A lovely sunny day with a hint of all the summer that lays ahead. Karen and I are so happy to be living in Swan Valley.
Once again we want to thank our faithful customers who make this new enterprise so exciting for us. The new Menu is available and has had some really nice and positive reviews. As we continue onwards please check for our specials because that is like our Research and Development area where we work on potential new menu items.
Unfortunately, PattyO, our cook, has to return to Wisconsin. She has been here for over six months and during that time was a key player in helping us set up the business. She has trained Mel to a stage where she can take over all the cooking duties with skill and enthusiasm. Len has also benefitted from PattyO's training and he can now understudy Mel to help develop his own style. I will continue to work on the Specials and doing all the Butchering. Karen will continue to work on the South Fork Inn and Grille Signature dishes.
We have another potential cook in the wings and will hopefully will be able to introduce him shortly. We also have a part time experienced cook ready to be called in if ever we need additional help.
So, we move on and are getting our "Grille Gang" established. Still looking for additional positions to be filled so don't be shy, stop in and fill up an application. In particular we are needing a Groundskeeper/Maintenance person, this would actually be a most full-filling job as the duties are very varied and will be pretty much outside all Summer working to a very broad brief.
Thank you all for sharing your Mother's Day with us. It was a nice relaxing time with plenty of families happy to be out and celebrating their Mothers. Karen and the Grille Gang put on a beautiful buffet with a whole variety of offerings from home-made fruit infused water, pastries and a fabulous variety of fresh fruit. I have never scrambled so many eggs and grilled so much bacon and so many sausages, it really was fun.
So we settle down into a new week and I must get to work on the Specials Menu. It will be posted shortly...
Well, we have been working pretty hard at trying to get the Pond and Waterfall set up but are fighting rather a large problem. It seems previous Managers had been dumping bleach into the pond to kill algae and water bugs etc. This is dumb, to say the least. I'm sure you know that once you establish a balanced eco-system in such a feature, as in a fish tank for example, then the algae is consumed by the fish and once digested the waste feeds the plants and the plants oxygenate the water and the cycle falls into balance. Mosquito larva, for example are consumed by the fish, and even frog spawning is restricted.
The bottom of the pond seems pretty dead though some very hardy plants are starting to grow. I need to vacuum that stagnant and poisonous muck out and replace it with something that will nurture and sustain life so the pond and waterfall can reach their potential as a relaxing and pleasing feature.
I have added 12 x 2" Comets and 4 x 4" Shubunkins to the pond as they are very hardy as well and I hope they will start adding their "bit" to the eco-system we are trying to establish. They hang out on the far side of the pond under some submerged foliage.
Any comment and advice is very welcome.
Scratching around with various "Theme" Menus. We are considering:
- Taste of New Orleans - Cajun and Creole favorites
- Taste of Chile - South American specialities, heavy on the Beef
- Taste of India - Curries, Pastries and mainly Lamb dishes
- Cowboy - Burgers and Beans reign supreme but many other traditional alternatives
- Sportsman - Swan Valley themed with local produce such as Trout, Elk, Deer etc
Hello everybody. Well, thanks to your continuing support and the weather improving we are going to extend our hours of service again.
Please have a look at the "Restaurant" drop down and you will see that we are now open five days a week with extended hours.
There has been some tweaking of the menu too and I will be updating that very shortly. An example is the addition of "Wednesday Wings", this will be an all day item served with your choice out of a variety of very tasty sauces.
Meanwhile, in the pond; we have removed the plants from the ugly tubs they were in and are just letting them settle down for a while naturally before we start thinning them out a bit, probably in fall. We also re-arranged some of the rocks and channels in the waterfall to distribute the water more equally and provide some bigger "Falls" for the water to increase the sounds of cascading water. It really has been an improvement. It seems we had a few stowaways in the pond too, because after re-arranging the plants we discovered four more Shubunkins...it's amazing how hardy they are because no provisions were made for them wintering out and, as mentioned, the previous managers had been adding bleach to the water to keep it all dead.
Future additions will be planting some Creeping Jenny around the Falls and also some Water Celery around the edges. Tomorrow we should be getting a really big bunch of Elodea Densa from Wisconsin. This is a bottom growing very crisp green aquatic plant that is perfect for oxygenating the water, reducing algae growth and also provides security for smaller fish and fry. Finally, we have ordered new LED spotlights to add feature to the rock falls at night...
Thank you to everybody that "Stayed Awhile" with us through the course of lunch and dinner yesterday. It was very good to see you all and we especially thank you for your compliments. Just those few words of appreciation go a long way with us all because it is always our endevour to be sure you that you leave satisfied and replete.
So, we have always said from the beginning, "please let us know what it is that you would like to see on the menu" Well yesterday we had two excellent responses; one from a young man that has become very partial to the currys that I make. Because the demand is small I mainly create them for myself and Karen but I usually make sure that this chap has some available too. Well, last night I let him down so here is my pledge that there will always be a curry available for him and to who ever else may wish to try one. I do wish we had more interest in them because it is the most "hands on" dish we produce, right from roasting our own blends of spices and producing the base elements that make every type of curry so totally different, to producing the unique side dishes that go along with them. Come live on the wild side and ask Karen or Kelly if you may try some because it might not be on the menu but it will always there.
Our second request came early in the evening when it was pointed out that we have no Mexican or Latin American alternatives. A point well taken and although, in the past, we used to offer up some small individual meals now we will definitely consider developing an alternative set of Latin meals for regular service. To be honest I am working on a Taste of Chile menu which will become available in June. Keep watching this blog or our Facebook page for updates.
Looking forward to seeing you all again soon.
It's amazing how quickly we are getting into Summer. Outdoor activities continue to pick up for all of us, the sportsmen, hte outdoor enthusiasts and fishermen alike. And for us too as we work to keep The South Fork Inn and Grille attractive and welcoming. Particular effort has gone into continuing to restore the water feature in the Porch Garden.
As mentioned previously many years of silt and dead growth had reduced the water depth to just about 14" with everything looking a bit sick. However, the addition of some highly concentrated muck eating bacteria has worked wonders. As soon as the water temperature reached and passed 60f those little buggers have been very active consuming all the dead and stagnant "debris" to the point that the water is now nearly 24" deep in places and the rocks and profile on the bottom can be distinguished. As the bacteria work and the sun shines down the decomposition produces methane gas and that has been lifting a lot of the debris to the surface. So far, in May we have removed probably 20lb of dead vegetation and goop. We will update you regularly of course.