I’VE NOT LONG discovered your magazine and its stories that capture the very essence of New Zealand. It has great articles on people who are passionate about living here, those who delight in this beautiful, majestic landscape, and are involved in niche industries. They are articles to inspire those who don’t want to miss a single moment of life. Reading June Peka’s letter on Christchurch’s waterways and water-bottling plants in the March/April issue was thought- provoking and reminded me of Christchurch’s crystal- clear, pure and, even envied drinking-water quality drawn from aquifers. However, due to a recent inspection in preventative maintenance of the bores, it is now to be chlorinated – how utterly disappointing and sad that our Garden City should find itself in this position. Barb Smith, Christchurch
THERE’S A SECRET part of New Zealand that your readers may not know about. Under a bridge in Rotorua, unseen by the convoy of tourism buses that drive over it without noticing, there is a place where two rivers meet: one hot, one cold. This place is, in my opinion, the best thing about Rotorua. The rivers merge and create something almost magical. Bathers sit side by side in a natural pool. You can sit there all day, adjusting your position to your own thermostat. Without phones and tablets to rob us of the ability to isolate ourselves from the immediate world, bathers actually talk. Backpackers, locals and international tourists alike sit together and chat. Secrets are exchanged and bonds form. It is a must when visiting the area. Colin Tavui, Onehunga
I HAVE A query regarding the recipe for Red Pepper Relish ( page 121 of the March/ April issue). Once all the ingredients are bought to the boil, then the heat is reduced to low, but there is no timeframe as to how long to leave it simmering. Most other relishes require about an hour yet this recipe indicates that the corn flour and cold water mix should be added immediately after reducing the heat to low, and it then only requires another 2-3 minutes simmering. Can you please confirm that is correct; it seems very quick to me? Marcella Thomas, Auckland
Ruth Pretty responds: I’m thrilled that you are busy cooking. Yes the recipe is correct. A relish such as the Red Pepper Relish is a game changer. In the States they might call it a fridge pickle. Old- style chutneys, relishes and pickles (which I still love) require long cooking and can be stored at room temperature for often more than a year. I can remember when I was a child, Mum and Dad cutting a gap in the bench to fit in our first-ever fridge. There is no way fridge space would have been wasted on a relish.
I READ MY first issue of your magazine last year when on holiday in the Ruahines. The holiday house I stayed in had a huge pile of them in the lounge and I could not stop reading. Luckily for me, my amazing partner got me an annual subscription. I am originally from the Czech Republic and have been living in New Zealand for almost four years now. I have just returned from a long visit back home; it is always hard leaving my family and friends, and I could not chase away doubts about my decision to live here. Fortunately, your latest issue was already waiting in my mailbox. I left my suitcase in the corner and sat down to read instead of unpacking. It reminded me why I decided to stay as this is such a beautiful country with so many friendly, inspiring people. Thank you for helping me to realize that I am in the right place. Katerina Valova, Hamilton