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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Groundhog Crepes

What's today? Groundhog day!  The Groundhog did not see his shadow, which is excellent news for people in places like Chicago today.  On Monday I looked at this week's "extended forecast" for Chicago, which read: Monday, Snow; Tuesday, Snow/Wind; Wednesday/Blizzard.

We all know about the groundhog. Funny. I have yet to hear anyone complain about the War on Candlemas. You'd think the War on Christmas crowd would be all over this one.  I have heard that PETA protests every year. The groundhog looks fine to me.

What's today? Candlemas!  Why do we even have Groundhog day? Because of Candlemas! When we light the candles for the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple it may or may not cast a shadow on the hedgehog, according to the Germans, and if the hedgehog sees his shadow, he gets frightened and burrows back underground, thus signaling six more weeks of winter.  Guess where these people settled in America?  If you guessed "Pennsylvania", Grover Groundhog will give you a dollar. (Less than ten people in the whole world might catch that reference to Grover's famous line to Mandrake, the hunting dog of Porky Pig. Thank the Lord for blogs where one can relieve the brain of these burdens.)

Those crazy Germans.  First the Christmas pickle and now this.

It's a lovely feast day. Mary and Joseph bring the Baby Jesus to the Temple, Mary for purification forty days after childbirth.  They bring the poor man's sacrifice of two turtle doves and on the way in they encounter Simeon. He mentions that God promised him that he would live to see the Messiah.  The celebration (the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary) focuses on Simeon's remarks:

Now you are releasing your servant, Master, according to your word, in peace; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all peoples; a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel  (Luke 2:29-32).
Simeon then prophesied to Mary: "Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" (Luke 2:34-35).

The "light to the nations" part is why we have Candlemas, a day we celebrate Jesus' first entrance into His Father's House, blessing the candles we will use all year long.
And unfortunately, adding superstitions as we go.  
St. Aloysius is thrilled to have found Catholic Cuisine and I'm thrilled that she did. Feast your eyes on recipes for feasts for this feast day!  Crepes!

In France, each member of the family prepares a crepe (which is not pronounced CRAPE, by the way, but CREP) and while they do so, they hold a coin in their hand in the hope of financial stability until next Candlemas.  Superstitious.  They may as well hold a rabbit's foot for luck.

Still, some delicious crepes and some edible candles would be lovely.  I have had dinner crepes with chicken and mushrooms that had to be sinful to eat.  We can say a prayer for financial security without any cooking while coin holding.

And don't put your candle cookies away after today! Make a double batch!  Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Blaise.


Claudia said...

I live about an hours drive from where the groundhog (Punxsutawney Phil) lives and I had never heard about the German tradition and the hedgehog. Since I am of German ancestry I find it interesting.

He did not see his shadow and he predicts an early Spring, but I find it hard to believe, but then again, stranger things have happened.

Anonymous said...

:D I found a penny today. Does that count? Thank you for the Catholic Cuisine link -- that is awesome.

I read somewhere about that groundhog and his 125 years of predictions. He does not look 125 years old to me.

God bless you, Sister, on Groundhog Day and all the rest.

Anonymous said...

fascinating...I did not know all this drama surrounded February 2. TY

Anonymous said...

Very good post. I lived in Pittsburgh for a number of years, had heard of Candlemas: the hedgehog thing is bit bizarre - but I like it, (and the recipe). Some PETA people do tend to get carried away. They make me want to eat a double bacon cheeseburger in front of them despite my high cholesterol.

When I lived in Pittsburgh on the first day of deer hunting season public schools were closed, because so many boys go out hunting with their fathers, as part of a tradition. I don't remember PETA protests on that one though.

Marlaine Marie said...

It's actually 2 12 2011 and my Mother-in-law in Australia sent me a link to you. I am in Wisconsin. I love you Sister Mary Martha! Smiling!!! May you always have that wonderful sense of humor. Of course, it's pretty obvious God surely smiles upon you and you are blessed!


Anonymous said...

We keep our creche up until Feb 2 in honour of the Presentation. (Actually, we keep it up until the 3rd, so it's up until bedtime on the 2nd.)