Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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hsmom
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Posted: July 25 2008 at 7:00pm | IP Logged Quote hsmom

JennGM wrote:
I made some templates for a cockle shell and the cross of St. James to use for the powdered sugar over the cake.


Thank you so much for the cross template. I checked the site earlier today looking for last minute ideas and this worked perfect. I didn't have the almonds to make the actual cake so I used the Vanilla Tea Cake recipe from "Tea and Cake with the Saints" and just substitued the vanilla extract for almond extract. The template worked beautifully. Blessings, Valerie
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Posted: July 25 2008 at 8:02pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

hsmom wrote:
I didn't have the almonds to make the actual cake so I used the Vanilla Tea Cake recipe from "Tea and Cake with the Saints" and just substitued the vanilla extract for almond extract. The template worked beautifully.


That is the recipe my daughter used as well. It was the first time she had made it. It was really watery and took MUCH longer than the directions said to be cooked through - then the edges were pretty crispy. I'm wondering if you had any problems with yours, Valerie. I didn't warch her to make sure she did everything correclty, but she is pretty good at following recipes herself. It might have just been that we should have adjusted for altitude - that's the problem with living at a high altitude and following generic recipes.


MaryM wrote:
A few weeks ago at Walmart I saw that they were carrying Madeleine cookies.
They didn't have them I'm kicking myself for not buying them when I did see them. Figured I would be able to get them later. So we opted for plan B. I made cornbread in the shell shaped pan to go with our chili.


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Posted: July 26 2008 at 1:30am | IP Logged Quote hsmom

Mary,

I've made the cake twice and haven't had any trouble either time. I wouldn't describe the batter as watery though. I don't know about the altitude thing. I would definitely give it another try. The cake was delicious both as a vanilla cake and an almond cake. Good luck.

Valerie
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Posted: July 26 2008 at 2:25am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

Thanks, Valerie. I probably shouldn't have described it as watery since I never actually saw the batter myself but when we opened the oven after the 30 minutes and it was liquidy when toothpick inserted (more than I've ever seen). We had to cook it an extra 15 minutes to get it done.

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Posted: July 10 2012 at 1:37pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

I'm looking for the reason for the symbolism of the shell with St. James. This is from an online/wiki answers. No citations to see where the info is written.

Quote:
The story of the shell has more of a religious note.
Saint James of Compostella turned from the thoughts and pleasures of this life to meditation on the sufferings, humiliation and death of Christ. He vowed that alone, barefoot, and in humility he would travel to the Holy Land and stand by the tomb of the Saviour in Palestine. The first of the palmers or pilgrims, he kept his vow. On his eastward journey he bound upon his hat a little black cockle-shell, the sign of the sea and the suggestion of water in the desert. On his return from the tomb he wore a white cockle-shell, a symbol of purification. Since that time the shell has been the pilgrim's sign, the sign of the wanderer, the traveler from the far lands, the seeker after the unknown. When a pilgrim returned from Palestine with the white shell upon his hat, kings made way, for the holy man had stood on sacred ground. So this sign too was seized upon by the builders and became a frequent form in their decoration.
Topping most of the light posts, gracing the cornices, banding the columns, and in many places interlaced with the rose about the portals at the Exposition, can be found the cockle-shell of Saint James, the other great Spanish sign.


Quote:
The story is told that when Saint Jamesí remains were taken by boat to Spain, a man was riding his horse on the beach. The horse saw the boat and plunged into the sea, with its rider, making for the boat. They sank but then rose again, covered with scallop shells.


Anyone have any sources or information on the reason for the symbolism. Is it just that cockle shell is symbol of pilgrims? Was that before St. James or did that come after? Pilgrimage by sea only??


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Posted: July 24 2012 at 7:41pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

MaryM wrote:
I'm looking for the reason for the symbolism of the shell with St. James. This is from an online/wiki answers. No citations to see where the info is written.

Quote:
The story of the shell has more of a religious note.
Saint James of Compostella turned from the thoughts and pleasures of this life to meditation on the sufferings, humiliation and death of Christ. He vowed that alone, barefoot, and in humility he would travel to the Holy Land and stand by the tomb of the Saviour in Palestine. The first of the palmers or pilgrims, he kept his vow. On his eastward journey he bound upon his hat a little black cockle-shell, the sign of the sea and the suggestion of water in the desert. On his return from the tomb he wore a white cockle-shell, a symbol of purification. Since that time the shell has been the pilgrim's sign, the sign of the wanderer, the traveler from the far lands, the seeker after the unknown. When a pilgrim returned from Palestine with the white shell upon his hat, kings made way, for the holy man had stood on sacred ground. So this sign too was seized upon by the builders and became a frequent form in their decoration.
Topping most of the light posts, gracing the cornices, banding the columns, and in many places interlaced with the rose about the portals at the Exposition, can be found the cockle-shell of Saint James, the other great Spanish sign.


Quote:
The story is told that when Saint Jamesí remains were taken by boat to Spain, a man was riding his horse on the beach. The horse saw the boat and plunged into the sea, with its rider, making for the boat. They sank but then rose again, covered with scallop shells.


Anyone have any sources or information on the reason for the symbolism. Is it just that cockle shell is symbol of pilgrims? Was that before St. James or did that come after? Pilgrimage by sea only??


It's the day before his feast, and you asked quite in advance. I have gone through all my books and have only found several answers, but not really solid.

Apparently, the Spanish legends of Santiago (St. James) run very deep. I can't read Spanish without much studying, so I can't verify completely. But your second version is the one that repeats, either with a knight or a bridegroom. When St. James came from the water, he was covered in scallops. Also, the legend of his body coming across in a stone boat, so the sea is tied in with his legend.

ETA: I did check my printed resources, also, not just online.

Some online sources: Americanpilgrims.com

NYTimes article, although some liberal insertions

Archive article on Scallop influence on English

summary of symbolism

As an aside, did you know Pope Benedict's Coat of Arms includes the scallop?


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Posted: July 25 2012 at 9:17am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

JennGM wrote:
I just found this recipe for Torta de Santiago that's gluten free. I find many "dessert" recipes from the Middle Ages use almonds, such as Frangipane cream and Mostaccioli, said to be St. Francis of Assisi's last request. Anyone have an inexpensive source for almonds?



Bumping this recipe -- how nice to have a gluten free recipe for this feast day that is actually TRADITIONAL!!!!

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Posted: July 25 2012 at 2:05pm | IP Logged Quote aussieannie

JennGM wrote:
I find many "dessert" recipes from the Middle Ages use almonds, such as Frangipane cream and Mostaccioli, said to be St. Francis of Assisi's last request.


That is very interesting. Where would you find other recipes using almonds, that might have been used for feast days?

Yesterday I went to a gluten-free cafe, where the owner bakes everything herself and bought a slice of Persian Love Cake, it was also made from almond meal, it was so delicious! So I'm keen to try this recipe you've linked, I've missed this feast though (it's early of St Anne's day here in Aus) but I'll still like to make it soon and then put it on the list for next year's feast.

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Posted: July 25 2012 at 4:13pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

aussieannie wrote:
JennGM wrote:
I find many "dessert" recipes from the Middle Ages use almonds, such as Frangipane cream and Mostaccioli, said to be St. Francis of Assisi's last request.


That is very interesting. Where would you find other recipes using almonds, that might have been used for feast days?

Yesterday I went to a gluten-free cafe, where the owner bakes everything herself and bought a slice of Persian Love Cake, it was also made from almond meal, it was so delicious! So I'm keen to try this recipe you've linked, I've missed this feast though (it's early of St Anne's day here in Aus) but I'll still like to make it soon and then put it on the list for next year's feast.


Oh, isn't that nice, Anne!!! I'm glad you could have a treat! It's those little things.

If I remember correctly, the two recipes I list above were in A Continual Feast by Evelyn Vitz. I remember helping my brother make this project for St. Francis and my paternal grandmother was visiting and commenting on how expensive this recipe was (because of the cost of almonds).

In my Spanish cookbooks, there is mention particularly of Galicia region, but also other places in Spain that almond recipes are quite common.

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Posted: July 25 2012 at 4:27pm | IP Logged Quote aussieannie


JennGM wrote:
Oh, isn't that nice, Anne!!! I'm glad you could have a treat! It's those little things.


Yes, it's been quite a find, not far from home as you could travel the whole city and have trouble finding such a place and cook as this. But I want to cook like this myself..cheaper!...so it's interesting I'm reading your post today. I have that cook book so I'm going to have a look at try some recipes.

JennGM wrote:
In my Spanish cookbooks, there is mention particularly of Galicia region, but also other places in Spain that almond recipes are quite common.


Ok, I'll try and google some of that, and see what I can find in the way of Spanish almond meal recipes. I like cooking and making things that are symbolic for saints days, (like the shell shaped cornbread that Mary shared, which was brilliant) but I think that if I can find a more authentic recipes to work with plus it will be better for our family health-wise, it's all good.

We are fortunate to shop at a place that offers almond meal in bulk, so cheaper than buying it in supermarkets or small health food shops in packets.

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Posted: July 25 2012 at 7:15pm | IP Logged Quote aussieannie

Just found this page that has some helpful hints on buying, cooking and storing almond meal.

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Posted: July 27 2012 at 3:21am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

JennGM wrote:
MaryM wrote:

Anyone have any sources or information on the reason for the symbolism. Is it just that cockle shell is symbol of pilgrims? Was that before St. James or did that come after? Pilgrimage by sea only??


It's the day before his feast, and you asked quite in advance. I have gone through all my books and have only found several answers, but not really solid.

Apparently, the Spanish legends of Santiago (St. James) run very deep. I can't read Spanish without much studying, so I can't verify completely. But your second version is the one that repeats, either with a knight or a bridegroom. When St. James came from the water, he was covered in scallops. Also, the legend of his body coming across in a stone boat, so the sea is tied in with his legend.


Over the past two nights we watched the documentary from Ignatius Press - The Way of St. James

In that movie they say the shell became the symbol of the St. James and the Camino because of how plentiful scallop shells were in Galicia, the location of Santiago de Compostella. The shells would have been carried by pilgrams and used because they were a good size for gathering water to drink. I found some online sources that second that.

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Posted: July 27 2012 at 3:27am | IP Logged Quote aussieannie

Do you recommend the documentary, Mary?

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Posted: July 27 2012 at 3:57am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

aussieannie wrote:
Do you recommend the documentary, Mary?


It was okay and helpful to us since we are going to Northern Spain in about a month. I was glad I watched it. It (Santiago) is one of the places we plan to visit though we won't have time to actually walk the Camino. I borrowed the dvd from my mom. I don't think I would buy it but worth watching if you can get a copy. Much was subtitled which my youngest does not like. A lot was about the experiences of the pilgrims they interviewd (none particularly religious in their reasons for doing the pilgrimage). I did enjoy the historical parts and the photography of the locations along the way ("The Way" - ).

It was a follow up for us as we watched The Way (Estevez/Sheen) last week.

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Posted: July 27 2012 at 2:35pm | IP Logged Quote aussieannie

Oh wow Mary, sounds great! Not going to see the shrine of Our Lady of the Pilar by any chance??...I don't think it's Northern Spain though.

Yes, I've seen The Way the movie, I liked the scenery in it very much.


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Posted: July 24 2013 at 10:59pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Well, it's St James' Feast today. Any memories to share of Santiago de Compostela, Mary?

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Posted: July 25 2013 at 1:32am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

JennGM wrote:
Well, it's St James' Feast today. Any memories to share of Santiago de Compostela, Mary?


Funny you should ask...

I have been thinking about this all week. St. James' feast day definitely is more meaningful and memorable this year because of our visit to Santiago last August. We purchased a St. James pilgrim statue and will put that out on table with shells we collected while in Spain. I really like the distinct look of the St. James images in Spain. He is depicted both as pilgrim (peregrino) and as Moor Slayer. Those are the 2 Spanish images of him.





I want to make a torta de Santiago, but not sure that I will have enough time to do so - busy day tomorrow and I didn't plan ahead. We will have something with shell-shaped pasta for dinner along with our favorite pilgrim drink - San Pellegrino water ("pilgrim" water).

Our favorite memory of the actual Cathedral in Santiago is the pilgrim's Mass and the swinging of the botafumeiro after Mass. That was so amazing and it doesn't happen that often - we feel very blessed to have been there when we were.

JennGM wrote:
Just found this interesting site: Recipeland. If you scroll down
The name "James" in English comes from "Iacobus" (Jacob) in Latin. In eastern Spain, Jacobus became "Jacome" or "Jaime"; in western Spain it became "Iago". "Saint James" ("Sanctus Jacobus") became "Sant' Iago", which was abbreviated to Santiago. This has sometimes been confused with San Diego, which is the Spanish name of scallop shell (or "cockle shell"), and pilgrims to his shrine often wore that symbol on their hats or clothes. The french for a scallop is coquille St. Jacques, which means "cockle (or mollusk) of St. James", and that term also refers to a method of cooking and serving them, on a shell (real or ceramic) in a creamy wine sauce.

The variations of the name of St. James in the various languages is fascinating to me. I love this sign we saw at the start of "The Way" in St. John Pied de Port in France.


"The Way of St. James" in French and in Basque. I have a son Jacob and though I had seen this before really it never clicked with me that his name is from James until this trip.



Oh and we are anxiously awaiting the birth of a friend's baby boy. His due date was yesterday and they are going to name him Santiago so we are hoping for today .

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Posted: July 25 2013 at 6:28pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Today is a sad day for this feast, because of the Train Wreck in Spain that has killed over 80 people.

Probably many of them were pilgrims to the festival. All the festivities were cancelled because of this great tragedy.

St. James, pray for them and all their loved ones.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

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Posted: July 25 2013 at 7:10pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

I saw that this morning too - what a tragic accident. Praying for everyone involved on this feast day.

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Posted: July 26 2013 at 9:49am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

And speaking of the train accident, a member of our local group posted today:
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A good friend of mine just told me about a friend of hers who was killed in the Spanish train wreck yesterday. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Ana-Maria Cordoba and for the continued recovery of her husband Felipe, and their daughter, Cristina, who were injured in the train wreck and are in the hospital.


It always gets even more tragic when there is a personal connection.

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