Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Grub

Lucky for Phil he didn't see his shadow this morning. Otherwise, there might have been a homicide to report in Punxsutawney, Philadelphia, today instead of just cheesy guys in top hats and tails holding onto a furry rodent.

Today is Groundhog Day. On this morning with wind chills at -22 here on the County Line and miserable winter conditions across half the country, let's just say that Phil got the memo: If he knew what was good for him, he'd better predict that spring is on the way.

Phil, I don't want to be a doubter, but it's a little tough to believe. Top hats off to Phil's PR team. Everybody's looking for the silver lining in a white, windblown landscape.

This was the 125th time that Punxsutawney Phil (or his ancestors) had made the February 2 prediction. According to legend, if Phil sees his shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter. If the day is overcast and he doesn't see his shadow, there is supposed to be an early spring.

This morning in Punxsutawney, Philadelpia, the groundhog came out of his burrow at Gobbler's Knob. The world - or at least the TV morning shows - watched. They held their breath. (That was so they wouldn't fog over the cameras with the collective breath of the masses on this bitterly cold morning.)

No shadow! Spring is on the way.

Well, we'll see.

The celebration of Groundhog Day began with Pennsylvania's earlier settlers. It stemmed from a combination of religious beliefs and facts associated with hibernating animals. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day.

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

I think most of us are in the "Go Winter, and come not again" mode right about now.

We got a jump on Groundhog Day around here last night. I fixed breakfast for supper. Appropriately, I served groundhog. Phil had nothing to fear. It was really sausage.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Brown Butter was a recipe I dogeared in my October/November issue of Taste of Home magazine. The pancakes were good, but the Cinnamon Butter sauce was simply divine.

Whether you eat them for breakfast, lunch or supper, they are sure to warm you up on a cold day.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Brown Butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup ricotta cheese

Cinnamon Brown Butter
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

In a small heavy saucepan, cook butter over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove from heat; stir in pecans.

In bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin, and cheese. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is golden brown. Serve with brown butter.

Yield: 14 pancakes.
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: about 10 minutes for the batch


  1. Yum! I may have to try that topping! A church in this area has an annual Groundhog supper-- pancakes, sausage, and... homemade ice cream. Strange, but quite a successful combination!

  2. Homemade ice cream is good on anything!