Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flows the springs of life.
A Saturday morning dedicated to learning about the camino and one woman's walk with the Lord. In my own home, surrounded by old and new friends with a table laden with freshly baked goodies. I'd say that was a pretty special way to spend the day!
Christi walked the camino in June this year and she put together a slide show with the most beautiful background music, documenting her journey. She shared not only the practical aspects of walking the camino but also aspects of her spiritual journey.
She is also, as I am, a believer in signs and affirmations and for her, hearts seem to pop up everywhere, especially in nature. Hence her message centres around references to the heart in the Bible and how the Lord speaks to us in this regard.
I chose to quote Proverbs 4:23 above, and yes, she baked the heart shaped cake - delicious!
So the Camino is already affecting my life - on day 42 of this journey I have a whole new library of knowledge stored in my head somewhere, I've made delightful new acquaintances and I can't wait to see where else this is going to lead me.
The question that I posted on the virtual albergue that I belong to a couple of days ago has created a buzz of a different kind all together. I asked: 'How has walking the camino changed who you are as a person?'
Up to now, the question has attracted more than 1200 views! What really surprised me is that somehow some of the answers lead to all kinds of debates that turned into people just about attacking each other! So much so that the moderator removed a couple of the posts and urged everyone to stay focused on the subject.
Good for him but I am left wondering. Do these heated debates regularly occur around the dinner tables on the camino? I know that whenever you have a mixed group of people together and religion is thrown in the mix - discussions can become heated, to say the least.
I am just disturbed by the negative energy that was created by some of the discussions that developed.
I reminded myself that at the end of the day, my own answer to that question is going to be the only one that really matters! Am I going to be changed as a person by walking all that way with a backpack on my back and a mind and heart ready to accept what the experience is meant to teach me? I hope I am - and yes, I do hope that it's going to be in a overwhelmingly positive way!
As for the promised 'Pasteis de Nata' recipe - well, photos first. The recipe comes from Mimi Jardim's book, 'Cooking the Portuguese way in South Africa'. Mimi has saved many South African girls who are married to Portuguese men. Portuguese mothers-in-law are all excellent cooks. Most of their recipes reside in their heads though and if there is a language barrier, how is an Afrikaans girl like myself supposed to figure it out!
My mom bought me the book many years ago and this recipe produces little tartlets that tastes exactly like the ones you'll find in any little bakery in Lisbon!
I thought I'd capture my own little tartlets as they were transformed from being flour, cream, cinnamon, eggs etc. to divine treats that made you forget the word diet exists...
Roll out the pastry thinly. Cut into strips about 14cm wide and roll the strips like a Swiss-roll. Cut the rolls into 'wheels', 2-3cm wide. Place the pastry wheels in greased patty tins. Dip your thumb in cold water and press the pastry wheels so that they line the tins. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Beat the egg yolks. Add the flour, mixed with a little milk. Add the cream and sugar and mix well. Place in a saucepan and and bring to the boil. Add the lemon rind. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Pour into a jug. Pour the filling into the pastry-lined tins until three-quarters full.
Bake in a very hot oven (300 degrees Celsius) until golden brown, with a dark, almost black, centre. (15-20 minutes). I like to sprinkle a little ground cinnamon over the cooked tartlets.
Hide some for yourself, serve the rest, sit back and wait for the compliments!
Have a great week everyone!