I love this picture of Lewie, even though it's blurry. Lewie Dewandler, who lives on the Ponsford prairie and has been parching our wild rice for years (and is one of most bullshit-slingingest, tender-hearted characters I've ever met) broke his foot this summer and can't do the heavy lifting and stoking that parching requires--but also can't stay away from the parching shed. I said, you're sitting pretty close to that fire. Then the barrel rolled back toward him on that track by his elbow and he leaned over and kissed the oily, sticky, hot wingnut.
His son and daughter-in-law parched our rice this year, the same way Lewie has always done it, the best way: over a wood fire. (This wasn't ours. We had only three bags, or 135 pounds, which is a lot for us but just fringe for them.)
I love fresh-rice day, when we bring home the finished rice that was gathered in the "front yard." Indian creek: you can't swim in it, but you can eat it.
Like every year, I cook the rice very simply when we first get it, to get a sense of the batch. I posted the recipe for simple wood-parched wild rice with thyme and garlic in the Enterprise this week:http://www.parkrapidsenterprise.com/event/article/id/20242/