Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Food and Pittsburgh

I want to talk to you about food.  And Pittsburgh. 

Pittsburgh is a city of food traditions.  Come summertime, it’s an order of Potato Patch Fries or a towering chocolate dip cone at Kennywood Park.  Fall brings Steeler games and crockpots full of kielbasa and sauerkraut.  A cookie table must be present at every wedding reception.  And just about everyone likes a sandwich stuffed with fries and coleslaw. Food is important in Pittsburgh and many of the people who live here continue to cook their grand-parents' and great-grandparents' favorite recipes.  While the preparations may not be fancy and the flavors, well, not quite complex, these traditions are part of what gives Pittsburgh its character and unique hometown feel.  At least I think so.

I am moving away from Pittsburgh soon, to join my fiancé in Greece.  While I look forward to sunnier skies and a never-ending supply of olive oil, I will miss my city’s quirky food customs, particularly at our wedding which will be held in Athens next summer.  Lucky for me, my fiancé loves Pittsburgh and its traditions as much, if not more, than I do.

To incorporate a nugget of steel into our Greek reception, we’ve decided to organize a traditional Pittsburgh cookie table.  But, as I will be far from my family and friends in the months leading up to the big day, I hope to gather cookie recipes and try baking them before I leave. It will be a personal project—something to work on every day.  I am turning it into a blog as a way to hold myself accountable. Hopefully, it will be a place where I can collaborate with others and collect cookie recipes, memories, and stories online.  So dear friends, family members, and readers please send me your recipes, stories and ideas.  What cookies do you think absolutely must be included on a proper Pittsburgh cookie table? Which recipes do you think are nice, modern additions? Are there any you dislike?  I am open to any and all suggestions and wait for you with a ready ear and a hungry stomach.    


  1. Lauren, I am so excited for this blog. You must continue it well after your wedding. I'll get you some great recipes from Kurt's mom. As we've talked, Kurt has that same blend of eastern European tradition and cooking background as you. Also, some yummy ones from my family.

    We had an amazing cookie table at our wedding, due in large part to Kurt's mother. All the "usual" favorites were there, like ladylocks and snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar, etc. She also had Linzer hearts, raisin-filled, buckeye balls and many others I don't even know the name. Oh there I go now, getting hungry...

  2. Marla, thanks so much for your interest and support! I'm getting excited about the project and will try to keep it going as long as I can. Thank you also for the recipe, I will be making it soon :)

    I'd love to hear all about the cookie table at your wedding (any chance you have pictures?)and any recipes from you have from your or Kurt's family. Let's talk soon!