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Noodles, strudel in big demand at Serbian church in Midland

Twenty volunteers from St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Midland, Beaver County, are busy making nut rolls to be sold during the holidays as part of a church fundraiser.

The group, which meets weekly in the church lyceum, makes noodles and apple and cheese strudel throughout the year. Nut, apricot and poppy seed rolls are made several weeks before major holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, and sold frozen the rest of the year.

“We’ve been working hard to meet demand,” organizer Jelena Janke said. “The smell of nut roll lingers days after we’re done baking them.”

Started about 15 years ago, the group relies on word of mouth to sell its products. Customers include employees of the PA Cyber Charter School in Midland. Janke said 1,000 bags of noodles and more than 1,000 nut rolls are sold each year.

A convection oven bakes 25 nut rolls at a time.

“You’ll be out, and you’ll mention you sell homemade noodles, and right away people will say they want a bag,” said Mara Roksandich, who is in charge of taking orders. “Our noodles are shipped nationwide. We have a lot of requests for nut rolls, too. There have been times when you wonder whether you can keep up with the demand, but we always manage to find a way to fill every order.”

Mary Yope, a co-founder of the group, said it has come a long way since its early days.

“We were kind of rustic when we first started,” Yope said. “The noodles were cut by hand. Now, we have a machine that cuts them.”

Retired Monaca High School boys basketball coach Dave Nichol is one of several male volunteers whose job is cutting noodles.

“I use machinery to cut extra-fine noodles,” Nichol said. “I enjoy myself. There’s Serbian music playing in the background as you work. It’s a really nice environment with a lot of nice people there.”

Additional Information:

A taste of homemade

What: Homemade noodles and baked goods sale

Where: St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, 30 Tenth St., Midland, Beaver County

Details: Homemade noodles; apple and cheese strudel; and nut, apricot and poppy seed rolls can be ordered by calling 724-643-8990. Noodles are $5 a bag; baked strudel is $7; unbaked strudel is $6; and nut rolls are $11.

Deadlines: Deadline to order for Thanksgiving is Sunday; deadline to order for Christmas is Nov. 30. Customers will be called to pick up orders at the church lyceum. Items are available for purchase year-round.

Mailings: Orders can be shipped to any location at customers’ expense.


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