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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2006:10:14 11:56:48

As the calendar flips into the month of November, an annual fundraising tradition is underway in the Triboro area - St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church's apple dumpling sale.

Just in time for the Thanksgiving season, these homemade treats are available to area residents seeking something sweetly different.

The dumplings, a popular holiday tradition in Amish country, are pastries filled with apples and cinnamon. Sometimes, depending on a person's preference, raisins are added.

The apples are peeled, cored and placed on a portion of dough. Cinnamon and sugar is added and the dough is folded over the apples and the dumplings are baked until tender.

Although they are often eaten as a breakfast item, many people feature them as a dessert after meals, served up warm with a scoop of ice cream. It's also popular to eat them with ice cream or in milk.

The $4 dumplings for the Triboro fundraiser are cooked up at Rohrbach's Farm Market, a family-based business in Catawissa.

"We've developed our own recipe through trial and error," said Ron Rohrbach, the farm's third-generation owner. "Our dumplings are all-natural and have no preservatives."

A crew of about 10-12 people work to prepare the dumplings, each perfect for a single serving and weighing in at between 8 to 10 ounces.

Rohrbach's farm has been preparing the family recipe for the past decade, with the dumplings available as a fundraising item for the past five years.

Thousands are prepared, baked, packaged and shipped, with orders ranging from 50 to 1,500.

Rohrbach anticipates cooking up some 5,500 dumplings this season. The farm also offers peach dumplings in the summer, with the produce grown on site.

Despite what has been a difficult year locally for apple orchards due to a devastating frost last spring, Rohrbach explained the impact hasn't been too detrimental.

"We had some frost damage in the spring that prevented us from harvesting some crops," he said. "And, in other varieties, we had as good a crop as we could have had."

Orders are due by Sunday, Nov. 4, and can be placed by calling 351-2676.