Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 42 - A divine morning (and a similarly divine recipe...)

Proverbs 4:23
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...

The recipe...

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!


  1. Emilene, there's something about the anonimity of the internet that seems to bring out the worst in people.

    I have learnt a long time ago not to try to change anybody's mind in a forum or on a bulletin board. I seek out the posts of those who are able to communicate coherently and (semi-)logically. The rest I ignore - there are some people that you simply don't need in your life :)

  2. Hi Andre! You are so right - I was impressed with the moderator of this particular forum though. Great to have a neutral, mature person step in and remove the stuff that really had no place in the conversation.

    That's life though, isn't it - there are always going to be confrontational, negative people around. Wonderful to be able to know though that one has the choice to exclude them from your space!

    I love your blog - I have just joined as a follower!

  3. I'm going to have to try the Pasteis de Nata. They look delicious!

  4. emilene- no- meals on the Camino are not at all like the postings on that thread. Most people are way too tired after a day walking to have heated arguments! It was just unfortunate that a person who had been a 'troll' previously on the board, came back with another name and chose your thread to launch his re-emergence! I think you have had quite a varied range of responses to that question though.... quite interesting to read people's varied opinions.

  5. Margaret - they were absolutely delicious! I think I'm going to start a recipe-exchange blog, the girls all wanted the recipe on Saturday as well and I said I'll share gladly but in turn they have to send me their winners as well! So watch this space... :)

    Kiwi Nomad - I am really glad to hear that the dinners are not to be dreaded then! I agree, the responses have been really interesting. I think if one thinks or feels differently about one single thing after embarking on an experience like this then you have been changed as a person - how can you possibly be the same. I guess what varies from person to person is how much of a change took place and that would be influenced by the personal encounters with others, frame of mind etc.

  6. Hi Emilene . . . mmmmm now I'm hungry :-)

    Thank you so much for visiting and following my blog . . . I am following you back and enjoy the journey with you.

    Have a wonderful day . . . Gina

  7. My comment seems lost. Another try.

    Hi Emilene,

    Would have liked to be there, all those goodies!

    Love the transition you made from musing over the reponse on the forum to you baking pastries.

    About the forum: I think that the response forms part of the answer to your question: not all the caminowalkers changed for the best.

    Keep blogging, Servaas

  8. Welcome Gina!

    Servaas - busy reading the journal... I suppose this post had a bit of the good, the bad and the ugly at the same time! Your comment is spot on - I suppose my question was answered from all prespectives...

  9. Oh my! Those are lovely! My mouth is watering!

    And the photo at the top is gorgeous! I have to recreate it in felt! But how to make the powdered sugar? :::thinking as she studies the photo:::

  10. Annie - Hmmm... can't think of something now, but will let you know if I think of something that could work!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, I welcome your input!