Monday, 11 August 2008

Lip Smacking

Now, steady yourself.

The deliciousness you are about to behold will have you smacking your lips.

It doesn't matter if you've already eaten, hunger will overcome you.
Forget doughnuts, chocolate, your favourite flavour of crisps, the best cake in the world; this will surpass it all.

I lied.
You may instead experience a feeling of revulsion.
Below you will find what, in Lincolnshire, passes for food.
But more than that, hospital food.
A place where health is paramount, or rather you regaining your health.
To do this you need a balanced diet.

Food must appear to have been retched up earlier in the day, caked in fat, microwaved to within an inch of its life and most importantly have zero substance and no taller than a pancake.

This, my friends, is cheese, leek and onion bake. No really, it said so on the menu.

I love hospital food. I love that this particular dish has a distinct aura of grease, you can see it deep on the plate.
The government recommends "5 a day". But not in its hospitals. If you want that in hospital, you'd damn well better have one of two things.
1. Enough fitness and mobility to go to the shop/canteen to buy it for yourself.
2. Relatives willing to bring in food with nutritional value.

I remember being in hospital, the one thing I regularly pleaded for was fruit. Taking grapes to the ill is a standing joke - but damn it, if you want a vitamin or two it's essential.

Orange juice is on the menu. I have concluded that this refers only to the colour of the liquid you are supplied, not to any fruit content.

In the times I was in hospital, waiting for surgery to remove my gallbladder I had an incredibly limited menu. Ok, I'm vegetarian, so that meant that virtually all of the 2 week rotating menu was off for me, so I turned to the patient information folder and the vegetarian menu. There were about a dozen choices on the vegetarian menu. Great! Not so much, because were they also low-fat? No.
It shouldn't be hard to eat a low-fat diet in a hospital. Should it?
It wasn't through choice, but fat + gallstones = a serious need for morphine.

I remember ordering peach slices for a pudding one day. You know how many peach slices I got? Three. The actual NHS guidelines state 2 halves. 3 slices doesn't even make one half! The NHS doesn't even follow it's own guidelines.
As I look back, I'm so furious with myself for not making a formal complaint.

However, on the upside, the ice cream is gorgeous!


Lynn said...

It did taste better than it looked but it was the only meal that did!!!

Tablet Widow said...

how is Mum????? Cheesus that food looks dire - she needs salad -STAT!

Flibbertigibbet said...

Oh how clearly I still remember those meals. Boston Beans still gives me nightmares.

TW: She's slowly improving (with regular telling off and nagging).
She had salad. Well some iceberg and three tomatoes chunks. What more could you want?
Oh wait... there was grated carrot too. All singular teaspoon of it.