Cassie brings English Breakfast tea to Joy and finds her startled from a strange dream. Joy soon realizes she fell asleep with Elizabeth Merriwick’s journal next to her and quickly hides it. Cassie says dreams can tell us a lot. Joy finds Cassie knows a lot about dreams, and Cassie says it’s a Merriwick thing.
George proclaims himself the chili champ, as he works on perfecting his chili in the kitchen. Abigail recalls that Martha is the chili champ. Middleton gets intense about their chilis, exampled by Sam chiming in saying Middleton won’t know what hit it when they try his chili. His message hits home as he swings a bat that he received from a patient, baseball player Colin Burton. Abigail recognizes Colin’s name as Donovan is a huge fan.
A frazzled Joy enters the kitchen seeking coffee and is thrilled to find fresh blueberry scones. Today marks her late mother’s birthday and she loved blueberry scones. Joy tells Cassie she reminds her a lot of her mother. Abigail senses Joy warming up to them.
At the bistro Martha orders a café au lait and a “Tinsdale on Toast,” which Stephanie decodes as coffee with hot milk and a tuna melt with sauerkraut. Martha has done this dance long enough and wants to know when Stephanie will name the sandwich after her. Tom arrives late and upset as the Middleton Footbridge is still just that: a footbridge. He reminds Martha promised as Mayor to widen the bridge.
Joy watches an old video of her mother celebrating a birthday. Her mother sings and a young Joy joins her. Meanwhile in the kitchen, Cassie sings the same song.
While picking up tea at the bistro, Abigail shares with Cassie that she and her father have reached a milestone as he wants to introduce her to his girlfriend. Abigail is excited but also worried as something about the situation seems off.
Stephanie’s niece Presley enters the bistro and could really use a s’mores cupcake. The timing is perfect as Adam gets the pleasure of meeting her. He hopes she will come watch him win the chili cook-off. Stephanie counters, not if her chili wins. She invites Presley to join her team as chili captain.
Abigail meets her father and his girlfriend, Josie, at Grey House. Josie seems kind and inviting as she offers Abigail a hug.
Sam checks in on Adam as he makes his chili. He promises the aroma will pale in comparison to the actual flavor. Sam assures he is bringing the heat with his chili but his excitement wanes after he gets a message that his chili’s star ingredient is not going to arrive in time for the cook-off. Adam says a true chili artist paints with more than one brush.
Martha finds Tom putting up campaign signs for his own mayoral one. He feels if Martha will not widen the footbridge someone has to do it. Martha points to her chili champion title as a sign as Mayor she knows what pleases the people. Tom feels someone has to give her a run for her money. Martha simply states, “Bring it on.”
Cassie finds Sam on a mission in the kitchen for the ingredient to help his chili go from good to gold. Cassie asks if he recalls Martha’s spice cabinet and suggests Martha may be willing to share if there is something she wants more than winning the chili cook-off.
Adam and Stephanie prep their chilis. Adam scoffs at Stephanie using turkey. Presley tells Adam, “Don’t underestimate the lady with the bistro.” Stephanie sneaks a bite of Adam’s chili and sadly informs him he mixed up the salt and sugar. Presley’s friend Mackenzie comes into the café. She explains to Stephanie they are not really friends anymore. She is upset by the situation as Mackenzie only wants to hang out with her new friend Victoria.
Cassie has the perfect spot for Joy to plant a magnolia in honor of her mother’s birthday: The Grey House Garden. As they are planting, they find a time capsule Cassie buried with Grace years ago. Cassie grabs it and puts it away for safe keeping. However, Joy seems curious about its contents. Joy is sure the time capsule reminds Cassie of Grace. Cassie notes it must have Grace’s old baby blanket and also a Merriwick family tree project, which would make for interesting reading. Joy admits she also has started looking into her family history.
Sam asks Martha for a peek at her legendary spice closet. At first Martha seems reluctant, but there does seem to be something she is worth bartering for as she asks Sam, “Have you ever had a tuna melt with sauerkraut?”
Arthur finds Abigail at the flower shop to get her thoughts on his girlfriend Josie. Abigail assures she made a good first impression. Arthur counters she also makes a good ratatouille and invites her to dinner. Abigail says to make it dinner for four. Arthur takes this to mean there is someone in her life she wants him to meet.
Friendly competition is Stephanie’s favorite kind. Sam is happy to hear the news as he asks for a favor. He asks what it would take to get “Tinsdale on Toast” added to the bistro menu. If he can secure it, he may be able to get the spice he needs from Martha. Stephanie has her own quid pro quo; she wants Abigail’s Stevie Nicks tickets. If Sam can make that happen the “Tinsdale on Toast” will be added to the menu along with a “Sam and Cheese.”
Martha’s ears may be burning as shortly after Stephanie’s conversation with Sam ends, Martha enters. She asks why Stephanie has a Tom for Mayor sign in her window as he is just running to put a bee in Martha’s bonnet.
Sam finds Abigail at the flower shop to see if he can strike a deal to get her Stevie Nicks tickets. Abigail wonders why he is so eager to win the chili cook-off. Sam explains the Radford family recipe has been handed down from father to son for generations and has yet to lose a blue ribbon. Abigail’s price for the tickets is Sam’s bat signed by Colin Burton.
Stephanie tells Cassie she feels like she let Presley down as far as helping with her friendship fiasco with Mackenzie. Suddenly, Stephanie get a call from her good friend Courtney. The two of them used to be inseparable.
Abigail and Donovan join Arthur and Josie for dinner. Arthur and Josie show off their cooking skills and share how they met. Dinner is going well, and Arthur is glad they got together. However, things take a turn when Abigail lets it slip that Arthur was in prison.
Joy sneaks into the time capsule they found in the backyard and snaps a photo of the family tree just before Cassie walks in. Cassie heard from Abigail that Joy discovered Rodrick Davenport’s study and wonders what secrets she may dig up. Joy admits she has been wondering that herself, but it does not seem like the study is these only place where she is trying to uncover secrets. Cassie notices a roll of film outside of the time capsule and wonders how it got outside of the box. Joy offers to develop the photos.
Abigail feels badly about the way Josie found out about Arthur’s prison time. Arthur tells her it was his decision to make. When people hear ex-con that is all they can think about and now Josie is not speaking with him. Abigail tells her Dad to give Josie time to come around.
Sam congratulates Martha on the “Tinsdale on Toast” officially getting on the bistro’s menu. Martha repays Sam with the key to her spice cabinet. However, Martha warns one rare gem of a spice that has eluded her for years. Sam is disappointed at the news as he knows exactly which spice she is talking about: the Paradise Pepper.
Stephanie’s phone call from an old friend has helped her provide Presley with advice about best friends. She admits years ago she and her friend Courtney were inseparable until all of a sudden Courtney started ignoring her spending time with another friend, Kim. Presley wonders if Stephanie did something wrong. Stephanie says no and explains she knew if Courtney was really her friend she’d come back around. Finally, one day Courtney returned and apologized, making their friendship even stronger.
Joy checks on George making his spicy chili. He tells her if it’s not hot is it doesn’t have a shot. Joy ask if George could develop a roll of film for her. She offers to stir his chili as he does it. George obliges and after he leaves Joy tastes the chili and finds it is indeed VERY spicy.
Martha asks Cassie if she thinks change is good as Tom is like a dog with a bone when it comes to widening the footbridge. Martha made it clear that the bridge should stay put. Cassie wonders if Martha and Tom should try to meet in the middle of their disagreement as bridges are meant to bring people together. A walk along the bridge may be just what Martha and Tom need to clear things up.
Abigail asks Donovan if there are things she does not know about him. He confirms indeed there are and wonders what Abigail is trying to get at. She just wants an open and honest relationship. Donovan reiterates there are things she does not know but he is not keeping them a secret. He understands that she is worried, but he reminds her he is not like her father.
Cassie finds Joy stirring George’s chili just as he returns to the kitchen with the developed photos. They are black and white photos of Cassie’s parents. The images were taken on the last vacation they took together. One photo however did not come out, so Cassie asks George if he would mind trying again to get it developed.
Martha finds Tom on the footbridge to talk. They stroll across it as she asks if he remembers when they first started dating and would take romantic walks together across the bridge and picking up strawberries from Meyer’s Farm. She fears if the bridge goes those memories will go with it. Tom assures her the bridge going away will not impact their memories. Martha still wishes there was a compromise.
Sam finds Joy in the garden. He is a bit crestfallen that he could not find the Paradise Pepper and without it his chili is just a bowl of bland. Joy is optimistic as Sam still has a few hours before the cook-off to find them. He finds it highly doubtful as these peppers don’t just grow on trees. Joy says he is right. They grow on plants and she points to a pepper plant in the soil nearby.
At the park Cassie and Abigail unpack some comfort food to go along with the chili. Cassie forgot the cornbread at Grey House. Abigail, not feeling very festive, offers to go back and get it. Stephanie is impressed by Cassie’s spread. Cassie says she was just channeling her inner Stephanie. She asks how things went with Presley. Stephanie told her sometimes friends need space and she hopes it made her feel better, even if waiting for someone to come around is not always easy. However, Cassie thinks the wait is over as she spots Presley and Mackenzie making up.
At Grey House Abigail finds Arthur. He tells her people make mistakes and there is a fine line between putting your past behind you and trying to forget it happened. He apologizes for crossing that line and not admitting the truth to Josie. He wanted to get Abigail’s blessing to marry Josie. Josie walks in just in time to her this admission. She explains Arthur’s past did not bother her; it was the fact that he hid it from her. He assures her no more hiding. Abigail gives her blessing. Since Arthur does not have a ring, they improvise one with a twist tie. He gets down on one knee and asks Josie to be his wife. She says yes.
At the chili cookoff Martha is excited to tell Tom that she has found a detour around their bridge impasse. She has convinced Meyer’s farm to sell their land to extend the bridge. Tom gives Martha his endorsement, his vote and a loving hug.
The chili cook-off judging begins, and Cassie starts tasting. George warns Cassie as she tastes Sam’s chili not to pick favorites. The judges convene and the winner is unanimous. The champion brought the sweet instead of the heat. The blue ribbon goes to George! George is startled, as he surely thought his spicy chili lost. He has wanted this for the last 10 years he admits he can’t take the title alone as he had help - Joy. He thanks Joy for her help as she admits to adding a dash of sweet potato powder to his chili.
Donovan finds Abigail at the park and tells her a secret; he doesn’t like chili. He wants Abigail to know he will always be honest with her. Abigail has a secret of her own to share. She leans in and gives Donovan a kiss. Donovan says he couldn’t quite hear her and Abigail plants another kiss on him.
Sam cannot believe his Paradise Pepper let him down. He doesn’t remain down too long as Cassie has a surprise. She pulls out his signed bat from Colin Bronson. Sam wonders how she got it back. She responds, “You’re not the only negotiator.”
Meanwhile, George and Joy work on developing the last picture on the roll of film. Cassie joins them to see if they are able to get anything to show up. All of a sudden, an image appears. Cassie recognizes it as her second cousin Julia. George notes Joy looks like Julia. Joy tells them it is because that is her mother. Surprised by the news, George says, “you’re a Merriwick.” Cassie tells Joy, “Welcome to the family.”