"Le Petit Crumble!"

The Madame has made a small version of her signature dessert crumble in a casserole dish that is 19 x 13 cm. She said there were several pieces of fresh fruit - apricots, white peaches, strawberries and blueberries - that were languishing on the counter and that was her inspiration. I have been pestering her these days with a little annoying slogan about how everything in France seems smaller to my American eyes. My breakfast lament goes something like this... "Small cups, small bowls, small spoons, and small people." It is true that many older French are smaller in statue. They are also quite slender of build. I have hardly seen anyone, adult, youth or children, who are obese and that is a good condition for sure. Many Americans by comparison are far too heavy and out of shape.

The apple crumble she prepared earlier in our visit was served in a very large casserole dish. In fact, she made two desserts of the same recipe days ago. The smaller one she gave to some neighboring friends and they received it with great joy, "Merci!" The larger of the two we have been eating after several evening meals and have topped it with delicious vanilla ice cream, even lactose free! I have eaten a larger serving on each occasion than anyone else and have enjoyed each bite!
The French Crumble Dessert

I have written before about not disparaging the small things of life (see blog article: Appreciate the New! about Chef Ratatouille, September 11, 2018). We always need a good reminder that there is often incredible vitality and creativity within something diminutive in size.

How often did Jesus use the smaller things of first-century life to make an out-sized application for the disciples of kingdom potentials and priorities.  He said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed... it is the smallest of all seeds but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree..." (Matthew 13:31-32, ESV).

Jesus spoke often in parables that were fascinating stories of life that illustrated a vivid point. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened" (Mt. 13:33). "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it" (Mt. 13:45-46). So, the small mustard seed, the small cups of flour, and the petite pearls result in growth, vitality, and value.

Today, while I was waxing poetic once again, my brother-in-law was partnering with me in pestering my beloved sister-in-law. As I sincerely complimented her over the "little crumble" that beautifully re-purposed our day's old fruit, Phil gave me another word for the lines I was reciting: "Oh how sweet that little dish seems to be and how appropriate that it should be cradled within such a small little container... little dish, little dessert, little delight?" No! But rather... Great delight! Great deliciousness!  And... a gift from a great heart of love!! Thanks, Madame!!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


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