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A few years ago GEMS church clubs for girls began making news when they entered the pinewood derbies long considered Cadet-only territory. (Cadets are the Christian Reformed Church’s groups for boys, organized by Dynamic Youth Ministries.) But turnabout is fair play.

Last fall in Oak Lawn, Ill., Cadets joined GEMS for a cook-off in the kitchen of Calvin Christian Reformed Church. Boys and girls alike sliced, diced, baked, and boiled, creating nine entrees.

After the judges tasted each dish, the votes were tallied and the top three places all went to the boys. They created gourmet chicken casserole, baked mostaccioli, and meat loaf with au gratin potatoes. —Ruth Moblard DeYoung

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