For instance, in Pittsburgh, every single store is currently decked out in black and gold. When I say decked out, I mean decked out: terrible towels handing from the ceiling, Steelers emblems plastered all over the place, store employees in black and gold from head to toe. Grocery stores have been selling Steeler themed foods since pre-season. They have arranged their giant Coke display in the window to read, "Go Steelers!" since August. Men are walking around with faces full of hair as they all try to grow their play-off beard. Restaurants are selling Steelers themed food, such as a "Roethlis-burger." You can't get in the car without hearing a Steelers song. People have been wearing black and gold for weeks and if you own a Steelers jersey, you are wearing it today! Attending the pep rally is essentially considered "work" and is a viable excuse to take a 5 hour lunch and come back slightly buzzed. And the tailgates? The tailgates are insane! I can't even get into the tailgates. . . Dem folks are drinkin' as much Irn City as they can dahntown and cheering for dem 'Stillers now!
I've been streaming in DVE Steelers songs all week and wearing Steelers gear every single day. My Terrible Towel rests on the dashboard of my car and I've been prepping my game-day menu, but it's not the same. There is nothing that compares to Pittsburgh. After living in a different part of the country, in different fan territory (and witnessing that the recreation paths seem to be MORE crowded during said fans respective game that day; gasp!!), I can honestly say that Steelers fans are the best. There is a reason why it's called 'Steeler Nation' and there is a reason that there is a Pittsburgh Steelers dedicated sports bar in nearly every single city in the world. Pittsburgh is definitely a sports town (with a drinking problem ;) ) but it is a place that I miss very much, and especially around these times. I've been a Steelers fan since I was in diapers and that is absolutely never going to change.
A local restaurant on the east coast, Eat-n-Park, opened in 1949 and has since greatly expanded. It was a place that I frequented often in high school for late-night hangout sessions and to buy mozzarella cheese sticks at 2 a.m. But, they are also known for their delicious Smiley Cookies. They are sugar cookies that rock! You can purchase the cookies and have them shipped anywhere (and if you live in the opposing team's area, you can get them shipped for free!) but I chose to make my own. The yellow is slightly more yellow than I would have liked, but they taste delicious just the same and they feel like home. The cookie recipe itself was easy (though sticky!) to mix up and roll out.
from Brown Eyed Baker who used the recipe from Baking Illustrated
Yield: About 24 cookies
- 2 cups (10 ounces) AP flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
- 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp meringue powder
- 6 Tbsp water
- Additional Tools: icing bags, tip for icing, water for flooding, toothpicks, etc.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Cream the butter, sugar, and the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla; beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
- Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined.
- Shape the dough into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Put in fridge for at least 1 hour. (You can refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze it and take it out and put in fridge for about 12 hours prior to baking tie.)
- Remove dough from fridge and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
- Flour a working space, the dough, and a rolling pin. Roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Dip a cookie cutter in flour and cut out your cookies, placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes until the edges are just ready to turn the slightest bit brown, rotating the pan about 180 degrees halfway through baking.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting the cookies.
- To make royal icing: combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water in a bowl fit with a mixing attachment. Mix on low, 7-10 minutes, until icing has lost it's shine. Separate icing into bowls as you desire and color each with icing color. (I use Wilton.) Cover bowls with a damp towel so icing does not dry out. Decorate cookies as desired!