Monday, August 31, 2015

Bronte, Italy - Home of the Pistachio

August 31, 2015

A tasty delicacy enveloped in a light, bright green hue, the Bronte Pistachio is good on its own, or when used in recipes savory and sweet. Whether fresh or dried, it is perhaps the most precious ingredient in Sicilian cuisine, and symbolizes its town of origins, Bronte, in the Province of Catania. Indeed, the pistachio is so important to Bronte’s economy that it has long been graced with the nickname "green gold." 

The pistachio plant can live between 200 and 300 years, and thrives above all in Bronte. While the nut’s most ancient origins lie in ancient Persia, that grown in Bronte is distinguished by very unique characteristics – even in comparison to other Sicilian pistachios – and is thus known as pistacia vera.
Such may very well be attributed the fact that pistachios in Bronte are cultivated in volcanic soil, on the scorching terrain of Mount Etna and the Nebrodes. Here, the terroir seems to favor the resinous plant, from its thick foliage that necessitates little water, down to its ability to cling to the steepest and craggiest mountain slopes (thanks to its knotty branches and deep roots).
The pistachio harvest takes place every two years between late August and early September; it is a truly magical event that involves the entire population of Bronte: women, men, the old and the young ascend the heights to pick and shell this splendid fruit, one by one. An almost-sacred rite, the harvest reaps a triumph of brilliant color, from intense green to violet-red, that conquers both aesthetic and palate with its particular brand of Sicilian magic.

*  *  *  *  *

Pistachio trees grow best in the rocky soil of a volcanic lava flow.


Cactus fruit

Pistachio flavored granita

City gate to Radazza

Sicilian sheep

Friday, August 28, 2015

Grapes are Changing Color

August 27, 2015

We stopped and took pictures of this same vineyard a month ago and the grapes were really green.  Now they are nearly ripe.

August 27, 2015

July 24, 2015

Bari Specialized Training - August 2015

August 27, 2015

Bari Specialized Training - August 2015

The topic of zone conference is "Fear Not."  The zone leaders related a hypothetical story about a man driving down the road with music blaring and just happy to be driving along.  He looked out his window and saw a woman standing next to her car with smoke coming out from under the hood of her car.  He saw the predicament she was in, but figured someone else would come along and help her.  It was easy to drive on down the road.

Then he changed the scenario and said the woman having problems was his sister.  The man driving down the road would have done anything to get to his sister to help her.

They then likened this to the missionaries in the Italy Rome Mission who see thousands of spiritual car wrecks everyday and they are our brothers and sisters and we should do everything we can to help them.  We should never pass by them.

D&C 112:11
I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers concerning thy brethren.  Be not partial
towards them in love above many others, but let they love be for them as
for thyself; and let thy love abound unto all men.

They then talked about how to overcome fear.

1 John 4:18-19
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. 
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
We love him, because he first loved us.
1 John 4:18-19

*  *  *  *  *

The Sister Training Leader also spoke on the topic of "Fear Not".  She said there are two kinds of fear--good fear and bad fear.  Good fears protect us and bad fears keep us from progressing. 

She referred to a talk by Elder Bednar where he explained the difference between mortal fear and Godly fear.  Godly fear helps us respect God and is the source of peace, assurance and confidence. 

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 
Fear God, and keep his commandments:  For this is the whole duty of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

*  *  *  *  *

All men have fear, but those who face their fear with faith have confidence. 
 --Elder Russel M. Nelson

*  *  *  *  *

President Waddoups demonstrated the concept of talking to everyone when a delivery man came to the church during the conference to deliver some banquet tables.  President went into the foyer to assist the delivery man and a few minutes later returned with the man and asked two of the missionaries to give him a quick lesson on the restoration and invite him to take the missionary lessons.  He accepted and they now have an appointment to meet with him on Saturday.

President also talked about "Fear Not" and showed a talk by President Deiter F. Uchtdorf given at the 2014 Mission Presidents Seminar.

*  *  *  *  *

Beginning Testimony

Beginning Testimony

Happy Birthday