Compliments to the chefs

Posted on March 24, 2014


A considerable part of the Township’s year-round population turned up at the First Annual Firehouse Chili Cook-off on Saturday.  The firefighters are a wily bunch.  They enticed us with excellent treats at no charge.

Eight different chili recipes to sample . . .
Eight kinds of chili

Cornbread and gluten free muffins and an assortment of toppings . . .

Classic cornbread

Chili toppings

Cupcakes and brownies and gluten free cookies . . .

Excellent treats

It was very difficult to decide which chili deserved the prestigious First Ever Firehouse Chili Cook-off Award.  Some of us had to sample our favorites more than once.  Don Schultz took his responsibility very seriously.  Either that or he was morose over the fate of his beloved Steelers.

Don Schultz in Trojans Orange

For a refreshing change, the community room was full of youthful people with actual children.
People with actual children

In fact, youthful people were in charge of everything. Erin and Cody Randall were selling raffle tickets.
Erin and Cody Randall selling raffle tickets

Torch Lake fire chief Ryan Bigelow was beaming at pulling off a successful event.
Torch Lake Township Fire Chief Ryan Bigelow

Firefighters from all over the County compared notes.

Firefighters everywhere

Elk Rapids firefighter Don Hoezee carried home the traveling Best Firehouse Chili trophy.  He says his secret is to add just a tiny bit of cinnamon—not too much, you understand—and a little brown sugar to mellow out the heat if your head turns red and begins to sweat.

Don Hoezee with First Annual Chili Cook-off Trophy

The Dawsons won an astonishing number of raffle prizes, but that’s to be expected.  First of all, there are an astonishing number of Dawsons and second, they bought an astonishing number of raffle tickets.

Dawsons are big winners

You remember Maryanne and Duane Jorgensen . . .

Maryanne and Duane Jorgensen - Torchport

. . . and Becky Norris. Friends of Babs Ed and Linda were at the table, too. Ed took this photo with my stubborn little camera. Don’t blame him. It’s been a long winter. I have looked better.

Gerry Sell and Becky Norris

You know what those mitts are? They’re wrist warmers. Becky designed them and brought me a pair.  (When I got home I took the dogs for a walk and tested them.  Toasty warm.  And the way the weather forecast looks, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to wear them.)

We are a very small county, but the committee managed to acquire an astonishing array of excellent raffle prizes from local businesses and individuals.

Maple syrup and Backdraft Coffee

Fire extinguishers and turned wood vase

Many thanks to:

  • Home Depot (Wet/Dry Vac)
  • Abbey Matuszak (Basket of excellent pamperments)
  • Allen Davidson (turned wood vessels)
  • Northern Fire (fire extinguishers)
  • Torch Lake Cafe ($25 Gift certificate)
  • Torch Bay Marine (Hydroglide donut tube)
  • Pearl’s Restaurant ($25 Gift certificate)
  • Pangea’s Pizza Pub (Gift certificate: 1 Large Pizza and 1 Appetizer)
  • ?? (Motorola 2-way radios)
  • Back Draft Roasting Company (Two pounds of excellent coffee roasted in Northern Michigan)
  • Raveau’s Sugar Shack (a quart of Pure Maple Syrup)
  • Wicksall Distributors (two classic bar mirrors: Detroit Red Wings/Miller Brewing; Magic Hat Brewing)

Raffle prizes - Magic Hat bar mirror

I hope the firefighters decide to do this again.