TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce sweetened the pot for shopping locally. For the second year downtown businesses opened their doors for a chili showdown.
Contestants pulled out all the stops- from secret spices, to old family recipes.
"Well, I wanted to make something different," said Michelle Cherney, Chili Chef for Tomahawk Furniture, "A lot of people make the red chili so I decided to go with a White Chicken chili recipe...Chicken, half-and-half, chicken broth, and special seasonings," she said with a smile.
Across the road at Family Traditions, 8th grader Alley Rowell carried on a family tradition of their own. "It's a homemade recipe," she said, "We always have made it this way… We put a little bit of cinnamon in it, so it's got its own unique taste."
The cook-off seems to be a recipe for success for downtown businesses. Some shops went through gallons of chili. They hope new shoppers will appreciate their goods and services as much as they appreciated carefully crafted chilis.
"I think the cumin, the cumin stood out and I think there was a lot of garlic in it," said George Voorhees at Scarlet Garden, "And I think the spice was um, to the palate, it kind of, sustains itself on your tongue for a little bit."
"It's sweeter, it's like a BBQ," said Christopher Bickford at Hometown Feed Mill, "It's very delicious. Definitely getting my top vote."
"Zing! It was a WOW. Definiltey, it was WOW," said Voorhees and Lori Cordis.
The chili deserving of the ‘Golden Spoon' award may be in the eye of the beholder though. The Chamber of Commerce will tally the votes and post this year's winner on www.GoToTomahawk.com
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - The Beatles.
Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!
"I found out it was the anniversary of the 'Help!' release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."
CONOVER - The Chain Skimmers Water Ski Team from Conover won the state title for their division last weekend in Wisconsin Rapids. Summer water ski shows are a wonderful part of the Spirit of the North.
"I don't know how to spend the summer anywhere else," said Jessica Clark.
She is one of about 35 skiers between the ages of 12 and 31 who spend their summers on Lake Pleasant in Conover. They come from Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas.
Gardens need some help with large temperature swings in summer
RHINELANDER - Northwoods heat the past few days forced plants to endure different weather, but you don't need to do extra gardening just because it's hot.
Experts at Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander say plants can manage the heat just fine. On hot, sunny days, many plants will wilt, but that doesn't mean they need more water.
"If the soil is moist on a hot day, I wouldn't water more. That's probably more harm. The plant can only take up so much moisture at a time, so I would just hold off on watering," says Sue Hanson, Hanson's Garden Village Co-Owner.
WOODRUFF - Americans will eat about 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Wednesday, millions of Americans celebrated National Hot Dog day. That was the case in the Northwoods.
Hoggie Doggies Snack Shack is a staple in Woodruff. Their All-American favorite is the Chicago Style Dog.
The owner Judy Rossi has been there for 12 years and says they go through a lot of dogs.
"Last season we went through almost 17,000 hot dogs. This year we're on track for about 18,000," says Rossi. "Statistically we go through about 8 tons of potatoes in a season, which is close to 16,000 pounds for our homemade french fries. Those are some big numbers for this little place."
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