Roast Groundhog

Fun Stuff and Humorous Stories by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

Not long ago my alter ego, Cindy Lynn, published an article that seemed pretty funny. Well, maybe not exactly funny, but definitely interesting. All right, maybe not interesting—possibly more like bizarre. At any rate, I knew you wouldn't want to miss it so here it is, in all its glory ...

Roast Groundhog
By Cindy Lynn

Photo © Reinhard Kraasch, Wikimedia Commons

Everyone knows what Groundhog Day is, right? Well, maybe so, but then again there might be a few people living under rocks who don't, so I'll give a little info about it and afterward give a recipe for roast groundhog.

What's that, you say? A recipe for roast groundhog? Yup, no need to adjust your hearing aid, you heard me right ... a recipe for those who want to run out and chase a groundhog around until they catch it, and then (gulp) roast the little critter.

First, though, a few facts:

When is Groundhog Day?

Feb 2, every year, rain or shine ... and the weather really does play into the whole Groundhog Day celebration.

What's Another Name for a Groundhog?

A whistle pig or a woodchuck.

Does that Famous Goundhog on the News Have a Name?

Yup, Punxsutawney Phil, and he has his own website called PunxsutawneyPhil.com. However, because everyone wants to know about the furry fella and his site often can't keep up with the traffic, you can also see pictures of him at Groundhog.org.

What's the Scoop on His Shadow?
Legend has it that when the groundhog steps out of his burrow on Feb 2, if he sees his shadow there will be 6 more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow there will be an early spring.

There may be a few who are wondering where I came up with a recipe for roast groundhog, and it's a long story. To make it short, though, I have friends whose college years as a married couple were quite lean, and they actually caught a groundhog and cooked it. Thanks go to Sandy H. for giving me the basics for the following recipe—although, I have to say that the running commentary is all mine.

And now for the cooking instructions ...

Recipe for Roast Groundhog:
Find and capture a groundhog. I'm not sure how you do that, so my advice is to look for an old one that can't run very fast. A bald one would be nice, too, so that you don't have to actually skin it. I have no clue how you kill it and since I'm an animal lover, I'll leave that to your imagination. In my opinion, however, a .44 magnum doesn't seem like a particularly good idea. That is, unless you want ground chuck.

Ground Hog
Olive oil
Mrs. Dash seasoning
Salt and pepper
Onions (quartered)
Potatoes (quartered)
Carrots (peeled and sliced)
Water or broth of choice

Rub the skinned ground hog with olive oil. Try not to cry as you think about how he could be foretelling spring instead of being the main attraction at dinner. Sprinkle seasonings on him and place in a roasting pan. Place the onions, potatoes, and carrots around the groundhog. Add a cup of water or broth to the roasting pan. Cover and bake in a slow oven (275-300°) until groundhog is tender and vegetables are done, adding more water/broth as needed.

Serve on a platter, making sure not to tell the kids they're eating Punxsutawney Phi's cousin. And if the roast is tough, try a slow cooker next time ... or maybe even a roast beef disguised as a groundhog.

The million dollar question at this point is ... have you ever even seen a groundhog? (Outside of TV, that is.) Drop off a comment and let me know.

------ © C.L. (Cindy) Beck------

The Recipe ... by C.L. Beck

Fun Stuff and Humorous Stories by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

I have to say that although the following story is more sweet than humorous, it's one of my favorites. I hope it becomes one of yours, too ...

The Recipe
By C.L. Beck

I touched it with the tip of my finger and then dabbed my tongue to see what it tasted like. My taste buds tingled with a sweet/salty flavor, mixed with a hint of something. What was it? The only word that came to mind was earthy, but the essence evaporated before I had a chance to decide.

“This tastes interesting … what’s your recipe?” I asked him.

He leaned against the counter and said, “Did you figure out there was sweetener in it?”

“Definitely, along with a little salt. So what’s your secret? You’ve really got to tell me, because you’re the best at making these.”

His smile warmed me, like a cup of hot chocolate on a cold morning. He said, “First, you need some bone. And meat. And then you add the casing. Sometimes it’s dark brown, other times it’s light-colored. Just depends on which you prefer at the moment.”

I nodded and wondered where a novice like me could get casings.

“The rest is a mixture of spices and seasonings that you have to fine tune.” His eyes sparkled when he said “spices” and I hoped he wouldn’t hold anything back in the telling.

“Okay, like what?” I asked.

“You’ve already figured out salt—about .9%. And sweetener.” He dusted his hands on his apron.

“Hmm. How much is .9%? Can you give me that in teaspoons?” It seemed this was going to be a lot harder to prepare than I’d thought.

He laughed, and it shimmered right through me. Face it, I was smitten with him.

“You need ¼ teaspoon of salt and ½ cup of sweetener.”

“Does it matter what kind of sweetener?”

He paused for a minute, stroked his salt and pepper beard and thought about it. “Molasses and brown sugar give a darker flavor; white sugar gives a lighter one. Some sweeteners are stronger than others, so it just depends on what you want for the end result.”

Pondering that, I put my palms together and brought my hands to my mouth, with the sides of my forefingers resting against my lips. It was an unconscious habit on my part.

He laughed and said “You look like you’re praying.” Feeling silly, I crossed my arms. He looked at me reassuringly and then continued, “Add two or three drops of curiosity, a teaspoon of playfulness, a cup of hugs, an eighth teaspoon of mischief, and just a pinch of starlight.”

His voice dropped and he said softly, “The starlight is the hardest part. Put in too much and it bounces off the walls. Put in too little, and it doesn’t shine.”

I was amazed. Who’d have thought of starlight? He was definitely the greatest chef—the master craftsman of all time.

“What do you call it?” I asked, wondering if it had a fancy, epicurean name.

He smiled, the air around us sparkled as if sprinkled with diamond dust, and then it formed into visions of sandlot baseball, tree climbing, fishing and sledding. “I call it … little boy.”


This story is dedicated to my son, Dave, on his 35th birthday. Only God could have made someone as fun as you, Davey!)

------ © C.L. (Cindy) Beck------

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I'd Tell You but I Can't Remember ... by C.L. Beck

Fun Stuff and Funny Stories by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

The other day I run across something that struck me as so true. And I'd write about it today except ... well ... I can't remember what it was!

Okay, I'm joking; I really do remember but just couldn't resist the above as an opening line. To see why, click on the video below.


If you get a sec, drop off a comment and tell me what was the most interesting thing that ever slipped your mind. That is, if you can recall the event!

Note: Thanks to my friend, Andrew Goudy, for telling me about this video ... even though at the time he couldn't remember its name, called it, "Memory" and had to phone me back five minutes later to give me the real title.

Andrew, if you're looking for the keys to your pickup, try looking under the saddle on your horse. No, on second thought, that's probably where you left your cell phone. :)

Stay Calm

Although this video isn't necessarily humorous, I think you'll find it quite interesting ... or maybe even amazing. It involves a 911 call with a little girl. Hope you enjoy it.

Wasn't that something?

If you get a minute, drop off a comment and tell me which part touched you the most. I loved the way she kept comforting her dad.

Hair ... by C.L. Beck

Fun Stuff and Humorous Stories by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

Hair! They wrote a play about it, and used the ultimate in creativity by calling it, Hair. They wrote a song about it, and used an even more creative title: Hair. Despite their lack of originality, the playwrights and songwriters (who were one and the same) apparently found it to be a fascinating subject.

I'm guessing they had hair envy.

Not to get too far off the subject, but I've always felt that my personal curse was hair. Not the song, but the stuff growing on my head. My tresses are neither long and lovely, nor sleek and silky. Instead, they are mostly stiff, pokey-outey and turning gray. The only thing that could be worse would be to have no hair at all ... like my husband, Russ.

Wait. Maybe that's not even true. He's so lucky; when he gets up, nary a hair is out of place ... mostly because he doesn't have enough to muss up. All Russ has to do in the morning is take a cloth, give his head a little buff and off he goes with the perfect—albeit, hairless—shine.

When I get up in the morning, however, my hair is enough to scare warts off a frog. Other women wake up looking beautiful but somewhere along the line I must have displeased the hair gods, and I look like I sleep with my head in a blender.

Over the years I've tried numerous hairstyles to improve my looks. In particular, I recall one from the fourth grade. I wanted to wear my hair in a ponytail, but since it was too thin when I pulled it up—resembling overcooked spaghetti tied with a rubber band—I went to the hairstylist for a "Pixie Cut." It looked cute on other little girls, but on me it looked like someone put a bowl on my head and turned Edward Scissorhands loose on me.

I wore it that way up through the sixth grade, much to the chagrin of my more "mature" friends, who were curling and fussing with their manes in order to impress the boys. That seemed a waste of time, in my opinion, since those same boys were out climbing trees and rollerskating with me, and couldn't tell a hair scrunchy from an egg beater.

Of course, in those days men were men and boys were boys. I'm not sure how they could actually have been any different, since there were only two genders and a person was either one or the other. Nowadays, I think there are something like four genders: men, sorta men, women, not quite women.

And back then, none of the guys would ever consider knowing anything about hair accessories, much less go to a stylist. They didn't get their ears pierced, either, and the only person with a nose ring was the Brahma bull on the farm at the edge of town. Well, okay, there was this one man on the block (according to those adults in the know) whose wife led him around by a ring through his nose. I wasn't sure what that meant. The one time I'd managed to sneak a look up the guy's nostrils, all I saw was nose hair.

By the time I reached high school I'd grown wiser, let my hair grow long, and parted it down the middle. It required no cutting at all and was known as the "California Surfer Girl Style." None of us knew how to surf, but that didn't matter because just the name of it was supposed to impress the boys. Yup, those same boys who were no longer climbing trees but had matured extensively and were now beating each other over the head for a football.

When we managed to pull the guys away from sports and out on a fancy date (otherwise known as the prom) we pulled all that hair up on top, so it looked like we were wearing hairy beehives on our heads.

If you look closely at the picture below, you might even see a few bees. You'll also pick up on the fact that my date actually had hair, too. That would be Russ, before his dark and wavy locks abdicated the throne. In addition, you'll notice that Russ and I seem almost the same height, and that twelve inches of my height is hair.

After I married Russ, I tried another exciting hair cut. It was called "The Shag" and as you can tell from looking at the old, definitely uncomplimentary photo below, it was basically a pixie cut on steroids. Not shorter, just shaggier.

So ... where does all this lead? Well, now that the new year is here I have resolved to give up hair styles. Yes, I'm going to quit paying for haircuts that the guys don't even notice and I'll do it the easy way. I've bought a new gel that the label says will impress the men in my life, and I'm going to apply it from root to tip and comb it outward. That way when I mention to my dad, my hubby, and son that I've "spiked it," at least they'll think it has something to do with football and they'll give a cheer.

------ © C.L. (Cindy) Beck------

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