I’ve been enjoying a shorter-than-usual and yet still decadently long visit to northern Minnesota. There has been real sticky summer heat. There have been thunderstorms. There have been tornado warnings and watches. There has been walleye. There has been walleye eaten while playing bingo. There have been dives into cool fresh lake water and long swims along the shore. There have been bug bites so itchy they wake you up and ice cream cones licked while speeding over deep blue water in a fast moving boat. Fish and frogs and toads have been caught and released. A guitar was played and songs sung. Many many things have been grilled.
There was a breakfast at the Birchwood Cafe in Aitkin (home of the Gobblers!). It was a fine breakfast. Standard, quality diner fare except for two very Minnesotan touches.
Second, and most charmingly, the Birchwood Cafe also offers “hot wild rice” as a side on the breakfast menu (it also puts it in the Great Northern omelet). A cup or a bowl, your choice.
I was in an eggy-hashbrowny mood that morning, so I did not order the wild rice. It got me thinking though. Planted a seed of wild rice for breakfast that grew into the wild rice porridge dish you see above. Leftover wild rice, heated up with a bit of milk, topped with toasted chopped nuts, a bit of maple syrup, and a drizzle of browned butter. Some dried blueberries would have been good, too, I’m sure, if I’d had them in the house.