I've heard all about Hospital food growing up and have watched people eat away while I visit them, but I always looked at what was on offer and think hey this isn't as bad as people think or say.Well I have now had my experience of Hospital food and I can truly say that although it wasn't too bad it wasn't too great either.
Being taught about the Food pyramid and understanding the nutrition value that must be followed working inside Hospitals I can understand that they must follow procedure, but all the meals are missing the touch of Homeliness or as I would like to also call it Love.
Whilst on the first day after an operation I was more than happy to have an assortment of 4 x 1/4 square sandwiches in the selection of bread with some lemonade, and believe me I possibly would mind what I got after fasting and missing my morning coffee while I was in a deep sleep, anything to get me over the first hurdle of starvation was great.
Missing out on afternoon tea due to exhaustion and mixed with pain killers galore I could not tell you what was provided but come dinner time the nurses chose for me to have an asian feat of short soup, singapore noodles and a fresh fruit platter for dessert. Not too bad on the choice from the Nurses, the Noodles were actually like my own home made noodles and I though this is pretty good stuff, and the fruit platter well no one can complain with that unless you despise all types of fruit. But the soup..... can really explain what my taste buds could taste. This clear broth soup filled with tofu and spring onions had this instant reaction of a screw up of the face and knowing straight away you could not continue to eat it. I think together with the unseasoned broth of what I think was chicken and the onions made a sipid flavour. Visit by my sister Kylie just as I was reaching the dessert (well timed as it is her favorite meal) I got her to taste and together we decided best keep clear of the soup. So overall night 1 not too bad 2 out of 3 dishes thumbs up.
Day 2 and breakfast served at an hour where you all would still be sound asleep watching sheep jump the fence, but due to having to have blood pressure taken and being in unbearable pain service started at the jolly hour of 5:30am. Cold toast, special K and what they say is fruit compote but is really 4 fruits in a tub. So as I can not stand toast that can not melt my butter and not a true fan of cereal as it gets soggy to quickly I went with the fruit compote. This got me through till morning tea where I dinned for my first cup of coffee (thank goodness) and a date scone. Homely was beginning to come back for this high rissen soft and well coloured scone could have possibly been in the running for an CWA ribbon.
Lunch well I finally got to choose what to have for the rest of my stay, and selected pumpkin soup and sandwiches and ice cream for dessert. Feeling under the weather due to the anesthetic I thought of all things pumpkin soup would help me, but no. Same as the short soup the smell was unusual, I am not sure what spices or stock these people use in the kitchen but it is not a welcoming smell that would cause anyone whether well or ill to salivate which overall disappointing seeing that Soup it my favorite meal. Sandwiches the same assortment as the previous day, not complaining they were pretty nice and the ice cream well really who complains about ice cream????
Afternoon was a true delight and once again I got the touch of love from my lemon slice that was topped with toasted coconut which went well with my cup of tea. Dinner I chose to have grilled salmon, skipped the soup and chose to go all out and go Chocolate mousse for dessert. Salmon I figure shouldn't be that bad and when I'm not feeling all too well always crave fresh seafood or fish. But fail once again. This luke warm fish was dry and missing seasoning, and accompanied by good old frozen vegies on the side what are cold within minutes did not become a crowed pleaser. Mind you that chocolate mousse was so light and smooth. Enjoyed not only by myself, but also by Kylie and Paul who both had timed their visits perfectly once again.
So Day 3 comes along and planning my last meal of the stay and all I wanted was that perfect bowl of warm porridge, but have I learnt nothing from my stay??? Clearly not. Clag could only be the one description to say, unsweetened not loved at all. Gruel in a bowl. What a way to finish my stay.....
All I can say is that I understand their are always a lot of patients all with different dietary requirements and that all chefs cooking need to follow a strict nutrition plan, but where is your Love? These patients are already fairly depressed or in pain, and it only drags on with having meals that don't have a homely touch or the essence of Love. In my book I am sure it could be a small natural remedy to make them feel better.
The designing of the menu etc does go through a lot of people ensuring that every code is followed but where is that someone to realise it is ok to add the seasoning and the sweetness to the main dishes, if we can have scones and slice surely we can have more well designed meals that every one can hoe into and feel pleasure in what they ate.