This coming Saturday is the big college game day. My alma mater, Ohio State, plays Michigan in a match that has long been the biggest rivalry in college football. Some of my family will be at the game cheering for my Bucks, and my friend and fellow Buckeye, Debbie, is coming over with her family to watch the game with me.
Debbie is a diehard Buckeye fan. Her dog’s name is Wayne Woodrow Hayes (Woody, for short) after the infamous Buckeye coach of many years. She is worried that our TV is not big enough, that I will talk too much during the game, that I don’t know any of the player’s names, that I don’t have a scarlet and gray sweatshirt to wear and that I know nothing about football. She’s right on all fronts. I only care about what we will eat.
I decided to make an All-Ohio menu. We will be serving chili cheese dogs with Skyline chili (imported from Cincinnati), Buckeye potato chips (imported from Columbus) with a garlicky blue cheese dip topped with bacon. And for dessert, I will be making Buckeye candies—a delicacy that is served at many an OSU tailgate party. Little balls made of peanut butter and confectioners sugar are dipped in melted chocolate, leaving a cap of peanut butter at the top. Made to look like the buckeye nut—the fruit of the tree of my home state—these yummy treats are one of the best things about being from Ohio.
I am looking forward to game day. My daughters and I made a big batch of buckeyes, and in the spirit of good sportsmanship I shared some with a parent at Sophie's school who is a diehard Wolverine. And I’ll definitely tune in to the Ohio State marching band half time show—in between the chili dogs and dessert. Let’s Go Buckeyes!!!
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 stick softened butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar (about 1/2 lb.)
4 cups good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsps. vegetable shortening
In a large bowl (or the bowl or an electric mixer), combine the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar to the mix until it is well mixed.
Roll the mixture into 3/4" balls, using your hands, and place on a plate lined with waxed paper. Stick a toothpick in each of the balls (to be used as a handle for dipping in the chocolate). Chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
When the peanut butter balls have set, gently melt the chocolate and shortening in the top of a double boiler, stirring frequently, under smooth.
Dip the frozen peanut butter balls in the chocolate, holding them by the toothpick. Leave a small portion on the peanut butter showing at top so the candy resembles the fruit of the buckeye tree. Return the buckeyes to the plate. Gently remove the toothpick and smooth over the hole. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving.