toast. It is also good in baked beans, barbecue sauce, gingerbread, popcorn balls, cookies, pies, and cakes.

Learn more about Muddy Pond Sorghum by viewing their web site at:


Gingerbread Cake with Sorghum Molasses

3 Dec




This cake is based on a classic dessert that SAVEUR contributing writer Shane Mitchell found in a collection of recipes belonging to her great-aunt Fanny Lee Seabrook. Sorghum gives the cake a lighter texture than molasses does.

2 tbsp. vegetable shortening, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups plus 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sweet sorghum syrup or unsulfured molasses
4 tbsp. grated, peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Rich Caramel Icing

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Using a pastry brush, grease a nonstick 10 1/2-cup bundt pan with shortening and dust with 1 tsp. of the flour, tapping out excess. Sift remaining flour, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt together into a bowl and set aside.

2. Put butter into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Add sugar and beat well. Add sorghum or molasses and grated ginger and beat well. Add one-third of the flour mixture at a time, folding in thoroughly after each addition. Dissolve baking soda in 1 cup boiling water and beat into flour mixture on medium speed, then beat in eggs, one at a time.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing out top. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

4. Let cake cool completely in pan on a cooling rack, then invert onto a cake plate. Serve as is or glazed with Rich Caramel Icing.

NOTE: For a great sorghum source, contact our new friends at the Muddy Pond Sorghum Mill in Monterey, Tennessee. They can be reached at 931 445-3589 or via snail mail at 4064 Muddy Pond Road, Monterey, TN 38574. The Guenther family will take good care of you.  http://muddypondsorghum.com/