RHINELANDER - Thanks to one sweet treat, Fat Tuesday can be a good day to be Polish or at least pretend you're Polish.
You can do it right here in the Northwoods.
Traditionally, devout Polish Catholics looked to use up their lard and sugar before heading into Lent.
That's where a pastry called a paczki comes from.
Manager Randy Zadnik of the new Zadnik's Bistro in downtown Rhinelander will make between 2,000 and 3,000 of them Tuesday.
"Oh, yes. We've got fresh strawberry, blueberry, apricot. We've got custard. We also have cream cheese. There's one I'm missing, I'm sure, but there's seven flavors," he says.
By 6:30 Tuesday morning, customers were streaming in and out of Zadnik's to get their own paczki.
Zadnik's has been open three weeks where the old Zippy's restaurant used to be in Rhinelander.
Zadnik carried a few things over from Zippy's, but is starting fresh as well.
"We're going back to the basics. We're taking all the original things that people have done in the past, and making them work again, like going back to slicing your own cheese, slicing your own meat, my Italian sausage is imported, our sausage is fresh ground," he says.
Whether it's paczki or pizza, Zadnik knows what feeling he wants to give his customers when they eat his food.
"A wow. Wow, look at that sandwich on fresh-baked bread. All the products are fresh, everything in it is fresh, it was assembled to order, and it was cooked to order. So fresh, and outstanding," he says.
Today's the only day of the year Zadnik's makes paczki.
Our expert food critics here at Newswatch 12 give them a thumbs-up.
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"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date.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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