Saturday, May 25

I'm in the Mob!

Although I had heard about this mob a time or two before - today was my first time being IN the mob. No, we didn't send anyone to sleep with the fishes...but we did get to eat some really good fishes!

This morning I got a text from my sister Denise (she has been in the mob several times) letting me know that the Lynchburg Cash Mob was meeting at 10:30am to mob a store in Madison Heights. Before you get worried, it's a good thing. Sounds like we're storming in to paint graffiti on the walls. A cash mob gets together to support a local merchant. Which I think is a very good thing. And as a bonus, we then headed to a local restaurant (no chains!) for lunch!

The store that was being mobbed this morning was Anderson's Country Market, 3748 S. Amherst Highway in Madison Heights. I had been to Anderson's when it was in a different location, but I hadn't gotten around to visiting their new home. Wow, what an incredible difference! It is a fantastic shop. I could try to list all of the different things they offer, but I will certainly leave something important out. They have beautiful plants outside, but since I have no skills to keep beautiful plants alive...I went inside right away. They offer local baked goods, a great deli (today's free cheese sample was swiss with rye...rye INSIDE the cheese! It rocked.), a whole aisle of jellies/jams/preserves including something called Hoppin' Frog Jam. I have been assured that it contains no frog. It is a bunch of fruits and some jalapeno!

There was this section of cream cheeses and soft cheeses that I stopped and stared at for a very long time. I ended up getting Raspberry Walnut Cream Cheese and some Pineapple Cream Cheese and some pretzel sticks to eat them on. A large chunk of excellent cheddar cheese also followed me home.

There are aisles of things like flax seed and special flours and spices and stuff...but I skipped past there and headed to the most awesome aisle of all...the candy aisle!!!!! Many, many (many, many...) years ago my family traveled a good bit through the back roads of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. Our favorite stops were the "country stores" (read: tourist traps) where my brother could find Mexican Jumping Beans and my little sister would beg for the "real Indian doll dressed in authentic leather." My older sisters moved past the collectible spoons and Denise would opt for the Pecan Log (which would end up being found at the end of the trip partially eaten and covered with ants). My favorite thing was the candy sticks. There would be about 40 different flavors including fruits I had never heard of (gooseberry?). I think they were 2 for .25 at that time (did I mention this was many, many years ago?) and I would struggle with picking only 2! I usually picked orange or lemon as one...but then felt a compelling desire to get something "different." I remember how excited I was that Horehound was a choice because I had just read about that in a Little House on the Prairie book. That was nasty. It joined the Pecan Log under the van seat and I don't think the ants even liked it. Well - Anderson's Country Store has candy sticks!! And a hundred other choices.

Today I got Lemon Drops and Mini Pareils (little minty candies with tiny candy pebbles on the bottom - like the picture to the right except the candy is pastel and pebbles are white. So, nothing like the picture to the right...). And I got my sister Karen some dehydrated marshmallows - like Lucky Charms without the pesky cereal. A loaf of Sourdough Bread, jar of picked eggs and a couple other bags of snacks rounded out my purchases. Although the guideline for a cash mob participant is to spend 10-20 bucks - I finally stopped at about $45. Denise and I agree that THIS is where we're doing all our Christmas shopping this year. I already know what I'm putting on my list!!

I think there were about 20 mobbers that gathered today. And I think that the store owners were happy to have us there. I'm glad that I finally had the push that I needed to visit the new location - it is bright and clean and the staff is wonderfully friendly and helpful. Even if you weren't there today - I hope you'll stop in soon. If you're heading north on 29 (from Lynchburg) it will be on your left. Turn left at the light at Dixie Airport Road (yep, get in the left turn is a tiny bit confusing at first).

After shopping part of the group joined together for an "after social" lunch at Merredith's on Dixie Airport Road. We all had their fantastic Saturday lunch buffet (they have it on Sunday too!). I ate baked chicken, fried chicken, fried whiting, macaroni and cheese, cabbage, corn and a wonderful yeast roll. For dessert I had orange pineapple coconut cake. Although the cake was a little sweet for my taste, the food was some of the best soul food I've ever had. And my family had a chance to visit with the organizer of the cash mob, Victor Gosnell, and his family.

I'm not a person who usually gets up and DOES stuff on Saturday morning - but this was definitely a great way to start off the holiday weekend. I'm looking forward to next month when the mob gets together again!