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Celebrating Groundhog Day

January 27, 2014 - Mike Donahey

An Eide-Donahey tradition entering its 42nd year is celebrating Groundhog Day, Feb. 2.

I realize an explanation is necessary.

My wife's maiden name — Eide — is listed first, fittingly, since she started the tradition as a college student.

It has continued throughout our marriage, and we’ve enjoyed it with our two daughters and sometimes friends and family.

However, we will limit the festivities Sunday, as our daughters will be away. And, while they will be missed tremendously, we know their absence will gives us an excuse to celebrate the day again with another cake once one, or both, are home.

And yes, I know Feb. 2 is also Super Bowl Sunday. Homage to Super Bowl XLVIII (48) means time, along with everything else, is supposed to stop. But Super Bowl or not, nothing short of a family emergency is going to stop my better half from making the groundhog cake, which is central to the big day.

It is a chocolate cake with unique frosting and the outline of a groundhog made from chocolate and butterscotch chips. Black licorice makes for great groundhog whiskers.

And how did this unique tradition start? Well, the cake came first.

My spouse saw the cake recipe in the Des Moines Register sometime in the early 1970s, cut it out, and over time, added her own special flavor.

It is melt-in-your-mouth good.

I’m blessed my wife and daughters have white thumbs, and it is evident at least a little of it has rubbed off on me.

I've learned good things can happen in the kitchen if one can follow a recipe and have all the measuring tools and ingredients handy.

My job Sunday will be to go the store and get the supplies — and if I’m lucky, stir the frosting.

And after eating the surplus frosting and cake, all will require an extra hard workout at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA to burn calories Feb. 3.

Which is all right.

Because, how many other others can say they celebrate Groundhog Day, especially with a homemade cake?



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