Christmas [Tree] Hill

Happy Saturday everyone!  Sorry for no post yesterday – I filled every second of my “outside of work” time and left no room for a post.  Instead, I cooked, went on a mini-adventure, exercised, and cooked some more.

The cooking started off at breakfast, where I made some of the best pancakes I’ve tried up to this point. The consistency was perfect and the flavor was oh-so-delightful thanks to some nutmeg. However, I was in a rush and didn’t measure anything – so the recipe will have to come next time I try them.

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Lunch was super scattered – a pear here, a smoothie there…

After work was when the real fun began.  First stop - Christmas Hill Tree Farm & Nursery in Chesnee, SC (just north of Spartanburg).  It’s actually only like 5 minutes from John’s house at the lake, but it takes a good 30 from my parent’s house in town. You pull up to the farm – which is super welcoming and filled with Christmas spirit -

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where you have the option to cut down your own tree (minus the babies of course)

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or pick a pre-cut tree delivered straight from the Blue Ridge Mountains. We chose option number 2.

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And after much debate,

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we finally decided on a fat 8 footer (over this 10 footer with a major bald spot). After picking our favorite, the guys took it outside and got it take-home ready. These guys have the Christmas tree thing figured out.  First, they put the tree on a metal base that shook/vibrated the extras off the branches:

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Then they evened out the trunk with a chainsaw

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before putting it through this AWESOME bagger contraption:DSC03613

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I’ve never seen anything like this, but it’s probably one of the best ideas anyone has ever come up with.  It makes the transport process MUCH less painful, sticky and messy.

They have all kinds of other Christmas-related goodies too. Like stands, wreaths, different types of trees,

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and even a Christmas tree waterer.

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Up until yesterday, I thought my padre invented the one and only Christmas tree waterer. Sorry dad, someone beat you to it. Yours is still cooler though.

Anyway, everyone that helped us was so friendly and our experience was quick and easy.  If you live around here and have kids, I think this would be a fun place to take them to pick out your tree.

When we got home, we got the tree on a stand

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and headed to the grocery store. Since I wanted to cook last night, we’re leaving the decorating for another day – at which point, I will reveal the final product.

As for the cooking, I made a Cauliflower Pasta Bake with Mushroom Sauce (adapted from a recipe found on Daily Garnish) for dinner,

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plus almond butter

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and Coconut Oil Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (also found on www.dailygarnish.com) for dessert.

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Each of these recipes deserves it’s own post because they were all so good, but WAY too much info for one sitting.

And as for the exercise, I enjoyed an easy 3 mile run and a tough P90X legs routine.

And now it’s Saturday and I’m about to go make some cupcakes and watch some football. Tootles!!