I knew nothing about soccer when I moved to Germany and now almost 10 years later, I still barely know anything. My husband loves a good füßball game, has big love for his favorite team, Alemannia Aachen even volunteering at their games occasionally as an emergency doctor. But he is by no means a soccer nut.
My soccer apathy shifted a bit when the World Cup was held in Germany in 2006. For the first time since WW2 Germany was proud to wave their flags and the entire country was caught up in what a historic moment of change this was. They were eager to show the world what amazing hosts they could be and did a tremendous job organizing the event. Everything was orderly, clean and functional and so well thought out. Dr. B volunteered at one of the games. It was easy, no brawls, no accidents. He sat in a well catered air conditioned trailer and watched the game on a huge flat screen.
On the day Germany played Sweden in Munich I was there visiting my girlfriends and we watched it with many other people from all over the world in the English Garden. For the World Cup that June, Munich was filled way more than usual with people from all nationalities. Every time something didn't go well for Germany, I distinctly remember the Swedes outfitted in their home team jerseys standing on the next table chanting "Schade Deutchland, Alles ist vorbei" (Unfortunately, Germany, it's all over). I loved they were taunting another country in the home language. They were so funny and their spirit was anything but mean. And of course the Germans were taunting them back but I can't remember exactly with what.
As I am a total loser at being a sports fan, I don't remember the specifics of that game, only that Germany won and everyone went crazy, in a good way. The spirit on the street, in bars and in clubs that evening was nothing like I have every experienced. All nationalities celebrating together, everyone in great spirits and so friendly. I met more people that night from more countries than I have in all my years of travel. Happy, friendly, and ok, some very drunk people but none of the ugliness you would expect from large packs of rival sport fans thrown together consuming huge amounts of alcohol. Everyone was just celebrating period and enjoying an amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the world. For a soccer neophyte like me, it's a night I will never forget.
Back home, my nieces and nephew were also very caught up in World Cup fever at the time. So much so, unfortunately this is what they did to Oma before one of the games.
I still don't think she is over it.
Today, World Cup fever is building up again globally but of course, since the games will be in South Africa this year, it's not as intense here in Germany but for those who love soccer, it's big excitement.
My nephew Lauren and his sister Marie play on a local soccer team. Marie plays on a boys team because they do not have a girls team for her age group. Go Marie!
Today was a bake sale for the club to raise money. My sister in law asked me to contribute something for the cause.
Did someone say bake sale?
Wow. I don't think I have participated in one since grade school.
I wanted to make something fun and colorful that would stand out from all the delicious apfelkuchen and waluß torten that would undoubtedly be sitting on the table. Also something that would appeal to the kids. Painted cookies are not something seen very often here. The cupcake craze is slowly starting here but not yet found in bakeries in these parts. You can however, find them a McDonald's in Germany. Go figure.
For the cookies, I went with the obvious, soccer balls and then decided to add the soccer jerseys and shoes. I had a fair amount of left over sugar cookies dough in the freezer, both regular and chocolate. This was a good opportunity to clean out the freezer and help out a good cause. I used the chocolate for the soccer balls and the regular for the jerseys and shoes.
I had no cutter for the shoes. I found a silhouette online and traced it.
For the soccer balls, I I didn't have a round one big enough to my liking so I used a white wine glass as a cutter and made small hexagon and triangle stencils.
The cupcakes were a last minute addition.
I had made 41 cookies but didn't think it was enough. So I supplemented with these. I covered them in buttercream frosting and used hexagon and a half hexagon shape I traced and cut out of cardboard and then used it to cut the shapes out of black fondant. I connected the shapes piping black royal icing left over from the cookies. Great tutorial here.
I colored some shredded coconut (shake it around with a few drops of food coloring in a baggie),
and added crushed chocolate cookies to the cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream.
The idea was grass, soccer balls and dirt.
Now that the kids are older and even more into soccer, we might have to find a good place to hide Oma until the World Cup is over.