This winter has been mild where I live in the northeast. Although that’s cause for concern in terms of conditions come the spring and summer, we’ve had it easy compared to the residents of some parts of the U.S. northwest, southwest and Europe.
Still, I’m not a big fan of winter and this year is no exception. The cold and lack of light weigh me down. I was curious about the timing of Groundhog Day because of the whole prognostication of spring thing. Last week I looked into it’s history. (I found a nice little article about it in mentalfloss.com.) It evolved, in part, from so-called pagan observances as so many of our holidays do. Apparently it falls in between equinoxes, in mid-winter when ancient folk used to think about their food stores. They’d check to see if any critters were stirring. If so, they could breathe easy because it was a sign that the growing time was right around the corner. If not, they worried that they wouldn’t have enough food for what was left of a long winter, “Grandpa, get away from the root cellar. We can’t afford snacks!”
It all makes sense to me because I find myself thinking about food A LOT at this time. Maybe I reflexively follow the natural cycle, maybe it’s my body’s way of convincing me it needs some fat or maybe it’s a comfort device I use to relieve the discomfort of the persistent thoughts of death I have during the winter. Whatever it is I’ve learned to make sure I have my share of food at the beginning of the season, indulge in hearty fare throughout, and check my larder right about now to make sure Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t make a fool out of me.
On my Recipes page I have added some dishes that are favorites of mine for winter health and happiness. Please check them out and enjoy!