'Cause We're from O-Hi-O!

Buckeye CupcakesThis is it. The big one. The one we wait for all year. It doesn’t matter if it’s not really that important once it actually gets here. It doesn’t matter that we’re already headed for more greatness, regardless of the outcome. This is the one we want to see more than just about any other. It’s Michigan week. For those of you who aren’t from around these parts, or for those that are and just don’t care (blasphemy, I say! Utter blasphemy! Yeah, I’m talking to you Boyfriend), this is the last week of the regular football season for The Ohio State University. The week traditionally reserved to play our rivals, the Wolverines, better known as the Team-Up-North. Yeah. We don’t say the name here. They're simply the "Team-Up-North". We’re that serious about our football. Because we’re Buckeyes. Our mascot? Not an animal or a warrior. It's a guy named Brutus with a nut for a head. A little silly, but go ahead and laugh at us. We dare you. We may be useless, poisonous nuts, but the key thing to remember? We’re nuts. As in completely and utterly insane.

From the Spring Game through the Bowl Game, and just about any other time throughout the year, you’ll find any number of us donning our colors, scarlet and gray, wearing those poisonous nuts as talismans around our necks, and calling out in search of others like us. It’s our own personal game of “Marco Polo”. With one yell, you can find another Buckeye—anytime, anywhere. Just one shout of “O-H!” no matter where you are—a sporting event, movie theater, grocery store, or even church—will result in an enthusiastic reply of a true Buckeye screaming “I-O!” in return. Seriously. It’s simple. But it works. Try it sometime. It doesn’t matter if you’re not even in Ohio. We’re everywhere. (One of The Girls, Dani, got an “O-H!” at Target the other day. In Texas. And our road trip to Memphis, Tennessee for the American Idol auditions a couple years ago? Surrounded by people from every part of the country, one person yelled out “O-H!” and from every corner of the arena people yelled “I-O!” back in return. Coolest. Thing. Ever.) We even teach our kids how to answer the call. 2 year olds are screaming "I-O!", and we're so proud when they do. (Especially around others. It's like a fun party trick.)

And TBDBITL? Not just a jumble of letters. It’s what we call our marching band—The Best Damn Band in the Land. And they’ve earned every part of that title. They’re not band nerds. They’re rock stars. Watch them do Script Ohio and tell me you don’t get chills. The one and only game I’ve had the honor of going to in my lifetime so far-- they did double Script Ohio, on both sides of the field. I’m not ashamed to admit, I got a bit weepy. Kids learn to play the tuba just for the honor of someday dotting the i. It’s that big of a deal. And just as special each and every time. If you get a chance to go to a game in the Shoe, head out a couple hours early and check out Skull Session before going to the stadium. You won’t be disappointed. Rock stars. I’m telling you.

The insanity only ramps up even further for the last week of the regular season—Michigan week. The most insane part? Thousands of OSU students jumped into Mirror Lake on campus at midnight last night—as they do the Thursday before the game every year. Whether it’s to wake the spirit of the legendary Woody Hayes, or just the beer and a whole lot of friends talking them into it, it’s a fabulously crazy tradition nonetheless. I mean, come on. Jumping into a tiny lake? In November. Totally insane. (And no. Sadly, I’ve never done it. It’s reserved for students only, and I didn’t go to OSU.) All week long, we’ll wear our colors proudly, don our buckeye necklaces, scream out our “O-H!” and hope for a rousing “I-O!” in return, rock out to the Fight song or "Hang on Sloopy" when every radio station in town plays it at 5 o'clock for the drive home, and raucously sing songs proclaiming just how much we care for the Team-Up-North. And on Saturday, we’ll march into that stadium and take home those Gold Pants we play for every year to add to our collection.

Buckeye CupcakesAnd while we’re kicking some Wolverine butt this weekend, I’ll be stuffing my face with Buckeye Cupcakes—chocolate cupcakes with a mini peanut butter cup tucked inside, topped with a Peanut Butter Buttercream, imitating the not-so-poisonous candy version (a sugary peanut butter ball dipped mostly in chocolate) of our beloved state nut and namesake, the Buckeye. Scatter some festive scarlet and gray sprinkles on top and you’ve got the perfect treat for your Beat Michigan Party.

We don’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan,

‘Cause we’re from O-Hi-O!


Buckeye CupcakesBuckeye Cupcakes
Adapted from the Food Network
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

1 cup sugar
1 cup real mayonnaise*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
24 mini peanut butter cups

Peanut Butter Buttercream
Adapted from How to Eat a Cupcake, via Bake & Destroy
Makes enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes

4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 to 4 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and mayonnaise until blended. Add the vanilla and blend, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and add it to the mayonnaise mixture in 3 batches alternating with the buttermilk, beating until smooth.
4. Divide batter between prepared cups, filling about 2/3 of the way full. Place an unwrapped mini peanut butter cup in the center of each cup of batter and press down gently, so the candy is mostly submerged. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the tops are firm and spring back when touched. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
5. Make the frosting: Beat together sugar, butter, and salt until creamy. Add peanut butter, beating well. Add milk, a teaspoon at a time, and beat until smooth and creamy, and reaches desired consistency. Frost cupcakes.

*Note: Yeah. Mayonnaise. I know it's weird, but trust me. These are the best chocolate cupcakes I've had so far. Super moist and delicious. Just make sure you get real mayonnaise, and not the "dressing" kind. I don't know why, but that's what everyone's told me, and when that many people tell me something, I listen.
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Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy said...

My typical response to "O-H!" is "F-U!"


Tanya said...

Awesomely, I decided to make the same idea of cupcakes for the game. Except mine are just chocolate cupcakes with no little surprise inside.

Mine will be frosted with peanut butter buttercream and a few with leftover cream cheese icing (in case anyone is allergic to peanuts).

Thanks for creating such an awesome blog. I really enjoy reading it.

-Tanya from Westerville

bigchief said...


Ingrid said...

Go Gators! :)

Anonymous said...

Omg I can't breathe, Kiesha I love you lol.

Love Chocolate & Peanut butter combo, but yeah.... I just don't care for OSU

Jane said...

While I don't feel as strongly as Kiesha J-D does, I am a life-long Maize and Blue fan, having lived in Michigan all my life. Up here, we make chocolate-covered peanut butter balls, but we don't call them buckeyes. And even though our song is "Oh, How I Hate Ohio State", it's good to know we can agree on a delicious-sounding recipe!

(We'll be back!! See you next year!)

Ingrid said...

Hey, there! Hope you had a wonderful and yummy Thanksgiving! :)

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

Jane - wow I'm WAY behind on my comments, sorry! I gotta say, honestly, I hope you guys are back next year! I really miss the true rivalry when we were both on top of it all. It made it that much more fun! So from a Buckeye, here's to hoping for a MUCH better season for you guys next year. Just not too much better. Cause we're still going to beat you. :P

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