I Love Lucy! and sugar cane

I Love LucyLucy is the nicest, most generous person I have ever known. I could do a whole blog on her kindness to people but this particular blog is about sugar cane 🙂

Lucy my neighbor, was born in Panama. She met a GI from the states  while he was stationed at the Panama Canal and the rest is history. Retiring back here to Panama after living all over the world, Lucy is to us gringos the ‘go to’ person for anything Panama, and/or Spanish.

My husband and I met Lucy one day soon after moving here. We were walking down the hill, on our way to town when Lucy in her hot, gold, sports car, stops, introduces herself and offers us a ride into town. She is a whirlwind of good, positive energy.

Lucy has a garden in the back of her condo and one day she gave me a tour of her cute little garden. The plot is maybe 8′ wide by 15′ long and is a working garden. Lucy is a good cook and uses her garden Pretty flowers to entice you and practical fruits and veggies in between. Papaya tree, Pepper plant, Bananas, and Sugar Cane just to name a few.

‘No way! Sugar Cane?’. ‘I’ve never had sugar cane’, I said.


Lucy pointed to a tall stick propped up against the wall beside me and said ‘Yep, that’s sugar cane!’

I thought it was bamboo.

Lucy was so shocked that I had never had sugar cane, she immediately, and determinedly walked into the house and came back out with a machete! Yes, a machete – all Panamanian households have one don’t you know;)

She chopped off about a 5″ piece of the stick and said ‘here!’. ‘Uh, what am I going to do with that?!?’ I said. Lucy rolled her eyes and said ‘look!’, and started chewing on the stick like it was a carrot, spitting out the pulp after extracting the juice.Quickly I tried and quickly I liked! I’ll never forget the taste. Perfectly sweetened by mother nature, it beats any sugar you can buy in the store which is way too processed ruining the taste and the nutrients.

Quickly I tried and quickly I liked! I’ll never forget the taste.

Perfectly sweetened by mother nature, it beats any sugar you can buy in the store which is way too processed ruining the taste and the nutrients.

Perfectly sweetened by mother nature, it beats any sugar you can buy in the store which is way too processed ruining the taste and killing the nutrients. I became a fan for life.

Speaking of sugar… the sugar I buy here in Panama is called raspadura, or panela and is the first press from the sugar cane. I love using this sugar, it taste better and works beautifully in sauces. It’s cheap too and is made by locals. It comes in different shapes, like a cone, or muffin bottom, depending on what mold they pour the liquid sugar into. I saw this in the states but never tried it. Now it’s all I use.

Back to Lucy… Thank you, Lucy! That was fun!

 Your friend in Christ,

Julie

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