‘Last one to leave the country, turn the lights out.’

New Zealanders are outnumbered by sheep by about 15 to 1. They also love to travel, hence the “lights out” line.

Rotorua, on the north island of New Zealand, is not only the home of the “boiling mud”, but also an unparalleled sheep demonstration.

In the demonstration, the host of the show stands on a stage in front of some risers and calls out to sheep that are milling around at the side of the stage and being kept in line by dogs.

The dogs lead the sheep individually to their respective places on the risers while the sheep, nineteen breeds in all, patiently wait in place while the host discusses various agricultural processes, most of them involving sheep.

New Zealand lamb is excellent and a great choice for grilling up Rosemary Mustard Lamb Chops. To make four servings, you will need eight lamb loin chops (about one pound per 500 grams), two tablespoons raspberry vinegar, one tablespoon Dijon mustard, one tablespoon soy sauce, two tablespoons minced fresh rosemary, one tablespoon olive oil and at least one clove of minced garlic.

Before arranging the lamb in a single layer in a large shallow dish, trim any excess fat from the lamb. Now whisk together the oil, garlic, soy sauce, mustard, rosemary and vinegar and pour it over the chops. Turn the chops over to make sure they are coated well.

Cover and marinate the meat in the fridge for at least two hours and for no longer than eight hours, turning them occasionally. After this they are ready for the grill.

Preheat the barbecue to medium-high and grease the grill before putting the chops on and discarding any leftover marinade. Cook for five minutes a side for medium-rare, or longer, being careful not to dry them out.

It is a good idea to transfer them to a platter and tent foil over them for about five minutes before serving.

Apple sauce or mint jelly will complement the lamb very nicely.

And give this Greek-styled salad a try:

Make a salad out of five cups of spinach torn or cut into bite-sized pieces, four cups of Boston lettuce reduced to bite-sized pieces, a cup of crumbled feta cheese, four sliced green onions, about 24 pitted olives, three medium tomatoes cut in wedges and a medium cucumber sliced.

The dressing you will want for this is made from two tablespoons of lemon juice, one-quarter cup of vegetable oil, half a teaspoon of sugar, one-quarter teaspoon of salt, one-eighth of a teaspoon of pepper and one-and-a-half teaspoons of Dijon mustard.

First, shake the dressing ingredients together in a tightly sealed container and then, in a large bowl, toss the salad ingredients with the dressing and serve it immediately.

And, as if the sheep demonstration at the Agrodome is not enough excitement for one day, there is always the boiling-mud exhibit. The smell is unbelievable, but where else can you see a sheep demonstration and boiling mud all in one day? You’ve got to hand it to those Kiwis; they sure know how to have a good time.

Remember to shop locally when possible, there’s lots of good stuff out there.

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