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Hospital Food


liuzhou

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Unsurprisingly, that didn't go as planned. it seems the meal I ordered for tonight is actually for tomorrow. Quite how that happened remains a mystery, but I am full of drugs and stress.

 

Anyway, one lovely young nurse took pity on the old fool and personally ordered me a meal from China's leading delivery app.

 

Not only that but she downloaded and installed the app in my phone and patiently taught me how to use it.

 

After reimbursing her I enjoyed

 

mmexport1663065368326.thumb.jpg.62f2f3b55e854bf33fcd01a624195f21.jpg

Hot Pepper Beef

 

IMG_20220913_182156.thumb.jpg.2cc4df699dc594d8c805decb255cc9a9.jpg

Rice with Pickles and Sesame Seeds

 

There was also a thin soup of chicken broth and cabbage. Happy mouth.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
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After my pleasant meal, I received my first visitors. Visiting is severely restricted due to the pandemic. However, one of my best and oldest friends in the city is director of the CDC. She called the hospital director and had him call off the dogs long enough for her and another friend to get in. Very pleasant. 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

After my pleasant meal, I received my first visitors. Visiting is severely restricted due to the pandemic. However, one of my best and oldest friends in the city is director of the CDC. She called the hospital director and had him call off the dogs long enough for her and another friend to get in. Very pleasant. 

 

I'm very glad you got a decent meal and a visit from friends, both of which surely helped decrease stress levels.  I hope that both practices can continue as long as you're confined there, and that it will not be much longer. 

 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin
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4 hours ago, gulfporter said:

 

 

I was there overnight last month and got dry toast, watery oatmeal and a vegetable soup devoid of any seasoning. 

 

Turns out the hospital hired a dietician a few months ago to cook "healthy" meals. 

It occurs to me that there a wide open professional niche for dietician/nutritionist with a chef's imagination and palate.    There is no reason that healthful food needs be tasteless, textureless, colorless.   in fact, it could and should be the opposite.    Is there this emphasis in the field today?   

eGullet member #80.

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 Wouldn't it be pretty to think so? Hospital budgets most likely don't have enough wiggle room to provide quality ingredients, nor can they pay for a great chef. When they serve chicken noodle soup there isn't a snowball's chance in hell they are making their own stock! And in addition I am guessing that there is a required standard baseline low-salt blandness as well, so even what little variety the patients who don't need special diets can get, there isn't much the hospital can do without putting lots more dollars toward the food. Probably the kitchen philosophy is simply to keep people alive, despite what you may think when you see your joke of a tray. The administration needs to scrimp and save wherever they can so they can build up their lawsuit protection funds. 

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8 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

There is no reason that healthful food needs be tasteless, textureless, colorless.   in fact, it could and should be the opposite

I agree, good food can have a tremendous impact on wellbeing but in addition to what @Katie Meadow said, I suspect a good percentage of US hospital patients are more like the seniors that @CaliPoutinewas cooking for back in this topic  than like eGullet members. They were happy with canned, processed, premade everything and squawked when she tried to offer freshly prepared, well-seasoned fare. 

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I may have related this before, but can't locate it.

 

Many years ago I was incarcerated in hospital in London for some ailment that was so serious I can't remember what it was. The food was bland mush.

 

In the next bed was an early middle aged man. I formed the opinion that he had never married and had recently lost his aged mother.

 

One day he remarked on how good the hospital food was. Obviously, I thought he was being sarcastic but it turned out he absolutely  meant it.

 

I asked what he usually ate and the reply still haunts me.

 

'Monday to Saturday, I have fish and chips but on Sundays, I have chicken and chips. Of course!'

 

Of course!

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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4 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

One day he remarked on how good the hospital food was. Obviously, I thought he was being sarcastic but it turned out he absolutely  meant it.

And this is perhaps the saddest part of it all. For many patients who were in the same hospital where I would’ve starved to death without family and friends bringing food, the hospital food was the best thing they had  enjoyed in years. (There was also the man in the next room who, as soon as his meal was delivered, dumped everything into the garbage including the tray, dishes and cutlery, every meal.)

I usually just gave mine a decent burial under a napkin.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

I agree, good food can have a tremendous impact on wellbeing but in addition to what @Katie Meadow said, I suspect a good percentage of US hospital patients are more like the seniors that @CaliPoutinewas cooking for back in this topic  than like eGullet members. They were happy with canned, processed, premade everything and squawked when she tried to offer freshly prepared, well-seasoned fare. 

One - Hospital stays are minimized due to $$$ concerns so kind of suck it up. My focus is more on post discharge - teaching nutrition that people will stick with cuz it tastes good.

Two - money is always the bottom line. People lower on the social economic scale will not get the higher better food. 

Hospitals in US have to employ degreed dietitians and they have to follow a formula. Change - as in everything is hard - unless ya throw $ at it. Which in link I shared earlier they do but not in a public county hospital.

Bit off topic - my fave public hospital - now moved - but this retrospective is touching. I spent lots of hours there. For US soap opera fans it is the opening shot of General Hospital. There ae some scenes of the kitchens  https://www.kcet.org/shows/visiting-huell-howser/episodes/county-usc-medical-center  just pasr minute 30

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I won't be posting any more food from this hospital. I've fired them and the 'caterer' who turned out not to be what was claimed.

 

All my food is now ordered in from outside and is not therefore 'hospital food.

 

However, I was contractually obliged to have one last meal from them. Ironically, it turned out to be the best*

 

IMG_20220914_132108.thumb.jpg.f157c5d314097cde920fae18eb8960e1.jpg

 

It was beef with mixed vegetables (including egg plant, Chinese celery, cucumber and hot green and red peppers peppers.)  With stir fried greens and rice. Completed by a giant pork jiaozi.

 

 

* after screwing up one last time and attempting to serve me yet another dog food hockey puck. This was witnessed by a nurse who told me they have been campaigning for years to have the things banned. She even used the English word, 'inedible', possibly the only English she knows.

 

All the pics here are low resolution. I will upgrade when or if I ever get out of here. For now, I'm completely bed bound.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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18 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

It occurs to me that there a wide open professional niche for dietician/nutritionist with a chef's imagination and palate.    There is no reason that healthful food needs be tasteless, textureless, colorless.   in fact, it could and should be the opposite.    Is there this emphasis in the field today?   

I'm sure those people exist. I'm equally sure that they're in private clinics with large price tags, where they'll make much better coin than their counterparts in mainstream hospitals.

 

ETA: I believe that at some point I've related the story of a classmate of mine at culinary school. She was livid - LIVID - to learn that she'd be expected to taste everything she cooked in class. In her life, it seems, she'd never voluntarily consumed anything much other than Campbell's soups and blue-box mac & cheese. This, of course, begged the obvious question ("why culinary school, then?") and the answer, as it turns out, is that she was destined to oversee food services in her family's small chain of for-profit long-term care homes for seniors.

 

Still gives me the shudders just thinking about it.

Edited by chromedome (log)
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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I'm on the board of a local nonpofit retirement community.  Big big place. For  years we've had a chef from the restaurant world running the food service. It was very good, perhaps limited only by the palates of the residents. This isn't exceptional around here, in  fact its almost the norm.  Hospitals are different.

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They are gaslighting me!

 

I left the hospital the ad hoc supply of breakfast as they had never screwed that up. Every morning they brought rather good 肉包 - pork buns. 

 

This morning they were running late and the doctors were getting impatient as they like us to have eaten before taking medication.

 

Finally someone rushed in with my Bao breakfast. Sadly this had metamorphosed into jiaozi dumplings.

 

Then came the evidence of gaslighting. The damn things were full  of c@rn!!!

 

Twenty minutes later, the buns turned up. They didn't have the nerve to charge me!

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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1 minute ago, liuzhou said:

They are gaslighting me!

 

I left the hospital the ad hoc supply of breakfast as they had never screwed that up. Every morning they brought rather good 肉包 - pork buns. 

 

This morning they were running late and the doctors were getting impatient as they like us to have eaten before taking medication.

 

Finally someone rushed in with my Bao breakfast. Sadly this had metamorphosed into jiaozi dumplings.

 

Then came the evidence of gaslighting. The damn things were full  of c@rn!!!

 

Twenty minutes later, the buns turned up. They didn't gave the nerve to charge me!

Beware the wrath of @liuzhou when given c@rn!!:angry:

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40 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

They are gaslighting me!

 

I left the hospital the ad hoc supply of breakfast as they had never screwed that up. Every morning they brought rather good 肉包 - pork buns. 

 

This morning they were running late and the doctors were getting impatient as they like us to have eaten before taking medication.

 

Finally someone rushed in with my Bao breakfast. Sadly this had metamorphosed into jiaozi dumplings.

 

Then came the evidence of gaslighting. The damn things were full  of c@rn!!!

 

Twenty minutes later, the buns turned up. They didn't have the nerve to charge me!

Jeez... Of all things to put in dumplings!!!! They might as well filled them with moldy crickets.... To be sick and force fed corn... The horror....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thankfully I have not been within sight of a hospital bed for many years.  However last week The Economist, a British newspaper, ran an article on American hospital cuisine.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

Whatever you crave, there's a dumpling for you. -- Hsiao-Ching Chou

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Unfortunately, my parents had both a short stint at (two different) hospitals last week, so I can contribute at least the breakfast and dinner in those establishments (no need for two pictures each, as they were identical …). The theme here is „Vollkost“, so no dietary restrictions - although it might be hard to believe from the pictures 😉

 

Breakfast

 

A2EFF984-19E3-4F66-92EA-6EB8A0E9F28E.thumb.jpeg.f2d5beec8c33cc6ce220ef545e83d4fb.jpeg

 

Dinner

 

8DBA1C0A-4E3D-46F7-8D07-D7ED3ABED0DB.thumb.jpeg.86c5338540a5da221345be97908c1158.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Duvel said:

Dinner

Good heavens! That is even worse than most of the meals I have had over the past few years in hospitals. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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