Life's too short to eat bad food - Me

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

Sunday, January 2, 2011

We want something else! We want something else! - Hawkeye Pierce

First need in the reform of hospital management? That's easy ! The death of all dietitians, and the resurrection of a French Chef - Martin H. Fischer

Perhaps not as bad as: "a river of liver and an ocean of fish!", but Hospital Food has a reputation second only to military food as being less than palatable.  I remember when I was a kid I visited my Dad at Genesee Hospital while he was eating.  It looked like what's to the right.

I '76 my big brother had knee surgery.  He was dying from the food.  I borrowed the Father Mulcahey outfit from when we were both in MASH, stuffed a black bag from the same with a Whopper, Fries and and a shake.

Now I have respect for anyone who toils in a kitchen, but when it comes to institutional cookery those who work in Hospitals and Nursing Homes occupy the bottom rung (yes, even below lunch ladies).  It's not their fault - it's the nature of the beast itself.

My first experience with Hospital food was in 1994 and consisted of blue stuff running through a tube down my nose.  When I was back on solid food, I'd circle my choices on a sheet of paper. It would get delivered - usually when I was at respiratory therapy.

My first meal was a revelation.  I was still in the ER, waiting for a room.  So they fed me. Burger, Home Fries, Peas, Peaches, Jello, Coffee and Milk.  All cold.  Shame about the coffee - it would be the last caffeinated beverage until yesterday.  Still, I give them a pass.  How the hell does one prepare for an ER patient being hungry.

There were innovations.  Instead of the check sheet, you now get a menu and can order when you are ready (in fact they call if you haven't).  I stuck to cold food for the most part - it's just too difficult to keep food warm. I stuck to cereal for Breakfast. Tuesday's dinner was a quite passable tuna sandwich, lettuce and tomato on the side as ordered.

Wednesday not so well.  Egg Salad ≠ Pot Roast. It became apparent that even though they might get it right the first time, redo's were a mess. What showed up was a miserly schmear of Egg Salad on torn bread, with no additions.

Thursday was the best meal I had.  Trish brought me Pad Thai and Tom Yum Goong from Saigon Bangkok.  Friday she made me Chicken Soup With Matzoh Balls - Yummy.

The most bizarre meal was Friday's Lunch.  I ordered a Roast Beef Sandwich with L,T and O and a side of fries.  The tray arrived with only fries - cold ones at that.  I called down with the "where's the beef?" question.  What showed up was s sorry excuse for a sandwich, no L or T and the O looked like they were around for a week.

As a fitting dénoument, I ordered a banana with breakfast yesterday.  It should be ripe by next weekend.

The bottom line: they've made some improvements, but there's no place like home.


Warner (aka ntsc) said...

NYU Medical Center hospital was far better than that, but for the first week I was salt free, but my wife brought in various pepper combinations.

After they checked the label for no salt, they were OK.

Home is better.

LIVE TO EAT said...

The hospital is no place for sick people...glad you're home, Scotty!

Natalie Sztern said...

I could write a book on hospital food here. I thought with the prices for rooms they would have a decent I guess it is not like a hotel after all as we Canadians always say about US hospitals.

Most Canadians know to order 'Kosher' even when not Jewish; that way the hospital has to outsource their food and bring it in; always from a Kosher caterer...(also is so inclined they don't usually adhere to the in-house Dieticians rules)

Scotty said...

I always used to order Kosher on airlines - in a hospital, I dunno, but I should have tried.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke

Life's too short to eat bad food -