Totally Minnesota — Wild Rice and Warren Mackenzie

Best of Minnesota — Wild Rice and Warren Mackenzie

I am not a native Minnesotan – I grew up in the Chicago area.  But I’ve been here in Minnesota for over twenty years, and there are two BEST things about Minnesota – Wild Rice and Warren Mackenzie (Warren Mackenzie, the Potter).

Actually, there are quite a few GOOD THINGS about living in Minnesota.  I could mention goodies like Maple Syrup…. the Guthrie Theatre…. Lake Superior…. Northern Clay Center…. incredible Bike Trails…. Morels…. Bluffs along the Mississippi…. Canoeing the Boundary Waters, and so much more.  But right now, I’m writing about only TWO Minnesota things — Wild Rice (naturally harvested Wild Rice), and Warren Mackenzie.

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The past few months I’ve been helping pottery friends with their late-summer Pottery Sales.  Along the way, helping at a Warren Mackenzie sale, I acquired one very special Plate (a Pasta Bowl, actually).  I also acquired, while helping at another sale, a very tasty recipe for Wild Rice with Sage Sausage.  Now that Autumn is truly here, I thought it was time to put these two VERY Minnesota things together — Wild Rice in Warren Mackenzie Pottery.

The Food — Wild Rice with Sage Sausage in Squash Boat:

At a recent pottery event, I picked up a recipe for a Wild Rice/Sausage Baked Dish.  It was WOW — Tasty and delightfully rich.  Made with Minnesota Wild Rice (naturally harvested Wild Rice).  Sauteed onion, garlic, and mushroom; sauteed pork-sausage-with-sage.  Then all mixed together with already-cooked Wild Rice, plenty of butter and cream — And baked.  Awesome/Delicious!!  Minnesota comfort food with so many layers of flavor, and wonderful wild-rice-texture!

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I thought it would be perfect presented in a Squash Boat (already baked).  I tried acorn squash; also carnival squash.  And I added bits of cooked carrot for happy color.  All so totally Minnesota-Yummy — The squash was a perfect contrast to the earthy-but-rich Wild Rice.

Recipe included on my Recipes Page.  With a ‘thank you’ to artist friends, Laurie Ryan (and Mary Jo Van Dell).

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The Pottery — Warren Mackenzie Bowl:

A few months ago, Warren Mackenzie (and Friends) held a Pottery Sale at Warren’s Studio.  It was an honor to help out for the weekend — I found ONE (I allowed myself only one) Warren-Piece that simply had to come home with me.  I am so THRILLED with the Plate/Bowl that I acquired. Shino glaze, delightful finger-swipes.  And it is perfect for so many of the foods/dishes/dinners that I enjoy preparing.

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As I’ve written in a previous posting, Warren Mackenzie is a very important Minnesota potter — So special to so many of us in the clay community. He taught at the University of Minnesota for a number of years. It is because of Warren (and his many accomplished students) — That we are known as Mingei-sota.

‘Mingei’ (a Japanese word) — Refers to traditional folk/craft work, (simple, honest-but-aesthetic work), intended for everyday use, but appreciated as art.  With his background as an apprentice to Bernard Leach (England), and his work with Shoji Hamada (Japan) — Warren was instrumental in bringing the concept of ‘mingei’ to functional ceramics in the US.

I am sharing a few more photos — Warren Mackenzie at his recent Studio Sale, and another Warren-Pot….

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Above:  Warren and Friends — Wayne Branum, Linda Christenson, Guillermo Cuellar.

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Above:  Warren chatting with Kids about Pottery — They purchased a Teapot.

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Above:  A Warren Mackenzie Pot — Yunomi form, Celadon glaze.

And that’s my posting about the two BEST things about Minnesota!!  Hope everyone is enjoying a gorgeous October!

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