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Sunday, February 2, 2014

It's Groundhog Day! Come On Spring!

If Candlemas be fair and bright,

Winter has another flight.

If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,

Winter will not come again.
Here in the U.S., today is Groundhog Day. In France, it is La Chandeleur; Crêpe Day. If Phil doesn't see his shadow at 7:25 a.m. this morning there is hope for an early Spring. Truth be told, I can never remember whether Punxsutawney Phil is suppose to see his shadow or not. You would think I'd remember. After all, I do happen to live in central PA, not very far from Punxsutawney.
Groundhog Day has been a tradition in the U.S. since the 1800s (which is when weather records began as well). The date is always February 2 --- why you ask? That day is the midpoint between the winter solstice (shortest day of the year) and the spring equinox (a nice balance of 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness). The first official trek to Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., happened February 2, 1887.
The myth is… if the sun shines on that day, snow will swirl until May. So, if the groundhog sees his shadow when he is brought out of his burrow at 7:25 a.m. on Sunday, myth says there will be six more weeks of winter. If Phil doesn’t see his shadow, an early spring shall be near! (source)

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Gobbler's Knob | Photo by Alex Wong | Getty Images
While I was over at Phil's website, groundhog.org, I figured I might as well see what other bits of folklore I could consume. Here are a few of my favorites:)

1. There has only been one Punxsutawney Phil. He has been making predictions for over 125 years!
2. Punxsutawney Phil gets his longevity from drinking the "elixir of life," a secret recipe. Phil takes one sip every summer at the Groundhog Picnic and it magically gives him seven more years of life. A groundhog's life span is normally six to eight years.
3. The groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, is a member of the squirrel family.
4. A groundhog can whistle when it is alarmed. Groundhogs also whistle in the spring when they begin courting, hence their nickname; "whistlepig.
5. So the story goes, Punxsutawney Phil was named after King Phillip. Prior to being called Phil, he was called Br'er Groundhog.
6. During Prohibition, Phil threatened to impose 60 weeks of winter on the community if he wasn't permitted a drink.
7. The celebration of Groundhog Day began with Pennsylvania's earliest settlers. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states, "For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May..."
Early Christians celebrated Candlemas Day, when the clergy blessed and distributed candles. Roman legions, during the conquest of the northern country, brought this tradition to the Germans...Pennsylvania's earliest settlers were Germans who found groundhogs in many parts of the state. They determined that the groundhog was an intelligent animal and decided that if the sun appeared on February 2nd, the groundhog would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground home for another six weeks of winter.
The earliest American reference to Groundhog Day can be found at the Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore Center at Franklin and Marshall College:
February 4, 1841 - from Morgantown, Berks County (Pennsylvania) storekeeper James Morris' diary..."Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate." (source)
In Europe, the original purveyor of the season was a badger but since there weren't as many badgers in Pennsylvania, German settlers chose the plentiful groundhog as their "soothsayer." Since there are no groundhogs to be found in Alaska, the state has been celebrating Marmot Day since 2010.
Whew! Now can we have some crêpes? Before we begin though, you might just want to take a peek at the recipe for these Pop-Up Groundhog Cookies. Aren't they so cute! And they actually Pop too!
I really want to get this post up before Groundhog Day is a distant memory so, I have "borrowed" the explanation as to why today is also Crêpe Day in France from wikipedia:) I did do a quick search though and I'd say it's pretty accurate. Wikipedia has gotten much better these days:) Sometimes, I offer my research notes to their site:)
In France, crêpes are traditionally served on Candlemas (La Chandeleur), February 2. This day was originally Virgin Mary's Blessing Day, but became known in France as "Le Jour des Crêpes" (literally translated "The Day of the Crêpes", but sometimes given colloquially as "Avec Crêpe Day" or "National Crêpe Day"), referring to the tradition of offering crêpes. The belief was that if you could catch the crêpe with a frying pan after tossing it in the air with your right hand and holding a gold coin in your left hand, you would become rich that year.
This recipe for Crêpe Suzettes comes from a book titled Classic French published in 1996. IMHO, I don't think skim milk is the usual ingredient. I checked a few of my other cookbooks and not one of them calls for skim milk as an ingredient. I would have included the other recipes in today's post but, quite frankly, I have been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days (come on Spring!) and, I have been having both Pinterest issues and email issues which have not been making me feel any better.
Crepes Suzette | Classic French Cookbook 1996
You may also enjoy watching Julia Child make her Crêpe Suzettes for a few tips:)
Happy Groundhog Day everyone and for those of you celebrating Super Bowl Sunday, Be Safe and Enjoy:)
P.S. Don't forget Carrot Cake Day tomorrow! There are lots of Carrot Cake recipes on my Pinterest board and on the Quick Links post I did back in 2010.
National Carrot Cake Day | February 3rd







74 Nibbles:

Cakelaw said...

Cool! The groundhog cookies are so cute - and Groundhog Day is onevof my favourite movies.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I'm back -- just peeking out of my little hole. Fingers crossed for an early spring - there's dense fog outside, so Phil couldn't possibly have seen his shadow, unless it was cast by all the TV lights! If I were Phil, I'd stick around long enough to get some of those super cute groundhog cookies! Are you baking, Louise? :-)

Mae Travels said...

I checked: Pux Phil has just seen his shadow. Uh-oh!

Mijú said...

Que tengas buen día de la marmota :=)
Un saludito

Poppy Crocker said...

I hope you feel better soon! I've about had it with this winter too....

Debra Eliotseats said...

Well, Phil did it again and saw his shadow. Yippee. Way to go, Phil. :(- Love those cookies and thanks for posting Julia for a smile today.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I'm another who can never remember whether Phil is supposed to see his shadow or not! Intuitively, it doesn't make sense (to me) that sunny weather means more winter. Anyway, nice recipe for Crêpe Suzettes! I've made plenty of crepes before, but never this dish. Definitely something I should master. It'd be whole milk for me all the way. We used to use exclusively skim, but it has not taste, and I'm not sure the difference in health benefits is all that much. Fun post. Happy Groundhog Day!

Brandi said...

Growing up in New Jersey, I can remember Groundhog Day being a big deal for kids in school. Now there doesn't seem to be much mention of it here in Ga. Either way I hope Phil predicts spring's early arrival!!

Marjie said...

Groundhogs, crepes and carrot cake! I'm drooling here! OK, maybe not for the groundhog, but for the good weather he's not going to bring...

Pam said...

Well, we just enjoyed a 3 1/2 day break from school thanks to the snow. So, I'm okay with spring coming early!

Nee said...

Hello Louise , a great post and have so much information , I have learned so much from reading your posts , they are not only enjoyable , but also educational . Enjoyed watching Julia Childs make crepes .
Haven't heard if Phil saw his shadow or not , hopefully when the weather gets better , a lot of our problems will be cleared up . Take care , stay warm and feel better . We will be watching the game (they will , the girls and I will be snacking ) :-D give Marion some (((HUGS))) thanks so much for sharing :)

I Wilkerson said...

Gotta love a groundhog that stands up to prohibitionists! Now if we could just get him to call an early winter--perhaps on the grounds that we already had 6 more weeks of winter rolled into the last 6 week???

backroadjournal said...

I like crepe day better than groundhog day. The silly groundhog always predicts more winter. :(

Gloria Baker said...

I love Phil lol but he says : more Winter!! and now I go to see the Julia's video!!

Dottie said...

Dear Louise,
Wow, your post is so informative! Great job and I know the research you have done to find out this information. I don't know where to go first, love it. First, the recipe of the pop-up groundhog cookies are terrific. They are so cute. I knew some info on Punxsutawney Phil, but I learned so much from your post. He is so sweet and 125 years, wow! Amazing!
Next we go to Crepe day, I love Julia Child and remember her taking about crepes. I liked the video, she was something else! The recipe for Crêpe Suzettes looks so good. Crepes are so light, and they can be used with so many recipes, sweet, or savory. It is so strange, my mom just told me on Saturday that a Crepe Resturant just opened not too far from me. And I was telling her about a restaurant I used to go to in New York City called La Crepe. They had delicious food there. Plus Carrot Cake Day is on February 3rd. I love carrot cake, especially with cream cheese frosting. You are just full of terrific information! Thanks Louise for a spectacular post!
Blessings Dottie :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Delicious treats. Happy belated Grounhog Day!

Cheers,

Rosa

Shirley Tay said...

Groundhog Day? I learn so much just by coming here Louise! Your carrot cake reminds me of a recent carrot cake post I had recently. The west & east carrot cake differs so much. Lol!

Lady Lilith said...

Oh my. I cannot believe it is that time of year again considering it is so super cold outside.

grace said...

what, no groundhog meat recipes? ;)
crepes are a rare treat for me, but they're always delicious!

Alida said...

Oh Gosh I loved that video! And who doesn't like the Classic Crepe Suzette!! I didn't know about that Grounhog Day! I have been learning so much from your blog. You really are very informative you are. Thank you!! XX

~~louise~~ said...

I actually watched the Super Bowl Game rather than watching the movie, Cakelaw, Huge mistake!!!

~~louise~~ said...

All the fingers and toes crossed aren't going to change that Groundhog's mind, T.W. I really hope he's wrong but it sure "ain't" looking that way! Welcome back! I was beginning to think you got lost in a snow cloud:) I actually did bake, but not those cookies. Although I should have. I baked bread for Marion's salad. She wanted a salad for the Super Bowl and I went with Panzanella. Of course the only bread baking I did was to heat it up, lol...

~~louise~~ said...

I'm thinking you checked online Mae because all that was on TV was Super Bowl pundits! Uh-Oh is right!

~~louise~~ said...

Hubiera sido un mejor día de la marmota si él predijo no más de invierno, Mijú:)

~~louise~~ said...

I keep telling myself there will be a lot less "bad" bugs in the garden this year after this unrelenting winter, Poppy. I sure hope I'm right and Phil is wrong!

~~louise~~ said...

I would love to make those cookies, Debra, but I'm afraid I might just crush Phil!

~~louise~~ said...

Exactly, John. It just doesn't make sense to me either. My only consolation is apparently, Phil has been wrong 39% of the time. Keeping fingers crossed:) I've made crepes before too but never Suzettes. There seems to be a dividing line as to whether they should be flamed or not. Purists say no. Good thing I don't fall into that category, lol...I say Flame On!

~~louise~~ said...

You grew up in Jersey, Brandi! I grew up on Long Island! I bet you're lovin' that Georgia weather. Although, perhaps, they need to "see" more of Phil down there this year too. I'm hoping he's wrong:)

~~louise~~ said...

We got snow today, Marjie...That Phil, he needs a pice of Carrot Cake!

~~louise~~ said...

That makes all of us, Pam!

~~louise~~ said...

Marion says all these hugs are keeping her "Toasty." Personally, I think all the crocheted blankets she's been working on are sure a help too!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Nope, Inger, that didn't work!

~~louise~~ said...

And we don't even have to move to France to enjoy them, Karen, lol...

~~louise~~ said...

I'm not liking Phil today Gloria, we just got more snow!

~~louise~~ said...

You are too sweet, Dottie. I'm so glad you found this post informative:) Now, about that Crepe Restaurant that just opened by you. Where??? We will have to visit it when I come down to Long Island!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Rosa...I wish the news would have been better...

~~louise~~ said...

I jumped on over to find your Carrot Cake, Shirley. As a matter of fact, I pinned it to my Carrot Cake board. Boy, are people going to be surprised when they see that one, lol...Talk about learning something new, lol...

Rosita Vargas said...

Ricas golosinas para celebrar me encantan las galletas divertidas,hugs,hugs.

~~louise~~ said...

And snowy too, Lady Lilith with more on the way. Grrrrr.....

~~louise~~ said...

Oh, I thought of it, Grace. Now I'm sorry I didn't carry through, lol...

Zoe said...

Hi Louise,

I'm always a big fan of this movie... It is groundhog day watching this movie... never get sick of it... ha ha ha!

The groundhog popping out of the cookie is so cute!!!

Hope that Spring will arrive at your place soon... This means that we are getting winter soon...Sob!

Zoe

~~louise~~ said...

Me encantan las galletas también, Rosita y las galletas de la Marmota son tan divertidos!

~~louise~~ said...

I'm not sure learning about Groundhog Day is a good thing, Alida. It seems he is not right often. Hopefully he is wrong this year but it sure doesn't look like it!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Zoe! I never get sick of that movie either and I'm not much of a movie watcher, lol...Isn't that cookie adorable? I can't say as much for Phil this year though:) Wouldn't it be wonderful if it could be Spring all the time Everywhere!!!

Savannah Granny said...

So funny and informative. Love the groundhog cookies. Have a blessed week, Ginger

Ivy Sew said...

Hi Louise, the Pop-Up Groundhog Cookies pic is so cute!!!! Thanks for sharing with us about Groundhog Day! You have a wonderful week ahead :)

Amelia said...

Hi Louise, excellent posting about the groundhog. Thank you so much for sharing. the crepe certainly look delightful, one of my favorite snack. The pop up groundhog cookies look really cute and awesome, I may want to admire it for a while before eating it. LOL

Have a nice week ahead,regards

Catherine said...


Dear Louise, I heard that the ground hog predicts a long winter. Perhaps he is only fooling with us! lol
Julia Child was the best. I remember watching her show when I was little with my mother. My mom really liked her.
Great vintage recipes. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

Pam said...

I have a sudden craving for crepes now. YUM!

Juliana Levine said...

The groundhog cookies are so cute...and I love crepe suzette...with a touch of Grand Marnier and brandy...
Thanks for such an informative post Louise...
Have a great week my dear :D

Velva said...

This was a fun and informative post. I really enjoyed it!

Velva

What's Baking?? said...

I hv always wondered what Groundhog Day is all abt. The first time I heard abt it was watching a movie called The GroundhogDay and it left me confuse cos the story line shows the life of the actor that keeps repeating over n over again each time he goes to sleep. By the end of the movie it left me mentally tired.. Lol. There's also a Carrot Cake Day? Oh my.. Then I shall bake one soon.. :)

Katerina said...

I've heard about the long winter Louise. This is so sad. The cookies are so cute and crepe suzette an all time classic! Hang in there my friend! Summer will come eventually!

Barbara said...

Take hope on the groundhog prediction....I read someplace he's only right 30 some % of the time.

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Ginger:)

~~louise~~ said...

So glad you enjoyed them, Ivy:)

~~louise~~ said...

Don't admire them too long, Amelia, they seem to be quite a hit!

~~louise~~ said...

I have my fingers crossed Catherine but, it sure doesn't look good:)

~~louise~~ said...

I wouldn't mind a few crepes about now either, Pam. I'll bring the wine!

~~louise~~ said...

I sure wish I would have thought to make such cute cookies, Juliana. Aren't they adorable:) Crêpe Suzettes with a touch of brandy sounds just right!

~~louise~~ said...

I'm so glad, Velva. It was a fun post to do!

~~louise~~ said...

The movie does take some getting use to, Jenn. Maybe now you will not feel so mentally exhausted, lol...If so, there's always Carrot Cake!

~~louise~~ said...

It sure is getting old, Katerina but, as you say it won't be long now, lol...

~~louise~~ said...

Oh I am Barbara, I heard 39% which is still good:)

Lynn said...

I have not seen those groundhog cookies before, Louise. You find the most interesting things! The Crepes Suzette look delicious, too. So many recipes, so little time. Happy sigh.

lena said...

i hv never heard of groundhog day..but the cookies are super cute...with the groundhog's teeth sticking out :)

going out now, shall come back later to read more.

SissySees said...

What a fun post! I might enjoy it more when snow isn't forecasted for most of the upcoming week...

Amanda Johnson said...

Great post! Interesting facts about Groundhogs day! I know growing up in Wisconsin it wasn't too big of a deal to me if he saw his shadow or not. You know you are going to have three more MONTHS of winter regardless! BRR its cold there. My Parents said it's been the worst winter in 20 years. I briefly visited at Christmas and back to TN I went, frozen and sick. Its been a rough winter here too though. Super cute cookies btw! :-)

~~louise~~ said...

I just couldn't resist them, Lynn. They are so cute! I know what you mean. There are so many recipes I would love to try. One day I am going to at least start my list! Thanks for visiting Lynn. It's always so nice to "see" you:)

~~louise~~ said...

You are probably better off not hearing about Groundhog Day, Lena, lol...If you ever have the opportunity to see the movie with Bill Murray, you should give it a try. Not that it will explain it any better though, lol...

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Channon...

~~louise~~ said...

Welcome Amanda!
Thank you so much for visiting...

Oh those Wisconsin winters are nothing to sneeze at Amanda but, it is beautiful up there in the Summer. Tennessee is nice too. I've been there a couple of times by Murfreesboro many years ago:) Hopefully your cold has cleared up by now although as you said, Tennessee is no picnic this Winter either. Thank you so much for visiting. Drop by anytime:)

Brenda Perez said...

I enjoyed watching her show! I make Crepes with brown sugar and butter that I caramelize then add bananas like for bananas foster and add that to the crepes. YUMMY

~~louise~~ said...

Oh my goodness, Brenda that sounds delicious. Bananas Foster are my very best favorite!!! Thanks for visiting...