The Whistle Pig Report, 2008
Well, dangit, the day broke bright and sunny here in the Ozarks, which means any whistle pig/ground hog so inclined to creep out of its' burrow on a 20 degree morning will see his shadow upon the crusty hard snow that remains around here.
No hope 'til late March.
I've been tracking the Feb. 2nd magic date ever since I moved here and I've found the old wives tale to be somewhat accurate-even without hunting down the old wife to verify.
If it's cloudy on the 2nd, temps begin to moderate and warm about 1 to 2 weeks after that day, by the end of February, the daffodils are already in full bloom around here and the greening has begun.
Bright and sunny- wretched weather and temps follow. Some more snow, sleet, cold hard rains and general ickiness well into March. We might have daffodils after St. Pat's Day...if the ground thaws enough.
So in honor of the dire prediction, let's have some roasted whistle pig! (And don't drive angry!)
GROUNDHOG AND SWEET POTATOES
Sweet potatoes or white potatoes
The animal should be dressed as soon as possible, all scent glands removed and well soaked for several hours in cold, salty water. All excess fat may be trimmed off after the meat is cold. Parboil to remove and remaining fat and drain well. Place in a moderate oven and pack sweet potatoes or even white potatoes all around. Salt and pepper the meat and bake until brown. Be sure the potatoes are thoroughly cooked. Serve with cornbread and use the heavy gravy that forms during baking.