Tuesday 23 February 2010

Thoughts on hands . . .

I have a sturdy pair of hands, and although they are something that I taken for granted on a daily basis throughout my life, they have served me rather well. They are starting to look a bit older now . . . I can't really put my finger on what has changed, but they just don't seem to look as youthful as they once did. The skin now seems somehow less taut, and perhaps they are a bit more wrinkled looking. No age spots yet, but I know they can't be too far in coming for, afterall, I am almost into my mid 50's! They have been a great help to me in my life . . . having seen me through many times, both good and bad.

I've used these precious tools of mine to reach out and grab hold of life. As a wee baby, my hands helped me to reach out beyond my little sphere of existance and to explore and learn about the magical world around me. My fingers were one of the first things I learned to put into my mouth, soon followed by my hand . . . As I got a bit older my hands helped to prevent me from getting really hurt when I was first learning how to walk and would fall upon the floor. They were important tools in helping me to learn how to feed myself and to become independant . . . and they were often found touching things I had been told not to touch!

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

With them, I have learned how to tug on my clothes, do up my buttons and tie my shoes all by myself for the very first time. (A proud moment if I can recall correctly!)

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 my hands to stroke the cheek of my loved ones face and to hold him close to me. Decorated with my wedding rings, they show the world that I love and am loved. As I got older . . . they helped me to comfort and hold my newborn children and then to teach and guide my toddlers and then teens . . . however clumsy and inept my hands may have seemd at the time. These hands have been tender and firm, strong . . . and sometimes . . . weak.

These hands have written countless letters and e-mails 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 each time if I would ever again see the person I was waving goodbye to . . . I have held them up in joyous greetings after long separations and in warm reunions.

My hands have held lovers and children and now grandchildren. They've wiped tears from tiny faces and hearts and consoled those in pain and in grief. They've shaken with anger and with fear and have 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 many years left in them still. They have many miles left to go, many tails to follow, may experiences and trials left to help and guide me through. They were with me in the beginning of my life, helping to lead the way and they will be with me at the end of my life . . .still helping to lead the way. They are the mark of where I've been . . . and the signpost of where I am going and God willing . . . they will be what I reach out with to touch the hands of the Saviour when He finally leads me home . . .

Just my thoughts on this cold dark winter's morning . . .

One thing my hands are pretty good for is creating wonderful things to eat. This is a delicious dessert that I have been making for years. It is one of the lovely recipes in my big blue binder and can also be found in my cookbook, Recipes From The Big Blue Binder.

*As Good As Apple Pie Dessert*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

This delicious dessert is a real old family favourite. With it's buttery base and topping, and it's scrummy apple filling, it's a real winner. We like to have it with cream or custard, but ice cream is also very good!

Crumble base and topping:
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt

5 cups peeled and sliced apples
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 TBS flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
pinch salt
the freshly grated zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)

Preheat the oven to `80*C.350*F. Lightly butter an 8 inch square baking pan or glass casserole dish. Set aside.

Measure the flour, salt and sugar for the base into a bowl. Whisk together to combine. Drop in the bits of butter and then rub the butter into the flour mixture, until it resembles fine crumbs. Divide the mixture in half. Press one half into the bottom of the buttered 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 into place.

Bake in the heated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until bubbling and nicely coloured on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before serving. Serve cut into squares with some pouring cream, custard or ice cream to top. Delicious!!

If you like Cauliflower Cheese, you'll love what I have posted today over on The English Kitchen. It is a Cauliflower Gratin with a Horseradish Crust!


  1. Very lovely. I have thought about hands before. I have thought of my Grandmothers hands just as you described. I wrote her a poem Christmas 2008 see here


    I thought you might like it...you may remember it from then. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Hope all is well.

    Love, Mica

  2. Such wonderful words and food for thought today, Marie... Yes, we do take our hands for granted sometimes, don't we? Those good old reliables... I'm nearing 40 in three years (yikes!) and already I notice a change in the skin of my hands, the hands just look/feel different. And now that I look at them, I could use a manicure! ;o) LOVE the apple dessert today...mmm... Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  3. I too have though about those hands of mine. How beautiful your thoughts were and so true. Mine are looking old for sure and even though they are not pretty at all they do still work and for that I am very thankful. I hope your Tuesday is a terrific one.

  4. What a beautiful post, Marie! Yes, we do take our hands for granted and it was really good to think about what they do for us so we can live a fulfilled life :)
    The recipes look soooo yummy as usual ~ thanks for sharing!
    Cathy ♥♥

  5. Such an inspiring way to start out my day. That was just beautiful. My friend just had twins-early, they have been in the NIC unit. The latest picture was of one of the twins resting both of her hands under her head---so lovely.
    Thanks for your wonderful post.
    tin and sparkle

  6. our hands do so much, don't they? one of our rs enrichments last year was about hands and it was a really beautiful evening. i was asked to be one of the "hand photographers" :) each photographer was assigned about 8 sisters to visit and take a picture of their hands doing something-washing dishes, playing the piano, serving, holding a child's hand, etc. then there was a slideshow put together with music. i had never thought about how integral hands are in our lives and how important His hands are.

  7. This recipe reminds me of one I used to make for my sweet EX; it's much the same but the base and topping has oats in it. Yummy!

    Lovely post on hands. Mine too look older; but they still work pretty well!

  8. everyone of your posts gets better and better... I love your essay on hands... they are God's gift to us to grasp hold of the wonders around us... and that apple dessert added 5 pounds to my waistline just admiring the photo!!! Yikes!!!but......
    Check my blog... I'm having a 1000th Post Give Away!!!

  9. Hi Marie
    I love this post on hands. I just did a whole lot of yard work, including trimming my rose bushes. I wore gloves but still got lots of thorn pricks in my hands, They were really hurting and I somehow sprained my thumb.
    Hope you are having a good week.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  10. Hi Marie
    I love this post on hands. I just did a whole lot of yard work, including trimming my rose bushes. I wore gloves but still got lots of thorn pricks in my hands, They were really hurting and I somehow sprained my thumb.
    Hope you are having a good week.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  11. Pointing out my hands to my family Marie is something I do quite often.Telling them they have done so much hard work.They are looking old now,but I am proud of how hard they have worked,and they will be still working hard for many years to come I hope,with a little help from God.........A great posting which I enjoyed so much.Have a lovely day.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  12. Beautiful post, Marie. When I think of my mother, I remember her hands so vividly, and all the things she did for me. You've said it all so wonderfully.

    The recipes for today look so scrumptious. I'm not very good at pie crust, so the apple dessert is just up my alley. And we love cauliflower, so I'm off to peek at that one.

    Enjoy your day. . .

  13. My mom has the most beautiful hands... mine aren't quite as dainty as hers, but I am proud to say that I have my mom's hands.

    When I first met Patrick I was instantly attracted to his big strong manly hands. I often joke while holding his hand that I first fell in love with his hands, even before I fell in love with the rest of him.:)

    Do you know the song, "His Hands" by Kenneth Cope? It is one of my favorites! A very powerful song, which of course refer to our dear Saviors hands. Love it!

  14. What an absolutely lovely, lovely post. I am honored you shared this writing with us today.

  15. I love all of that...what a blessing out bodies are..loved the tiny baby hand..so sweet! The desert looks YUM! :D

  16. I am honoured to have eyes that can see the great things you create all the time with those clever hands of yours.

    I am proud to be the recipient sometimes of texts and emails and commments from you and knowing that it was little me in your mind at that time.

    All in all, you're pretty fine, top to toe!

    love, Angie, xx

  17. Love what you had to say about hands! btw, my hands are still so in love with that rose handcream you sent me for the gift exchange: it's so good!!!

    Your Apple Pie Dessert looks simply divine!

  18. I dare say that you do more good with your hands than most of us. I have never known a person who is more talented with her hands. And...your creations bring smiles to our faces and bless our lives.

    As a child my mom always sang me the song "I have two little hands." I love that song....expecially the second verse which says...
    Kind Father I thank thee for two little hands
    And ask you to bless them until each understands
    That children can only be happy all day
    When two little hands have learned how to obey.

    I think the same is true for us. We can only be happy when we are using our hands to do good.

    You do so much good with your hands....no wonder you are happy most of the time. I am thankful for you and for the works of your hands. Hugs, Lura


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