By Kevin Williams
Lovina Eicher has decided to no longer write The Amish Cook column. I wish her well in life's challenges and opportunities ahead and feel blessed to have spent so much time with such a super family.
Nothing lasts forever. And in the media business, personalities come and go. “Regis and Kathy Lee” becomes “Regis and Kelly,” which becomes “Kelly and Michael.” Personalities change, but shows can stay the same. The Amish Cook column was never supposed to be about one person; it was supposed to connect an increasingly complicated world with a simpler, slower pace. And The Amish Cook will continue to do that.
The Amish are a diverse and varied group and no one person can or should lend a voice to the entire community. So I think changing the author occasionally offers insight and variation. There are close to 200,000 Amish residents in the USA and growing, among them are many talented writers and cooks. Now is a good time to hear from another one.
As creator and caretaker for a column that has become a tool for spreading simplicity, I wish to continue. I created The Amish Cook when I was just 18-years-old when I first teamed up with Elizabeth Coblentz. That was in 1991 and I'm not ready to let it go yet, although some times I think I am crazy for wanting to hang on.
It has been a long journey with challenges and struggles and wonderful moments. But a watershed moment occurred last autumn, when my wife and I welcomed our first child. This year has been full of blessings and joy at watching her grow. Armed with a new outlook, it’s time for this column to grow also, to spread its wings. And I need to move forward, personally.
A BIT ABOUT GLORIA
Today is about focusing forward and I'd like to talk a bit about Gloria's Amish settlement. Out of all the ones I have visited over the years the rural Flat Rock community has been one of my favorite. There is a family feeling to the church and I find that very appealing. They are a New Order settlement which a lot of people mistakenly think of as less conservative, but I've never really found that to be the case. The New Order church is actually considered a subgroup of the Old Order. Gloria's church is a horse and buggy community. They also allow bicycles for transportation. Land line phones are permitted, but cell phones, which are becoming more and more accepted in other Amish settlements, are not permitted. Here is a bit more information about the New Order church.
The church will work on a lot of projects, like an annual watermelon harvest. The melons are grown in a community field and harvested and sold to raise funds for the local Amish school. The Amish youth of the settlement also host an annual community supper in the nearby town of Robinson to raise money for their school. The meal is a home-cooked Amish supper that anyone in the community is welcome to attend. It's that type of family feel and warmth that I think you'll enjoy in Gloria's version of The Amish Cook.