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Need an excuse to get together? This weekend is it!

snack buffet Happy Gourmand

I know, you can all hardly wait, as it has finally arrived and soon we will be able to celebrate with the usual food and drink that accompanies the whole event…

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Did you think I was speaking of the Superbowl? I suppose that could be a reasonable assumption, but I was actually thinking of that other big event this weekend – Groundhog Day. It really is a big thing in those locales where there is a resident rodent to “prognosticate” on the status of the coming spring. In a country where weather is a large part of our daily water-cooler talk and even our identity, it is surprising that we do not make more of this effort to encourage spring along! After all, for those of us who have not already escaped to some warmer clime to fend off the aches in our bones from the biting cold, this is one bright spot. February has no other holiday in it, for goodness sake!

Okay, so maybe I am taking those beer ads too seriously (you know, the ones that say we have two seasons – July and winter?!) But in the doldrums of the month that is the shortest but often seems the longest, I for one think any excuse for a celebration is a reasonable one. I plan to watch the Superbowl, and I plan to celebrate Groundhog Day too. Valentines’ Day is good for a bit of warmth if you can beat the commercial superficiality out of it, and if I can find some folks who want to come over for a Mardi Gras Party, then before I know it spring will be here (whether the little rodent sees his shadow or not!)

 groundhog day Happy Gourmand

I went to visit the website for the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, where the whole week’s events are posted by the hour, from the pancake breakfast to the Punxy Phil Anything Goes Chili and Wings Cook Off (I kid you not, these are real events. I guess you need sustenance in between visiting the weather centre exhibits and the weddings at Phil’s chapel, not to mention the Prognosticators’ Ball and the midnight showing of the Bill Murray movie.) I found this news most encouraging, and so I say why argue? If you haven’t been celebrating this special holiday, you are 121 years behind good old Phil in Pennsylvania, and centuries behind Christian tradition that recognized Candlemas as a time to begin events of the coming year (all the candles were blessed at this time).Candlemas tradition Happy Gourmand

Whether you prefer a serious celebration of the coming year, or a recognition of the fact that we are halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, or even just that a relatively well-fed rodent bothered to poke his head up and tip his hat in our direction… well, any of those events on February 2 is a good way to start a new month and to continue enjoying this life. Perhaps to keep it exciting, I will plan the menu once I see the forecast – stew if winter is staying, and seafood if spring is coming. Either way, with some good friends in attendance, it will be a wonderful celebration, I am sure. Cheers to you!

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