RHINELANDER - When we take "A Bite of the North," Ryan Michaels and I visit cafes, pubs, breakfast hotspots, but today on Thanksgiving, we decided to do something a little different.
Many of us at the station are here working, and that means we're away from our families.
So we decided to bring some of our family traditions together and host our own Thanksgiving.
In this week's "A Bite of the North," we'll take you into our kitchens and share a recipe from the family of our new meteorologist, Melissa Constanzer.
Melissa's Mom's Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
This simple one-pan preparation is long on flavor, thanks to the pancetta and balsamic vinegar. If pancetta is hard to come by, substitute two thick slices of bacon.
2 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup) 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil 10 ounces Brussels sprouts (about 18 medium sprouts), trimmed and halved through the core 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar Freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons unsalted butter Kosher salt
In a heavy 10-inch straight -sided sauté pan set over medium-low heat, slowly cook the pancetta in 1 tablespoon of oil until golden and crisp all over, 10 to 15 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the fat behind. You should have about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan; if not, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Have ready 1/2 cup water. Put the pan over medium-high heat and arrange the sprouts cut side down in a single layer. Cook undisturbed until nicely browned, add the water to the pan, cover immediately, and simmer until the sprouts are tender when poked with a fork or skewer, about 3 minutes. (If the water evaporates before the sprouts get tender, add more water, 1/4 cup at a time.) With a slotted spoon, transfer the sprouts to a plate.
Return the pan to medium-high heat and if any water remains, let it boil off. Add the balsamic vinegar and a few grinds of pepper (see note at bottom). Boil the vinegar until it's reduced to about 2 tablespoons and looks lightly syrupy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the butter, and stir until melted. Return the sprouts and pancetta to the pan and swirl and shake the pan to evenly coat the sprouts with the sauce. Season to taste with salt and more pepper and serve.
Note: You may add about 2 tablespoons of packed brown sugar if you like when boiling the vinegar.
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group held a seminar at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Tuesday, to plan how to make Wisconsin more attractive to skilled workers and manufacturing businesses.
WMC's president believes the shortage in younger people in the industry has to do with two big misconceptions about manufacturing.
"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date. If you're in an advanced manufacturing facility now, it's clean, it's high-tech, the engineers and technicians are working together," said Jim Morgan."We have a perception problem. I think we still have a definition of success that's says unless you have a four-year degree, you're not successful."
Morgan says groups like WMC work to change that perception. He believes workers with a two-year degree are just as successful in the industry.
So far, WMC held seminars at nine other technical colleges. For Rhinelander, more manufacturers could mean more economic independence.
"The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is looking to see how it can help and partner with local manufacturers to make the Rhinelander area a more favorable place for them to locate their businesses, as well as to attract and retain skilled workers to make those businesses successful," said Dana DeMet, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director.
Over the next six months, WMC will continue to look for ways to attract more workers and businesses to the state.
In December, it hopes to have 1000 representatives for a meeting in Milwaukee focusing on how manufacturing will benefit the state.
WMC also works with the University of Wisconsin system and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Ruby's pantry opened their doors Tuesday in Lac du Flambeau. This is the first time the Ruby's pantry has set up shop there. They decided to come to Lac du Flambeau because of the good turnout in Rhinelander. The food pantry asks that people give a $20 donation.
“It's not your typical food pantry,” says Gloria Cobb, Ruby's Pantry Lac du Flambeau Lead Coordinator. “This is an opportunity to give people dignity, to serve with dignity, and it's a donation base.”
“I mean look at the hustle and bustle going on we've got the community coming together not only Lac du Flambeau but the surrounding community coming together to meet a very basic need and that's to help with hunger,” says Cobb.
The pantry offered items like strawberries, cake mix, and toilet paper. More than 400 people were expected to show up.
“A participant will go through the line with a laundry basket and or box and they will be offered items,” says Cobb. “They can refuse them however we will encourage them to take the item because somebody else that they may know may have a need.”
“They get a certain amount of each item and they go through the line like an assembly line,” says Cobb.
The pantry had more than 21,000 pounds of food to give away.
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