Sunday 3 February 2013

Groundhog Day
The Viennese Way

Once upon a time,
I had my own personal groundhog.

We passed each other frequently
at the intersection of Democracy Boulevard
and Seven Locks Road,
Zip code 20854.
He would sit by the road, on the Cabin John Creek side,
and give me a regal wave with his right paw.
I wonder if anybody has seen him lately.
Today, perchance, on Groundhog Day?

There is no Groundhog Day in Vienna.
Austrian groundhogs prefer to live the high life,
- high as in high in the Alps -
and not a single one of them would be silly enough
to dig himself up through something like ten feet of snow
to check his shadow on the second day of February.
They rather brew themselves another pot of coffee or tea,
and wait for April showers to wash away the whole white mess.

There being no Groundhogs in Vienna,
therefore no Groundhog Day,
I had to invent my own little weather forecast game:
How about counting cakes instead,
I said to myself when I spotted a little merry-go-round,
ferrying cakes, round and round and round:
If the number of cakes passing is an even one,
winter will soon end!

If on the other hand,
the number is an uneven one
I shall go in and eat that culprit,
to make sure that winter will not continue
for six more weeks!
I was ecstatic about my ingenuity:
I felt like Don Quixote,
ready to saddle Rosinante attack
windmills with my Dulcinea sword cake fork.

A rather dizzying task,
as it turned out:
Those pesky cakes sped by so fast,
I had hardly time to push the shutter release button,
let alone count!
I must confess,
I failed. I failed the quest!

I forgot to count,
absorbed as I was to get ahold of a picture
of each of the cakes to document their number.

The cakes
passed by,

and passed

and again!
I was so exhausted from not-counting,
I could not even recall anymore
whether an even number meant
seven more weeks of winter
or instant spring!

I do miss the good old days
with my Very Own Groundhog:
A look and a light wave of my hand
was all it took back then.

Photographed at:
Aida Café Bognergasse, the snowballs;
and all those cakes, at
Café Weinwurm, Stephansplatz 11,
in the shadow of St. Stephen's Cathedral!

Images and Text
© by Merisi
First published 2009


  1. You're making me hungry. These are beautiful.

  2. I'm going to have to move away from my desk before I drool on my computer keyboard!! Those look SO heavenly, Merisi!! Not to mention delicious!!

  3. No-one, absolutely no-one makes cakes as mouthwatering and visually enticing, a the Viennese. Thank you for this formidable feast!

  4. Well, I hope you went in and had one of those delectable creations, to restore your energy!

  5. These cakes are great. I amost forgot about Punxatwny Phil living in the lowlands!

  6. Oh, my goodness, Merisi...
    I thought I knew my pastries, but what is the cake with the pastel-green-polka-dot-base and meringue top? If that's how Vienna celebrates winter. I'll take an extra 6 weeks of problem.

    Warm Regards,
    A San Francisco Groundhog

  7. Now that's a post I can sink my teeth into. :)

  8. What a funny, yummy, lovely post.
    Groundhogs and Groundhog Days are unfamiliar to me. I am trying to read about both the animal and the day, trying to get it.......and your cakes revealed it completely :-)

    Now my sweet tooth is craving!

    1. From Wikipedia:
      "Groundhog Day (Pennsylvania German: Grundsaudaag, Murmeltiertag) is a day celebrated on February 2. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks."

      To this day I did not know the Pennsylvania Dutch word, Grundsaudaag! *giggles*

      You are not saying you have never watched "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray?

  9. Dear Merisi, This may be my all time favorite post. So happy, so delicious, so clever and so fantastical. ox, Gina

  10. Please tell us you ate at least one! These are some of the most marvelous example of desserts I have seen.

    1. *smile*
      Actually, I only had time to shoot the cakes - they were turning on a Lazy Susan in the shop window. ;-)

  11. The cakes look VERY DELICIOUS!! Now I have to eat something sweet...

  12. C'est beau, mais c'est trop!


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