Thursday, 1 January 2015

And that was 2014

With a month to go before our Christmas parties were due to start we placed our order for crackers, they may not be the most exciting but they do help dress the table and the customers seem to have fun whilst pulling them and relaying the terrible jokes and ditties, so you can imagine our frustration when a week before the first of our parties on the 3rd were due, we were informed the crackers would be with us on the 5th!!! Not a good start, so many phone calls later we were promised enough to see us through (even if the manager had to go to the local supermarket and buy them himself) and after all that the said crackers arrived the day before they were needed.

With that said they were willing to go the extra mile and make sure we had what we needed and in that respect we are extremely lucky with all of our suppliers, we’ve had deliveries at all times of the day from 6am until 10pm with some of these guys still 2 hours from home. I myself don’t seem to have left the pub for weeks, so I take my hat of to all of these delivery men and woman, ah and of course our lovely postman for getting all of our orders and Christmas shopping to us at this maddest time of year, thank you all.

This month most definitely has gone in a flash, from putting the decorations up on the 1st and 3 parties arriving on the 3rd we haven’t drawn breath, we’ve had a mix of small parties of 4 and parties of 45 taking up the downstairs of the pub, along with a steady stream of B&B guests its not surprising that all the days seem to have merged into one.

It does feel a little like nothing has really happened this month, but I suppose what I mean that nothing out of the ordinary has happened as compared with the last few months.

We have had some interest in taking on an apprentice, which is something we will be looking into in the New Year, now is not the time it might put them off for good.

With the New Year fast approaching it’s a time for new starts and changes, plans for some decorating and furnishings are being discussed. New items will start appearing on the menu as we subtly change from the Christmas season, as well as creating a joint venture with a couple of the south west best places for a unique dining experience. this will be a one night event, its early stages but we are all really excited about the idea. Its great to see others approach to things as in this trade you never stop learning or picking up ideas, I’ll definitely keep you informed as to how the planning is going.

So for now all that is left to say, is that I hope you have enjoyed some of the tales from the pub and all at The Swan hope that you had a fantastic Christmas and wish you well for the New Year.

After all the excess of Christmas and the New Year, I thought I’d give you a recipe for my favourite soup, something that’s warming and filling, especially with a hunk of bread with lots of butter

Split yellow pea and ham soup

1 ham hock
1 carrot
½ onion
2 cloves of garlic (optional)
1 stick celery                                             }Leave
parsley                                                         } whole so
a few strips of leek the outer skin is fine}you can                                                                                      take them out    

250g split yellow peas
1.5 litre ham stock
1 carrot
½ onion

1.   Place all ham hock ingredients in a pan, cover with water and simmer slowly for 2 hours, until the meat is falling of the bone
2.   Strain ham stock and set aside the hock
3.   Place all soup ingredients in a pot, cook for about an hour over a medium heat, until the peas burst and the stock begins to thicken
4.   Once cooked remove the vegetables and blend, add a knob of butter and season to taste
5.   Add chopped ham hock meat
6.   ENJOY

An easier option and to use some of the left over Christmas ham, is follow step 3 using chicken stock, if using cubes be careful it doesn’t become to salty, add your chopped ham and maybe even a dash of cream. 

I know it sounds Mad but I'm sitting down thinking about Valentines Day menu. 
Thats the life of a publican.  

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