“Mate, this pasta sauce is amazing, where did you get it from?”
Ray shifted slightly in his seat. Did he want his friends knowing that he…liked cooking?
“Er, I made it.”
Kofi laughed out loud. “No way, man, no way did you cook this. Are you some sort of Jamie Oliver or something?”
“You should go on Masterchef,” shouted Dean.
“Who taught you to cook?” asked Tom. “I can’t even make beans on toast.”
“It’s not difficult, you just follow instructions and there you go,” said Ray.
“Nah, nah, nah,” said Kofi. “My mum won’t let anyone near the kitchen. She says that men can’t cook.”
“Bit sexist,” said Dean. “Some of the best chefs around are men. Have you seen that Weston Bloomingtile on TV? He made this amazing giant meat pie once, and put a pub in the middle of it. It had an edible pool table and everything!”
“Yes, man, when are you going to make us a pool table we can eat?” asked Kofi.
Ray decided to come clean. “Look, my mum has this thing called a slow cooker.”
“Sounds like you, Tom!” cried Dean. Tom threw a piece of garlic bread at Dean, hitting him on the ear.
“Thanks mate,” said Dean, shoving the bread into his mouth.
“What’s a slow cooker?” asked Tom.
Ray got up and pointed at a contraption on the kitchen counter. “Well, you chop all your ingredients up and then just put everything in this pot.” Ray lifted the lid of the slow cooker. “And then you set the timer, come back after a few hours and there you go. Your food is cooked. I set this up before I left for school this morning and then when you lot came round this afternoon, it was done.”
“Eh?” asked Dean. “How did it do that?”
“Er, you know what, I actually don’t know. I just put all the right stuff in and it kind of does its thing when you’re not around.” Ray peered at the slow cooker in confusion.
“Well, however it does it, this is amazing,” said Dean, shovelling a giant forkful of pasta into his mouth.
“Dean, you’re disgusting,” said Tom. “You’ve got pasta sauce down your T-shirt.”
“Yeah, your dress sense is so ‘pasta’ it’s sell-by date!” said Kofi, looking at Tom and Ray. “Am I right boys?”
“Lame,” said Tom. “I’m embarrassed for you.”
•Are you a keen cook like Ray?
•Do you understand the science behind cooking and baking?
•Are there any mysteries in your life? Things that just happen without you understanding how? What are they?
•How do you approach something that you don’t understand?
This story is based on Mark 4:26-29. Read this passage to the group and compare Jesus’ story and words to this one. Discuss what Jesus might have been saying through his parable, encouraging the group to think about it in a new way.
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