This is My Father’s World: Grilled Nectarines

Each week I plan to look at different aspects of culture from an appreciative and Christian lens. If all the world is God’s, and if much of human creation reflects the creative work of God, then I want to examine it all.

You’d never know it by looking at me but I am a bit of a foodie. I have a high metabolism, which I thank God for, because I am a major consumer of food. I love to study food, understand the science behind it, the process of making certain dishes, and the unique contributions of various foods to a meal. But most of all I LOVE to eat it. A few years ago my wife and I were trying some different items on the grill and we came across, thanks to my mother, the idea of grilling nectarines. It was amazing, and has now become a summer staple in our outdoor cooking.

It’s amazing how much just slight variations can change an entire dish. Nectarines are actually just peaches, but there are small genetic mutations in the nectarine that make it distinct. It not only lacks the trademark fuzz of the peach, it is also naturally spicier than the peach. They’re delicious just as they are, but grill them and something even more pronounced happens. Grilling fruit draws out their natural sugars and produces carmalization. A grilled nectarine has a taste nearly distinct from its ungrilled counterpart. Add a little creme fraiche and some nuts and you’ve got a dish that is killer.

It’s amazing how God has created the universe with so much artistry and diversity. Just small variations in one object creates something unique. And, perhaps more impressive, is the fact that my human tongue has been equipped to pick up these small variations in taste. There is an astounding pleasure in good food, singular tastes, and uncommon combinations. I find that a good meal can lead me to praise as easily as can a good hymn. Whether I am enjoying some grilled lamb and Turkish coffee at my favorite restaurant, or a bacon cheeseburger hot of the grill (accompanied by fried cucumbers), in either case I am able to praise God for foods and tastes.

I am  I am reminded of a verse of Scripture. I am sure it wasn’t quite what the author intended but I can’t help but quote it. Grill your nectarines and “taste and see that the Lord is good.”

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