To be pilgrim is to be on a path of adventure, to move out of our comfort zones, to let go of our prejudices and preconditioning, to make strides towards the unknown. If we want to tread the pilgrim’s path, we need to go beyond ideas of good and evil, and to be dedicated to our quest – to our natural calling. We need to shed not just our unnecessary material possessions but also our burdens of fear, anxiety, doubt and worry; in this way we can find spiritual renewal and enter on the great adventure into the unknown. Paradoxically, being on a pilgrimage doesn’t necessarily mean travelling from one place to another – it means a state of mind, a state of consciousness, a state of fearlessness.
To be a pilgrim – Satish Kumar
Rinse a 4 litre pot with cold water. Place all the ingredients (except vanilla), in the pot and heat over very low heat very gently until the sugar is fully dissolved (when you push the wooden spoon onto the bottom of the pot there is no more scrunch sound). (Did I say it is important to heat slowly?) Bring mixture to the boil and boil rapidly to the soft ball stage (a temperature of 115°C) while stirring often with a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 2 – 3 minutes while you butter the baking tin. Then add vanilla and beat rapidly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and becomes rough in texture.
Pour the mixture into a 20cm baking tin, non stick works best else just lightly buttered.Allow to cool a little before cutting it into squares with a sharp, clean knife (I wipe it between slices).Leave in a cool place to set, break into squares and store in an airtight container.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and then beat in the buttermilk until it forms a smooth mixture. Add the margarine/sugar solution to the dry ingredients and mix through with a wooden spoon. Add the buttermilk mixture and mix well.
Empty into a non stick or buttered baking pan which measures about 30 x 20 x 8 cm. Bake at 160°C for 45 minutes and allow to cool.
Tip the loaf onto a table and cut into rusks (3 cm x 5 cm). Pack onto a grid covered with baking sheet and leave in a 60-80°C oven until dry. This takes about 4-5 hours.
Keep some ‘wet’ rusks out as a snack before placing the others in the oven to dry. Very yummy. For those who do not know how to eat rusks, here is how. Some people like them dry, but they are quite crunchy this way. The traditional way is to dip them in your coffee or tea to soften them first. It is not regarded as bad manners to do this, and anyone who tells you that it is should rather stick to cucumber sandwiches.