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Cooking Lessons, ideas, and resources for teaching the stories of Peter and Cornelius, Peter's Rooftop Vision, Acts 10

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Cornelius Calls for Peter, Cornelius' Vision, Peter and Cornelius, Peter's Vision, Peter's Rooftop Vision, Peter at Cornelius’s House, Acts 10, Acts 11:1-18 Peter Explains his Actions

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Peter and Cornelius

Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will sample kosher foods and explore the rules and reasons behind kosher cooking. They will make a chart of foods allowed and not allowed and decide which ones they like and don’t like.

Bible Background:

is found in the Bible Background forum.

Outcome Objectives:

  1. Children will understand the reason behind kosher dietary laws
  2. Children can identify at least three foods as kosher or not kosher and know how to read labels marking things as kosher.
  3. Children understand the analogy between clean/unclean food and clean/unclean people made in the passage.

Supplies Needed:

  • Bibles
  • Paper, pencils, and markers for each student
  • Paper easel
  • Foods with Kosher symbols on them (check your pantry)
  • Recipe ingredients
    1 lb each raisins, dates and figs (you can cut the recipe in half)
    1 lemon
    nuts or coconut
  • Food Processor
  • Lemon juicer
  • Grater

Advance Preparation:

  • Read the biblical background notes and answer the questions raised in the “themes” section to figure out what this story means to you.
  • Read through the lesson and decide how best to manage your time.
  • Read the attached summary about kosher foods, which was taken from Be familiar with the main rules regarding kosher laws:
    - Animals you can’t eat
    - Draining of blood
    - Mixing meat and dairy
    - Food preparation
    - Grape juice and wine
    - Additional rules for Passover
  • Also, learn to recognize the kosher symbols on foods. Locate a coupe of foods in your pantry that have this symbol and bring them in.
  • For the recipe, pre-grind the nuts.

Lesson Plan


Read Acts 10:9-23 as a group.
Ask the children if there are any rules in their family about how to eat.

  • Can you eat dessert before the main course?
  • Can you eat pizza with your fingers? What about lasagna?
  • Does your family eat candied grasshoppers? What about sheep eye soup? Why not?
  • Does your mother/father make you wash your hands before supper? Why?
  • Are there rooms in your house where you’re not allowed to eat? Where? Why?
  • Are there any foods that your family always eats for special holidays?

Say that it sounds like you have a lot of rules about eating.

Explain that Jewish people like Peter had even more rules than we do about eating.
Point out verses 10-16.
Pass out the Kosher Do’s and Don’ts handout to the children and read through it.
Have the children circle the rules that would be easy for them to keep. Put a line under the rules that would be hardest to keep.

Based on this list of do’s and don’ts what do you imagine might have been some of the animals that Peter might have seen in his vision? (Make a list)

Take the quiz and go over with the children what foods are kosher and which are not

  • Spaghetti and Meatballs (No. Most sauces include romano cheese – meat and dairy)
  • Crab cakes (No. Shellfish)
  • Hamburger (Yes, provided it was prepared properly)
  • Cheeseburger (No – meat and dairy)
  • French Fries with cheese sauce (yes, provided fries were fried in vegetable oil, but not eaten in the same meal as the hamburger because that would combine cheese and meat)
  • Pepperoni Pizza (No – meat and dairy. Pepperoni could be pork)
  • Hot dog (Must be a kosher dog as most dogs contain pork and/or dairy based fillers)
  • Eggs and bacon (No – bacon is from pigs)
  • Baked beans (No. Usually cooked with bacon or pork fat. Vegetarian beans okay)
  • Cole Slaw (Yes, but if there’s a dairy based dressing you can’t eat with a hamburger)
  • Clam chowder (No. Shellfish)
  • Fish sticks (yes)
  • Lasagna (No. meat and dairy. Vegetarian lasagna is okay)
  • Egg Rolls (No. Most egg rolls are made with roast pork)


Jews followed (and follow) these kosher dietary laws, and other laws, to set themselves apart from other people. It is a way of reminding themselves every day at every meal that they have a special relationship with God and that because of that relationship they can’t just behave like everyone else. Because of who they are they must make Godly choices.
Ask: Is it bad to remind yourself to make godly choices?
Are there times where Christians are supposed to see themselves as ‘different’? When?
When might seeing yourself as “set apart” go too far?

Prepare the Passover Fruit Candy. (recipe attached)
Explain that Passover (which some kids are learning about on Wednesday night) is a special holiday where even more rules are followed, which includes rules about sugar and sweets.

Life Application
God was telling Peter that he no longer had to follow these kosher food laws. But the story about the clean/unclean animals isn’t the main point of the story. What is the main point?

God is saying it is more important to follow Christ than to follow the law.


Rules for being a Christian (If you don’t do ___, you’re probably not a Christian)

Adjustments for age levels and abilities
Younger children will have a harder time understanding the analogy between clean/unclean foods and clean/unclean people. Don’t push the analogy. Let it be enough that they are understanding the dietary part of this story and know that they will hear this again as they grow older.

A lesson written by Lisa Martin from: Trinity UCC
Pottstown, PA

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Passover Fruit Candy

This recipe was found at Only the ingredient list comes from the original source. The directions have been changed so as not to be subject to the original copyright.

What makes this a recipe for Passover? I couldn’t find any documentation, but I know that sugar processing involves water and fermentation – which you can’t do with grains used for Passover. I’m guessing that using sugar violates this same rule. So grinding up these intensely sweet dried fruits can satisfy your sweet tooth. The original recipe called for figs, dates, and raisins (all mentioned in scripture and available in the Holy Land), but I imagine other gummy dried fruits – apricots, prunes, etc. could be substituted.

1 lb. Figs
1 lb. Dates (seedless)
1 lb Raisins (seedless)
1 lemon, insides juiced, rind grated
Chopped nuts or coconut (unsweetened if you can find it)

Food Processor with a sharp blade.
Lemon juicers

1. Grate lemon rind and juice the lemon.
2. Grind figs, dates and raisins. (you might want to do in batches)
3. Add juice and rind of lemon.
4. Form into balls and roll in chopped nuts or coconut.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Cooking Workshop Demonstration of Kosher Laws

The Cooking Workshop often has "down time" while things cook. So while you're in there, why not do a demonstration of the concept of "kosher". the ideas below should help inspire.

The following was excerpted from

Notes on "relevance to children" are at the end of this posting.

Although the details of kashrut (kosher) are extensive, the laws all derive from a few fairly simple, straightforward rules:

Certain animals may not be eaten at all. This restriction includes the flesh, organs, eggs and milk of the forbidden animals.
Of the animals that may be eaten, the birds and mammals must be killed in accordance with Jewish law.
All blood must be drained from the meat or broiled out of it before it is eaten.

Certain parts of permitted animals may not be eaten.
Meat (the flesh of birds and mammals) cannot be eaten with dairy. Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy. (According to some views, fish may not be eaten with meat).

Utensils that have come into contact with meat may not be used with dairy, and vice versa. Utensils that have come into contact with non-kosher food may not be used with kosher food. This applies only where the contact occurred while the food was hot.
Grape products made by non-Jews may not be eaten.

Animals that may not be eaten
Of the "beasts of the earth" (which basically refers to land mammals with the exception of swarming rodents), you may eat any animal that has cloven hooves and chews its cud. Lev. 11:3; Deut. 14:6. The Torah specifies that the camel, the rock badger, the hare and the pig are not kosher because each lacks one of these two qualifications. Sheep, cattle, goats and deer are kosher.

Of the things that are in the waters, you may eat anything that has fins and scales. Lev. 11:9; Deut. 14:9. Thus, shellfish such as lobsters, oysters, shrimp, clams and crabs are all forbidden. Fish like tuna, carp, salmon and herring are all permitted.

All of the birds on the list are birds of prey or scavengers, thus the rabbis inferred that this was the basis for the distinction. Other birds are permitted, such as chicken, geese, ducks and turkeys. Of the "winged swarming things" (winged insects), a few are specifically permitted (Lev. 11:22), but the Sages are no longer certain which ones they are, so all have been forbidden.
Rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and insects (except as mentioned above) are all forbidden. Lev. 11:29-30, 42-43.

Draining of Blood
The Torah prohibits consumption of blood. Lev. 7:26-27; Lev. 17:10-14. This is the only dietary law that has a reason specified in Torah: we do not eat blood because the life of the animal is contained in the blood. This applies only to the blood of birds and mammals, not to fish blood. Thus, it is necessary to remove all blood from the flesh of kosher animals.

Separation of Meat and Dairy
On three separate occasions, the Torah tells us not to "boil a kid in its mother's milk." (Ex. 23:19; Ex. 34:26; Deut. 14:21). The Oral Torah explains that this passage prohibits eating meat and dairy together. The rabbis extended this prohibition to include not eating milk and poultry together. In addition, the Talmud prohibits cooking meat and fish together or serving them on the same plates, because it is considered to be unhealthy. It is, however, permissible to eat fish and dairy together, and it is quite common. It is also permissible to eat dairy and eggs together.

This separation includes not only the foods themselves, but the utensils, pots and pans with which they are cooked, the plates and flatware from which they are eaten, the dishwashers or dishpans in which they are cleaned, and the towels on which they are dried. A kosher household will have at least two sets of pots, pans and dishes: one for meat and one for dairy.

Note that even the smallest quantity of dairy (or meat) in something renders it entirely dairy (or meat) for purposes of kashrut. For example, most margarines are dairy for kosher purposes, because they contain a small quantity of whey or other dairy products to give it a dairy-like taste. Animal fat is considered meat for purposes of kashrut. You should read the ingredients very carefully, even if the product is kosher-certified.

Utensils (pots, pans, plates, flatware, etc., etc.) must also be kosher. A utensil picks up the kosher "status" (meat, dairy, pareve, or treyf) of the food that is cooked in it or eaten off of it, and transmits that status back to the next food that is cooked in it or eaten off of it. Thus, if you cook chicken soup in a saucepan, the pan becomes meat. If you thereafter use the same saucepan to heat up some warm milk, the fleishig status of the pan is transmitted to the milk, and the milchig status of the milk is transmitted to the pan, making both the pan and the milk a forbidden mixture.

Kosher status can be transmitted from the food to the utensil or from the utensil to the food only in the presence of heat, thus if you are eating cold food in a non-kosher establishment, the condition of the plates is not an issue. Likewise, you could use the same knife to slice cold cuts and cheese, as long as you clean it in between, but this is not really a recommended procedure, because it increases the likelihood of mistakes.

Stove tops and sinks routinely become non-kosher utensils, because they routinely come in contact with both meat and dairy in the presence of heat. It is necessary, therefore, to use dishpans when cleaning dishes (don't soak them directly in the sink) and to use separate spoon rests and trivets when putting things down on the stove top.

Grape Products
The restrictions on grape products derive from the laws against using products of idolatry. Wine was commonly used in the rituals of all ancient religions, and wine was routinely sanctified for pagan purposes while it was being processed. For this reason, use of wines and other grape products made by non-Jews was prohibited. (Whole grapes are not a problem, nor are whole grapes in fruit cocktail).

Relevance For Kids...

  1. Kids are used to all sorts of "eating" rules.
    What can you eat, not eat. When can you eat, not eat. Example: can you eat dessert before your meat?
  2. Discuss hygiene rules about food. (Wash your hands, prepare on clean surface, becareful of cross-contamination, cook thoroughly).
  3. What foods are "gross" to you?
  4. "Kosher" food laws are based on some Bible verses that basically instructed the Jews to "be different." In what other ways were the Jews asked to be different? (circumcision, following God's Law, who they could marry, etc etc)
  5. The Apostle Peter in Acts 10 receives a vision from the Holy Spirit that tells him that new Christians do not have to follow Jewish dietary/kosher rules in order to be Christians. It is a MAJOR POINT OF DEPARTURE in the early Christian movement. It was not a popular teaching among some of the Disciples and Jewish Christians.

God tells "the Church" that following Christ is more important than following the "traditions."

What traditions and rules do WE examine in our church to decide whether someone is a believer or not?

Come up with a list of "basic rules for being a Christian." (ie..if you don't do at least these things, you're probably not a Christian.)

Moved here by moderator to consolidate posts, why in cooking? Because I could see incorporating this in your cooking workshop (kitchen utensil props), such as for your opening.

The story of Cornelius & Peter

"The Swiffer and Dutiful Serving Spoon"

Script for Object Theatre Workshop, Cornelius & Peter Rotation, adapted from the New Jerusalem Bible © 2004, LD McKenzie.

Narrator, Kitchen implements (serving spoon, potato peelers, garlic press & whisk), Cleaning implements (Swiffer, sponge, brillo pads, asstd dusters & squeegies).


  • Assorted implements from groups above
  • A sheet or small blanket
  • A few stuffed animals

Narr: Once there was noble Swiffer. He ran a good house and made sure all the other cleaning tools in it — like sponges, scouring pads and scrub brushes — worshipped God.

One day the Swiffer had a dream in which he distinctly saw an angel of God come into his house.

Angel: Swiffer!

Swiffer: What???!!!

Angel: God has heard your prayers. Send some cleaning tools to Jaffa to find a dutiful serving spoon called Simon Peter. Right now he’s in the kitchen at the house of Simon the tanner.

Narr: Then the angel left. The Swiffer rounded up a sponge and a couple of Brillo pads and sent them off to Jaffa.

Meanwhile over in Jaffa, the dutiful serving spoon hopped up to the housetop to pray. There he had a dream.

In the dream he saw a big sheet that looked a little bit like a flying carpet and a little bit like a boat being lowered to earth from heaven. The sheet was full of all kinds of animals and lizards and birds.

Then a scary voice said: Serving spoon. Dish up!

SS: Oh my gosh. I can’t do that. I don’t even like this kind of food. And look at these cute little animals. I would never dish them up. I could almost hurl just thinking about it.

Voice: Oh come on, Serving Spoon. It’s just a dream. Think about it. I’m only going to tell you one more time: Dish up!

SS: Sorry, no way.

Voice: Okay. Just once more and this time I really mean it: Dish up!

Narr: Then the sheet was taken back up to heaven. Serving Spoon was still a bit shaken up when he heard a knock at the door.
Cleaning tools: Hullo? Anybody home?

SS (to self): I bet this is what my silly dream was about.

SS (to visiting tools): Hey there. I think I’m the one you’re looking for. What can I do for you?

Cleaning tools: Well, our pal is a really terrific Swiffer, and he asked us to come and get you and bring us back to our house. What do you say? Will you come?

SS: Sure. (to self: That voice really did a number on my head!)

Narr: So Serving Spoon rounded up a few buddies — a potato peeler, a garlic press and a whisk — went back with the visiting sponge and brillo pads. When they got to Swiffer’s house, Swiffer and many other cleaning tools were waiting for him and were very pleased to see him.

Serving Spoon: Hey there. Nice to meet you. But there’s just one thing. It’s a bit weird for kitchen tools to get together with cleaning tools like this, you know. I mean, it’s really not done. The main reason that I came is that just before your friends arrived I had this wacky dream about all these animals in a sheet...

Swiffer: Oh wow. That’s wild. I had a wacky dream too.

Narr: Then Serving Spoon talked to the cleaning tools for quite a long time about God. As well he told lots of stories about an incredible gold-plated carving knife called Jesus.

After that they all had a big supper together, where the kitchen tools cooked and the cleaning tools tidied up. It was such an extremely good party it was talked about for many years afterward.


Peter and Cornelius

Cooking Workshop Recipe

Posted by member brittany, 2009
moved here by moderator to consolidate posts.

Here's a recipe that we included in our "Peter and Cornelius" Unit. Since the theme was "suprises" I found a recipe for "Cinnamon-Marshmallow Surprises" that was perfect. Also a good discussion promoter for looking for things inside a person, or inside God's word, or inside the story instead of what's on the outside.

Cinnamon-Marshmallow Surprises
From the "Cookin' Up Country Breakfasts Cookbook"

These muffins are a surprise because no one can guess what makes them so good and gooey. Around our house they disappear quickly, so I often make a double batch.


  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tube (10 ounces) refrigerated biscuits
  • 10 large marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Prep 15 min.
Cook 15 min.
Total 30 min.

Combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Flatten biscuits. Roll marshmallows in butter and then in cinnamon-sugar. place one marshmallow on top of each biscuit; wrap biscuit around marshmallows and pinch seams. Place seam side down on greased muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 10 servings.

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