A few years back Blind Pig reader Paula Rhodarmer left this comment:
“Dear Tipper, I too love honey mixed with butter, and I also love good, country-made molasses mixed with butter and slathered over a home-made biscuit. Sadly, I have to be super careful how often and how many I eat. I would like to sit down to some and not get up until I’ve had my fill, like I used to do. I remember my grandmother referring to molasses and honey as long sweetening and short sweetening. I can’t remember which was which, but that is what she called them. Have you or any of your readers heard them called that?
Here’s what the “Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English” had to say about long sweetening and short sweetening.
long sweetening noun Heavy, liquid sweetener, usu molasses or honey.
1895 Edson and Fairchild Tenn Mts 372 Will you have some long sweetening from this jug? 1955 Parris Roaming Mts 153 An old timer is one who remembers…when long sweetening was honey and short sweetening was maple sugar. c1995 Pioneer Farmstead 10 Sorghum cane was for the pioneer the source of molasses, sometimes called “long sweetening” because of its rope-like texture. It was eaten straight from the jar or used in cooking as a general substitute for sugar. 1999 Montgomery Coll. = only molasses (Cardwell).
short sweetening noun Usu cane sugar.
1955 Parris Roaming Mts 153 An old timer is one who remembers…when long sweetening was honey and short sweetening was maple sugar. 1999 Montgomery Coll. = grain sugar (Cardwell)
It seems like I remember Roy Pipes also leaving a comment about long sweetening being sorghum syrup. Have you ever heard the sweetening terms?