Monday, August 24, 2009

Local gems

I don’t know about you but whenever I find new unique little places I am suddenly transformed into a giddy little school girl! Yesterday the Hubs and I were out gallivanting around enjoying the wonderful summer sunday. We had just left the outlet mall by our house having failed to find another, yet just as important, running shirt for the hubs..can we say addiction?? Love you hubs! I have to admit that I was in exceptionally good spirits since we managed to leave the outlets without any damage to the bank account. I do love shopping and I am working on my obsessive compulsive tendencies to try and control the money but since I hadn’t looked at our account for a while I was a little nervous (I know, I know but I’m trying)!

Anyways the hubs loves to take back roads whenever possible and since we were in an area where you couldn’t tell the back roads from the main roads I would say he suddenly became a kid in a candy store :) I have stopped trying figure out the way home since it seems like we go a different way every time.

The day was beautiful and we both love to drive/ride so I was truly up for the adventure. As we got closer to the base (or so I was figuring) we saw a sign for fresh pies and then arrows pointing us on our merry way. Usually, although we both love pies and fresh foods, we tend to pass on by those signs eyeing them but saying nothing (probably in hopes that the other one will suggest that we check it out which usually doesn’t happen)! Blame it on the wonderful food that we had already gorged on this weekend or the after effects of just seeing Julie and Julia and vowing to learn to appreciate local food more..I heard myself say “hey let’s check it out”. Well that was all the encouragement the Hubs needed!

Now we were on a new mission..following the signs which promised to end at the golden pot of fresh pies!! Now in NJ usually these type of signs lead you to a side of the road fruit stand operation, which I was totally expecting! But joy of all joys we arrived not to find a little stand but a whole building?! Uh on..I could totally feel the giddy little school girl coming on and we hadn’t even gone inside yet!

We entered was I now know is Emery’s berry patch and what can I say..the giddy girl took over and I had no control over what came next!

The Hubs should be used to me by now but I still saw the look of sheer amazement as I bounced from one yummy food to another simultaneously pointing out a new discovery while eyeing the next! The store was filled with so much unique local pies, ice creams, mixes, baked goods and jams that I literally had to step away, take a deep breath, and remind myself that this precious little gem was within 15 minutes of our house and was not going to disappear I didn’t have to buy everything right then!! Luckily the hubs was with me to provide some sense of reality (although I could have done without the snickering)! In the end we settled on a peach pie (no sugar added since as I mentioned we had just gorged ourselves on other yummy food this weekend) and a huge jar of fig jam. I love love fig jam and my grandma used to have a fig tree and would make it for me but unfortunately the fig tree overextended it’s welcome and its roots and was therefore uprooted in an effort to save the houses foundation! no more fig tree = no more fig jam..sadness! Needless to say, since fig jam is a rarity, I did a little dance right then and there in the middle of the store and insisted that we purchase a jar :)

As we were checking out I told the lady that the little Aggie in me wanted to leap up and hug here because her store brought to life all the good memories of FFA and Kern County! I told you I really had no control over my actions at this was all the giddy little school girl! The totally kind and understanding lady welcomed us to this little gem of an establishment and since we didn’t seem to lack enthusiasm she also told us about the hayrides and pumpkin picking in the fall and a neat new winery down the road called Laurita Winery. Did you hear that mom..I know what we are doing the next time you come and visit!!

On the way home the Hubs and I couldn’t stop talking about the warm feeling of this wonderful store and how great it is to find these neat little local gems! I really can’t wait to go back, especially since the pie and jam are amazing!! My little Aggie heart is bursting with joy right now!

P.S. Don’t judge!!

What are some of the local gems that you love in your area?


  1. That is awesome! :)
    It's always good finding little hole in the wall places that you would never expect! :)

  2. i'm the same way! i love doing stuff like that and discovering hidden treasure!

  3. OOh that does sound like a super cool store. I like the pecan store around here with all the flavored pecans and Mississippi made treats. We also have some cute candy stores and such around here. :)

  4. There is a local BBQ joint that we absolutely love! I also love the local baby boutique that is down the street - she has some of the most unique and beautiful baby things. I could spend a fortune (and a few hours) in that little store. I'd like to see what your fig jam dance looks like! :)

  5. You are so cute Ashley!! I can totally imagine you getting all excited! Can't wait to try it out...we have to go soon! I want some yummy treats. I am calling you right now to make plans for this week! Love you:)

  6. Oh, please, please tell me if that if I ever get to come visit NJ, we'll go there! Sounds like heaven!

  7. What a fabulous way to get lost...and be found!!! I can totally relate to your shopping habit girly. I don't check my bank account often either and it does worry me at times :)-
    Oopsie-daisies ♥ Your town sounds wonderful.

  8. I was hoping to be in NJ this week for Mals bday and cannot make it...booo tear tear!! As Mal would say!

    I hope you and Mal can get together ....her birthday is Saturday..Thanks for being her good friend..



  9. Sounds so fun! I just moved, so I'm hoping to go exploring and find some places like that soon.

    Stopping by from SITS.

  10. Awww how fun! You are so stinkin' cute!

  11. I love fun little adventures like that!!

  12. I love going to this place called Orange, it has lovely antiques and vintage findings. Whenever my mom visits we go there and drink our chocolate shakes, yum! Glad you had fun with the hubs and hope you are enjoying your week love!

  13. fun!! i love finding places like that!!! i can't wait to see pics of next time you go...because i'm sure there will be a next time!!

  14. I just love little out of the way mom and pop joints!! We have a little breakfast place that still doesn't take cards but you get a huge plate of deliciousness for five bucks!