Thursday, 2 October 2008

I Have A Pair Of Hands . . .

I have a pair of hands, and although they are something I have taken very much for granted in my life, they have served me well. They are starting to look a bit older now. I can’t really put my finger on it but, they just don’t seem to look as youthful as they used to. The skin seems somehow less taut and perhaps they are a bit more wrinkled looking. No age spots yet, but I am dreading those, for I know they can‘t be too far in coming. They have been a great help to me in my life, and seen me through many times, both good and bad.

I’ve used these precious tools to reach out and grab hold of life. As an infant these hands helped me to reach out beyond the sphere of my existence and explore and learn about the world around me. My fingers were one of the first things I learned to put in my mouth, followed by my hand. As I got a bit older my hands were what helped to prevent me from getting really hurt when I was learning to walk and would fall upon the floor. They were important tools in helping me to learn how to feed myself and become independent.

As a very small child my mother taught me how to put my hands together, bow my head and pray, so they have been instrumental in helping me to commune with my Lord, and even now when I listen to a very spiritual piece of music that touches my heart I like to raise them in the air and somehow feel as if I am able to touch the hem of His garment. They have helped me throughout my life to feel closer to my God.

With them, I learned to tug on my clothes, and do up my buttons and tie my shoes for the very first time.

With a pencil or a crayon or a needle and thread I have learned to create and make tangible the songs of my heart and the inspirations of my soul. My nimble fingers have produced many a thing of beauty, be it a story to tell my children, or a cake or a meal to celebrate a special day or occasion.

I’ve used these hands to stroke the cheek of my lover’s face and to hold him close to me. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I loved and was loved. As I got older they helped me to comfort and hold my newborn child, and then to teach and guide my toddlers and then teens, however clumsy and inept they might have seemed at the time. These hands have been tender and firm, strong and sometimes weak.

These hands have written letters to family, neighbours and friends, stories for my children, and now my grandchildren.With these hands I write to you each morning and share with you the secret ponderings of my mind and my heart.

I've used these hands to wave goodbye a thousand times, never knowing if I would ever again see the person I was waving too. I have held them up in joyous greeting after long separations and in grand reunions.

My hands have held lovers and children and now grandchildren. They’ve wiped the tears from a child’s tender face and heart. They’ve consoled family and neighbours and friends. They’ve shaken with anger and fear and covered my face in sorrow and despair.

These hands have been dirty, and cut, scraped and swollen, tender and sore, yet still they serve me.

They have a good number of years left in them yet. They still have many miles to go and many trails to follow, many experiences and trials still to help and guide me though. They were with me in the beginning helping to lead the way and they will be with me at the end helping to lead the way. They are the mark of where I’ve been and the signpost of where I’m going, and they will be what I reach out and touch the hands of the Saviour with when he finally leads me home . . .

I hope you didn't mind me sharing this with you today. It's a post I wrote previously over on AOL journals last year. Since AOL has decided to shut down their journals people are scrambling to try to save what they have written on there before it disappears forever. I am much the same. Some of my best writing is stored on there and I am trying to figure out how to save it. A lot of work . . . it would be a shame to see it dissolve into thin air . . .

Of course that means I am trying to save recipes and food photos as well. This is a lovely dessert I make often in the fall. We like to have Cream spooned over it, but Ice Cream works very nicely as does Custard!

*As Good As Apple Pie Dessert*
Serves 6

I love to make this delicious dessert in the autumn when the apples are ripe and fresh and full of flavour. Being surrounded by orchards the way we are, we are inundated in the autumn months with windfalls and this is a great way to use some of them up. Easy and quick, this will become a firm family favourite.

Crumble base and topping:
½ cup cold butter, cut into bits
½ cup caster sugar
1 ½ cups plain flour
¼ tsp salt
5 cups peeled and sliced apples
½ cup caster sugar
2 TBS plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Freshly grated zest of ½ lemon if desired

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly butter an 8 X 8 inch baking pan orglass casserole dish and set aside.

Measure the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl. Stir tocombine. Drop in the bits of butter and rub the butter into the flour mixture until resembles fine crumbs. Divide the mixture in half and press half of it into the base of the baking pan. Reserve the other half.

Slice the apples into a large bowl. Stir the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Stir this into the apples along with the grated lemon zest if using. Pour this mixture over the crumb base and press it down a bit with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle the remaining half of the crumb mixture evenly over top. Pat lightly in place.
Bake in the heated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until bubbling and nicely coloured on top. Remove from the oven to cool a bit before serving.

Serve cut into squares with some pouring cream , custard or ice cream. Delicious!



  2. That apple dessert looks delicious Marie! When I read your post it reminded me of the Primary song "Two Little Hands". I remember singing that as a child. Isn't amazing all the things that we do in life using our hands? Thank you for your beautiful post!

  3. This apple dessert looks so yummy maybe I will make it tomorrow and take it along with my apple pie to the temple pot luck.

    I love this post. I think you do amazing things with your hands....more than most anyone I bless all not only those around you with the work of your hands..but many of us around the world as well. You are in deed a "hand maiden of the Lord"

    I loved a poem I heard once that said that God has no hands but our hands to do his work here on earth. You do is work everyday.

    Thank you for all that you do dear Marie. You bless my life. Thanks too for your concern and prayers. I love you for both. Love, Lura

  4. Good Morning Marie, Yes it is sad to lose all we have written but there is word it can be transfered over we will have to see the date is supposed to be the 7th oct. I see why you wanted to save this piece of writing you could never do it the same again and that would be a shame.Hope you visit me on http://joansnewmusings.blogspot.c

  5. What is caster sugar? I've got to make looks so good!

  6. This is the loveliest ode to hands, Marie! What beauty and meaning...And what an inspiration you are! This apple dessert is gorgeous...We still have lots of apples left this would be great to make with them! Will you have time today for a chat? I'll be online later this afternoon and look for you on MSN! :o) Happy Day, dear friend Love & ((HUGS))

  7. A crumble base AND topping!! Yum!

  8. What a beautiful post. You are such a lovely person. Did you get to hear women's conference this last weekend? It made me think of Presint Uchdorf's (spelling?) talk about the need to create. Like Jen Jen it also reminded me of I have two little hands.
    Your dessert looks delish!

  9. I too was thinking of Pres. Uchtdorf's words when I read your post! You are a creation of God, and you have nurtured your gifts and talents and have shared them with us all. Your words, your pictures, your recipes and your wisdom. thank you!

  10. i agree with the comment from val-WOW, this post was just amazingly beautiful. ours hands do so much, so many things i hadn't really thought of until i read your post!

  11. Dear Marie, so lovely post dear, and look my hands now and really,, are you know, clean of course you know when we cook wash our hands all day , but the nails and some little cuts well, well, but you have reason with these hands we plants flowers, we love, we cook,yes Thanks God we have these hands, lovely post.

    Marie this recipe is that I need today a lovely and yummy apple desert, thanks have a lovely day, xGloria

  12. What a lovely post. I love your flowers, and this apple pie dessert looks so good, perfect for this time of year.

  13. Oh Marie...this recipe is going to be utilized in 2 weeks when I'm in New England with Andrew-let's hope that there are still some apples for us to pick!

  14. Custard, gotta be custard! I am seeing my hands age before my eyes and it is scary! I have large hands, but they are very capable. Great post! Much love, Raquel XO

  15. Marie, you amaze me every day with your beautiful thoughts, I never come away from reading your page without feeling uplifted, it is so inspiring, and you are such a talanted and loving person to share this with us. Thank you so much.

  16. Hi Marie how I have missed your beautiful recipes ~ so glad to have caught up with you again ~ Ally x

  17. Hi Marie :)
    This apple dessert looks wonderful...also wanted to mention I found Dorries Cookbook on line and my hubby ordered it for me :) I can't wait to try some of the recipes :)
    Marilyn In Miami :)

  18. The photo of the rose hips really struck me. I've been walking around our neighbor, seeing how autumn is displayed in Yorkshire, & been amazed by how HUGE many of the rose hips are.
    Your shot perfectly shows off an English garden.

  19. HI Marie, we have our livesimply lunch at church on Sunday, I'm going to give your apple dessert a go as a parishioner has donated apples from her tree...I'm amazed that there is no eggs in this recipe...which is great, even simplier (is that a word?)

  20. This looks so good Marie!!I love apples and love to find new ways to bake with them!

  21. Marie,
    I just love your blog. I read it first thing in the morning. You give me inspiration and are a blessing. I moved from Cincinnati Ohio area a month ago to the Adirondack Mts in Lake George and went apple picking a few wkends ago and I made your apple dessert last night. I used macoun apples and my family loved it! I think I will make it again this wkend! Amanda


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