Each February 2nd, or Groundhog Day, Puxsatawney Phil emerges on Gobbler's Knob to either see his shadow and forecast 6 more weeks of winter or see nothing and predict an early spring.  Normally I don't concern myself with Phil's predictions.  I am, however, always curious about local celebrations and traditions and more specifically, what foods are involved.

When I did some quick research on Groundhog Day I started reading about the Pennsylvania Dutch and a social gathering they call fersommling that occurs prior to the annual emergence of the weather-wise woodchuck.  While I couldn't find a recommended menu if you want to host your own fersommling,  I imagine the good people of Puxsatawney nosh on a little scrapple (meat scraps with cornmeal and flour, formed in a loaf, sliced, then slices are fried before serving) and chowchow (pickled vegetables) washed down with a little birch beer (herbal soft drink) and topped off with some shoofly pie (mostly molasses).  It is possible the names of the dishes are more enticing than the dishes themselves.

This year Phil saw his shadow, which means 6 more weeks of winter weather. It occurred to me that Phil should be more careful. With the bitterly cold weather experienced so far this year in the Northeast U.S., the Groundhog Day celebrants might want a second opinion.  At best, Phil then becomes just another rodent, and at worst, he becomes part of the scrapple served at next year's fersommling.  Keep your head down, Phil!