…And think of the summers of the past, adjust the bass and let the alpine blast, pop in my CD and let me run a rhyme…it’s Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (Summertime Lyrics)
It’s hot! School is out. We are officially pandemic free…I think.
Personally, summer growing up was a time that I would get to spend a lot of time with family, especially all my crazy cousins. Football and plenty of BBQ were the staples. I knew it was going down, when I would see a Ziploc bag full of meat. You could barely see the meat though, because of the other goodness inside that the meat was soaking in. The marinade!
Answering the question for Episode 8, Colors & Culture, made me think of the influence that race and culture have, specifically on food. We definitely see this throughout the food industry. Most food service providers are mixing ideas and offering a fusion of ingredients to put together their dishes. As we were discussing the key points about ethnicity, I saw a connection between marinades and our faith.
Before we look at the connection, what is a marinade? It’s simply a sauce that is used for food, prior to cooking. Marinating is the cooking technique of adding flavor to your food, by immersing it in some kind of liquid. This process brings out taste, changes texture, adds moisture, develops tenderness, and amplifies flavor to the food you are preparing.
A marinade starts with a few key ingredients: acid, oil (fat), and seasonings. Finding the right balance and combination of these basic ingredients is where you can let the creative side of the brain take over, and have some fun mixing stuff up. However, understanding some culinary basics will help.
Types of Acids: vinegar, citrus juice, sugar, or wine.
Types of Oil (Fat): cooking oils like canola, sesame, olive, or avocado oil, buttermilk, yogurt, and even mayonnaise.
Types of Seasonings: salts, herbs, and spices
Common Ratio of Oil-Acid: Typically, a 3:1 ratio is safe, which means for 1 cup of oil you would want to use 1/3 cup of acid.
As I mentioned, finding the right balance of these ingredients will make you the ultimate culinary master! Well, I don’t know about all that, but your food should taste pretty good. Of course, the more time you take to consider your ingredients, and let those ingredients mesh with the food you’re marinating, the better. Looking at these distinctly-different ingredients, it’s clear to see that they each have an individual purpose, but collectively work together in order to achieve something amazing. The more complimentary each ingredient is with the other, the more balanced your flavors will be. The longer these ingredients penetrate the food your marinating, the better your food can taste!
The body of Christ works in a similar way. When we break down the church body, we can see that we each have a singular purpose to contribute. In various instances, some of us are like the acid, some like the oil, some like the seasoning. However, the flavor of a marinade is best when these ingredients work together to bring balance for the benefit of the food being marinated. The church works best this way too - when unique and contrary people work together to bring balance for the benefit of the body, or even non-believers. A good marinade is usually the work of a great cook that understands how ingredients work well together. The body of Christ only works well together when we remember that our collective effort and power is the result of the greatness and wisdom of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The LORD is the One that ultimately unifies and brings flavorful functionality to the entire church body.
Make sure you check out the video too on YouTube or Instagram as I jump in the kitchen and show you how to put together a simple, but tasty marinade that can be used for any meat, seafood, or vegetables.
Here is a recipe for a Lemon & Fresh Herb Marinade:
1 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice (3-4 Lemons)
2 Ounce Fresh Thyme
2 Ounce Fresh Rosemary
2 Ounce Fresh Parsley
6 Cloves Garlic
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Pepper
3 Cup Canola Oil