Monday, July 4, 2016

Mandarins, Pork Belly, and the Fourth of July

This is mandarin-ripening season on the North Island of NZ.  About the northern 3/4 of the island stays warm enough, even in winter, for many homeowners to have their own citrus trees.  And right now the mandarins are coming in--big time.  One of the B&B owners gave us a nice, big bag of them,  right from her tree, plus some kiwi fruit--also ripening now.
They've been great for roadside snacks.  One other food we're seeing on menus all over the place is pork belly.  Today we had some wonderful pork belly, prepared with some soy sauce and citrus juice. And Barry had the radicchio and I had the rocket...this was at a vineyard in the Hawkes' Bay region, outside Napier.

Now, today is the 4th of July, and it's weird to be out of our country for that holiday.  So I've been thinking about our great America, and praying for the country--all of us, really--today.  One set of petitions from the BCP's service of morning prayer is my prayer for us, especially in this time of upset and anger in some places:
V.  Lord, keep this nation under your care
R.  And guide us in the ways of justice and truth.

Seems to me we could use a double dose of God's guidance right now, on our nation's birthday, and as we all head toward our elections in the fall.  BTW Barry and I get asked by just about every Kiwi we meet about our elections.  They wonder about our candidates, particularly one of them who has blonde hair and is over 65 years old...The primary feeling about our elections that we've heard here is a wondering and disbelieving feeling...people are actually aghast and appalled--and very worried.  May we all do the right thing...whatever it is...and may we turn to God in sincere prayer for guidance and help for our great nation.  I hope that we can all work toward healing.

So let's end on a lovely note--here is some of the country we drove through today.  Tonight we are in the Martinborough wine district.

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