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Posts Tagged ‘country store’

Photo From Herman's Produce Web Site

Herman’s Produce in Lexington, Virginia, is my favorite place for anything fresh and beautiful or freshly preserved and delicious.  I harvested their fabulous tomatoes all summer (from the shelves)  and now there are crispy apples guaranteed the best of the best.

Even their plants scream quality.  I bought a basil plant that grew into a beautiful round mound with constant leaves to harvest all season, and a giant mum of enormous beauty for only $12.

Herman’s is also a wonderful center for meeting, greeting, laughing, and putting aside the worries of the world.  There is an old rusty tractor “out front” and they have made good use of it to wish their friends the best of Fall and a Happy Halloween.

I do love Herman’s because it’s humble but top-of-the-line, habit forming because you always want more, and because the folks at Herman’s really and truly care.

Note:  This is not an advertisement!  Really.

And I am not actually having a love affair with Herman either.

I know it  sounds that way but some places simply require accolades.

Congratulations Herman!  You have won my heart.

Autumn Joy

Happy Fall and Happy Halloween from Herman’s

 

 

 

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When I was a girl, we took family drives for recreation and entertainment.  I suspect my parents also drove us around just to cool off and escape mosquito invasions. Evidently mosquitoes don’t like wind generated from open car windows.  We lived in Florida you see, and had no air conditioning at home and not in the car either.  We would drive along at the high speed of about 30 miles per hour and my brother and I loved to hang our feet out the windows, or wave our hands in the wind, greeting truckers to put smiles in their day.  We thought that worked because they always waved back.

A Pickle for a Nickel

On our drives, we stopped at little country stores for fresh fruits and vegetables.  The ice cold Cokes in  big coolers were sold in frosty bottles (no such thing as “diet” versions). There was root beer too and all manner of fascinating other possibilities like candy, comic books and card games.  Some even had barrel pickles and you picked your pickle for 5 cents right out of the barrel.   Our traditional family outings took us out of the realm of the humdrum into new and fascinating other worlds.

The Upscale Country Store

Nowadays here in Virginia, my grown up country drives still feature those sorts of roadside stops and they vary from just lean-to sheds to actual general stores, and many are vastly expanded, upscale versions.  For instance, a few miles from my home there is a Country Store that has been there for over 52 years.  The place is still a local favorite  where every one finds fresh harvests of fruits and veggies served up with congenial conversation.  There are lovely peaches, watermelon and of course tomatoes in season, and apples and pumpkins in the fall.

Why do I call it upscale?  This store is now carrying the finest meats/cold cuts and the best brands of creamy ice cream, and they sell casual clothing, gifts, flags, jams and jellies, handmade sandwiches, and a lot of basic essentials like bread, milk and local honey.  Country hams are always big sellers, but beware if you are a “Yankee” because you may not be prepared for the heavy salt.  Country ham, sliced paper thin and served  on a warm buttered biscuit is an extra special treat.  Virginia Ham Biscuits make wonderful snacks for parties too.

Remnant of Olde Time America

Roadside country stores still stir me, and as my husband and I drive by, I feel a little twinge of excitement and I want to scream, “Stop!”  Of course he will stop if I ask, but he lacks the necessary sense of wonder so we often travel on by.   Bill grew up in the Bronx, New York and his streets and alleys were no doubt devoid of roadside stands.  His imagination does not soar at the thought of the treasures we might find.  And I cannot convince him that even if all there is to experience is color, conversation, fresh corn and tomatoes, stepping back in time to an America of simpler pleasures is always worth the stop.

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