Sunday , September 21 2014
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COASTAL COMMENTS

Donna Fiala

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Many of you know that I have some very special Amish friends in Ohio whom I consider family. It’s such a joy to visit them because I feel like I’m stepping back in time – back to a time when life was slower. People still visit one another (rather than texting them), children pray in school and God is still a part of their daily lives. Prayers are said before meals – even in restaurants. Family values are an important pillar in the community, and neighbors help each other. They even have a Friday concert in the village square each week – usually family music like country, gospel or bluegrass. Well, Barb Prigge and I spent time together enjoying this step back in time and loved every minute of it.

Have you ever seen how cheese is made? Huge, sparkling clean stainless steel vats of unpasteurized milk have large mixers that move up and down the vat while being heated to a certain temperature. It’s then piped to another vat where it is cooled, certain spices are added and the milk turns into curds right before your eyes. The remaining liquid is then removed and the curds are poured into containers and pressed overnight to remove any more liquid. During this pressing process the curds become a solid block of cheese. Really fascinating.

Barb and I also visited a candy factory with conveyor belts moving the candy bits through to be coated with chocolate. It SO reminded me of the old “I Love Lucy” show, except the Amish ladies working there were able to keep up with the moving candies.

They make dark chocolate, milk chocolate and while chocolate coated EVERYTHING! It’s hard to walk out without wanting to buy at least a few pounds of a variety of selections.

We also had dinner a couple nights with my Amish “family.” They invited us over one night for Yummi-setta and another night we had a campfire and roasted hot dogs. Fannie, my close friend, and Viola, her daughter, prepared Amish noodles, salads, fresh fruits, potato salad, ice cream with fresh cut peaches, and date and nut bread pudding with a marvelous vanilla and caramel sauce. We sat around the fire afterward and talked for hours. Our dinner party included the grandmas: Fannie, Donna and Barb; parents, Marvin and Viola, and kids Mathias, Lyle, Nancy and Kendall. When the fire would turn to embers, Marvin would add more wood. You couldn’t ask for a more relaxing evening. And going back to my original comment – there were no phones, no texts, no T.V., no computers – just friends and family discussing their day, their thoughts, and events this past week. Speaking of peaceful!

Barb and I are inviting a few people over to learn how to make floral centerpieces (from Barb) and then the young ones will also work on crafts and shell art.

There were many other things Barb and I shared, but you’ll have to ask us when we get back because I’ve just about run out of room for this column!


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