Well, the end of this week we will be celebrating that world holiday know as Groundhog day. This is not just a Pennsylvania thing, groundhogs are actually in other parts of the world, besides the good old USA or even to just here on the Cape as many us think they come to vacation. But the Groundhog also known as the Woodchuck, Whistle-Pig or even some will call it a Land-Beaver but by any other name is still part of the rodent family, one belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. When I first starting reading about these critters my first thought was you have got to be kidding me. But come to find out that there is more to Groundhog Day then just the over sized stuffed fluff ball that we pull out of it's hole to see if it will see it's shadow. Speaking of shadows, I always thought that they had that silly little saying backwards, you know see his shadow 6 more weeks of winter, so no shadow spring is right around the corner? Seems after reading up on this observation we call Groundhogs day there is more to it then just a Land-Beaver doing his thing. Anyway the old tale actually goes back that noted that clear skies welcomed snow and frost to continue for 6 more weeks, where if cloudy and dark meant warmth and rain would thaw the field for earlier planting. So you get the picture, the Woodchuck just got into the act recently, relatively speaking.
But again February 2 is so much more. Ok I get a couple of email things that started me on this trek of searching out what this day was all about besides a fuzzy over sized rodent or a funny movie with Bill Murray. So between the internet, The Farmers Almanac, and a few other Celtic sights I found out that February 2 has quite a bit going for it. First it is the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. This means of Saturday we are halfway through Winter or halfway till we get to Spring, Can we say bring it on as this point. From Pilgrim and Colonial days where customs where brought from the old world, February 2 used to be the start of the cleansing period known as Februa where Christians would clean out the Yule greens from their homes and churches, and the field would be cleaned and brush burned in preparation for the coming plantings. Another farm relation issues is that lambing season was at hand. February 2 is know also as Candlemas or the blessing of the Candles for the year a Scottish background, also Crepe Day in France, Our lady of Navigators in Brazil and virgin of Candelaria in Spain all of which has ties to the Cape through past history or recent through work visas or immigration.
Growing up I had heard several of the sayings but never really realize where the roots of Groundhog day came from. Some of these old saying you may have heard from you Grandparents or older relatives or story tellers. But just for the fun of it here are a few that I have found that to with this wonderful observance. From the old English: If Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Winter will not come again. From our friends in Scotland: If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, There will be two winters in the year. From Germany: For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, So far will the snow swirl until May. For as snow blows on Candlemas Day, So far will the sun shine before May.
Well if you want to know more of the subject of just google Groundhog day or February 2 and you will get a myriad of sights to fulfill you need to know more on this subject. The only thing I could not find is for all the states that have multiple groundhogs trying to predict if we are going to have 6 more weeks of winter or not, the state of Massachusetts nor Cape Cod has there how designated winter wacker wonderer. I am thinking that maybe we need to get our own, but why stick to the Groundhog? Why not go with something like, Loui the Lobsta, or Capey the Crab or even what about Coddy the Cod Fish. You would think we could come up with something of our own than having to relay on those over the Canal fluffy butts. Well you be the judge of that one. And until we come up with something, I'll check the oil in the lighthouse lamb and clean the lens, maybe home of them critters might need a beacon to find there way to the Cape, or not. Oh ya by Massachusetts state laws it is unlawful to relocate a land-beaver aka groundhog on your own, just saying if you where thinking about it, naaa not me. Have a great and wonderful and Groundhog Day, especially if you can do it on the Cape. Until next time.
Well not that I really planned this is way but, what a great way to start my fifth Wednesday recipe than with an appetizer just in time for the Super Bowl. Now for all those of us New England Patriots fan who really would prefer at least one different in the game, let's put our hard feelings away and at least have a good time feeding our faces. So with all that I can say, I love the Super Bowl for 2 reasons, first it's the only time of the year that I would rather stick around for the commercials and take my beverage, bread and bathroom breaks the rest of the time. And the second is it's one of the best times of the year for fun new finger food recipes. Well this appetizer falls right into that category and when I fell across it, I just had to add it to the menu list for this year. It's easy, it's tasty and well it's just fun to share with a crowd. So have a great and wonderful and hope you team wins or whatever you are hopping for. Now on with the show.
This weeks recipe: Crabmeat Cocktail Appetizer
Cut cream cheese in half lengthwise. Arrange next to each other n a platter. Pour the cocktail sauce over the cream cheese. Top with the crabmeat. Sprinkle chopped green onions over top. Serve with your favorite crackers.