Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Do I detect a slight improvement?

Gravy and sunflower spread... they're trying to spoil me!


  1. wow they didn't nuke the tomato's this time, they actually look (dare i say) pretty good.
    The potato still looks dry (atleast the skin) but it might be (slightly) better on the inside and the pie, well it could look worse.

    And how did it taste..i'm dying to know.
    Maybe the catering knows about your blog and is trying to figure out who and where you are by improving some of the dishes in certain hospitals and watching the comments on your blog



  2. Blimey - something recognisable!

  3. Actually, Traction Man, I don't think you do. If you put this in front of me, I would throw up. Potato splatted on the plate so firmly it's split at the bottom, dried up tomato, an over-cooked bought-in pasty and a splash of slithery gravy - YUK. Perhaps you're just getting used to it - which is a bit worrying. A bit like the hostage syndrome. Give it a couple of weeks and you'll be telling us this is the latest in Cordon Bleu cooking. Oh dear.

  4. Wow for the first time this looks (dare i say it) ok - not great but ok !! Glad to see you still have your humour.

  5. It didn't taste great but I didn't retch. Kirsten's right... this is the Stockholm Syndrome.

  6. Looks like someone's had a case of the runs on the spud and pasty/pie ....... or is that supposed to be gravy?

  7. Tomatoes and gravy - just plain weird.

  8. Baked potato and gravy is a new one on me, but at least some effort has gone into this. Pity someone trod on your spud though.

  9. who the fuck dribbles gravy all over a meal like that when everyone knows that acceptable gravy portions are a deeply personal issue and vary wildly from person to person. the proper etiquette, the civilised procedure that should be taking place dictates that a steel gravy boat be thoughtfully provided on one's dining tray.

    there is nothing ok about this. there is no improvement that i care to acknowledge.

  10. Oh well just give me a little bit more time and you shall eat properly today

  11. Oh, I guess I'd prefer the pastry without that brownish liquid (artificial gravy?) spilled over, and I'd love tsatsiki or fresh cream cheese with chopped herbs instead of it anyway. O.k., but maybe with people getting to know so many different food styles these days and developing a lot of individual preferences, it's perhaps grown a lot more difficult nowadays to cater to people's tastes than it used to be. Yesterday you posted something about having to eat lots of fresh raw proteins; I don't think they are incorporated in this dish though? Maybe your wife will bring you another delicious salmon sandwich later? Or maybe unsweetened greek yoghurt with honey, walnuts and fresh grapes in it. By all means, call in the famous chefs to update the hospital-caterers' food fantasies!! Best wishes! Barbara

  12. My husband says the pastry is made with wholemeal flour thus supplying your daily dose of roughage and I say it's ordinay pastry stuck in the oven too long and very nearly but not quite burnt. Which of us is right?

  13. Gravy and baked potato?

    Still it looks nothing like cat sick and I had no problem identifying it.

    Progress indeed.

  14. Dear God - gravy on a baked potato! This is surely an offence to all humankind....

  15. What was in the pasty? Was IT identifiable?

  16. Well, I suppose this is progress. At least there is gravy, all be it of the packet variety, for the pie/pasty. However, I would prefer a proper baked spud with butter, cottage cheese and chives!

    I did at first think this may have been wholemeal pastry but I am inclined to go with the thought it is just overcooked! Which really amazes me! I worked in a hospital that did have fresh foods on the menu and then they moved to the cook/chill/reheat rubbish and the complete drop in quality and appetite of the patients was astonishing! But, what is really amazing is that on all these cook/chill meals there are INSTRUCTIONS on how to reheat them and special 'ovens' in which to do it!

    I do think Stockholme Syndrome has set in tho and I will become very concerned for your mental health when things like yesterday's 'quiche' look appetising to you! Then it may be time to call the men in white coats for some serious help!

    Keep up the blogging! Oh, and be very careful!You don't want them removing your contact with the outside world!

  17. I keep reading comments about anonymity.Is it really such a crime to show us what you are being fed? Or are they going to get upset because of the rest of it all? The blogging and the "publicness"? The airing of "dirty laundry" so to speak?
    The food you have shown us in your photos is not something I would eat nor would I even attempt to feed it to someone.
    Is it the shame that comes with doing the wrong thing that "those out there looking for you" are worried about? Well I see absolutely nothing with putting things in the public arena so that all can vote.That is what a democracy is after all.
    Keep up the blog and keep your head low.
    Light and Love to you

  18. Sarah of London said:

    "NOOOOOOOOO" TM - this is NOT better - time/hunger/drugs/boredom etc are taking their effect on you - you are now seeing things - step away from the food (well I know that you can't but hoping to bring you back from the brink of acceptance).

    best wishes from Sarah and the Chelsea Gang (My cats are now volunteering to share their booty with TM)

  19. Ack TM.... for goodness sake, gravey on a baked potatoe!!!! have you ever in your life..... just tell them to SHOW YOU THE BUTTER pleasseee



  21. to be hospital food it seems very unhealthy if you are in with gastro problems. instead of gravy and custard shouldnt you be eating fresh fruit and veg and less carbs. looks like they wanna keep you there for good.

    take care

  22. http://www.restaurantspy.com/node/2848

    I found this link - it's a restaurantspy review of NHS hospital food.

    Best wishes! Barbara

  23. I've seen this sort of thing before. In a previous existence I was required to attend post-mortems........!

  24. How worrying! You actually think that is a slight improvement? Oh dear, I mean who in their right mind would serve a jacket potato and cold tomotoes with gravy (read brown lumpy looking gloop)? A pasty, if going to be served with gravy should have mash and green veg, otherwise it should be served with golden crispy chips and baked beans. A jacket potato should be served with some kind of delicious filling and tomotoes if not cooked, should be served with a cold meal. I think that looks like one of the most disgusting meals they have served you to date so it is extremely worrying when you think they might be improving. I think a call to the SAS is in order to get you out of there pretty damn quick!
    Linda Tenerife x

  25. Are you sure that was a pasty?

    Looks like a somewhat flattened cricket ball to me ...

  26. If your diet is not supplemented with say, real food, you will be losing ground every day. For wound healing you'll need extra vitamin c and zinc.

    A can of Ensure (high protein liquid) 3-5 times a day and vitamin supplements will provide better nutrition than most hospital meals.

  27. Hmm, I'm OK with the "gravy", although I'd prefer it *inside* the spud... but that petrified kidney is not food. Overall though at least it is identifiable, but I do think this is a case of -85 compared to -100: it's better, but by no stretch of the imagination is it "good".

  28. Hey TM, this is now dangerous territory if the food is now recognisable(ish). Have you seen anyone popping their head round the door and nodding - maybe you're going to lose the room?!! Don't for God's sake start smiling. Zoe

  29. What a fantastically bizarre combination!

  30. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/jamies-hospital-dinners-are-just-the-remedy-for-britains-awful-nhs-food-say-doctors-752255.html

    I found another link - what has come out of it, I'd like to know. Apparently not much yet ...
    Best wishes, Barbara

  31. Here's a different approach - had you thought of contacting Gerry Robinson, in January 2007 he presented a three-part series Can Gerry Robinson Fix the NHS?. If TV cooks can't solve the problem perhaps a business troubleshooter might.
    Based on my thinking that providing better food means healthier patients means compensating money savings for the NHS.

  32. Blimey Aardvark - did you have to mention dirty laundry? That's another whole subject by itself!

  33. Greetings from sunny Skegness :0)

    Ok Ok so who took a bite out of your spud????

    Maybe it was the "Disher-Upper" just checking it was cooked through??

    Been following your wonderful blog for a few weeks now TM and very much enjoy your writing.
    (This is my 1st response ;0) )

    Anyway I just wanted to say keep up the good work, keep your head down, and get well soon.... Any news on your progress/recovery??

    Jax X

  34. TM, compared to the cheesie stuff and other unmentionable food, this is an improvement I agree, but still it leaves a little to be desired. For once it does look vaguely edible and I suspect the gravy is there instead of butter for the spud.

    Keep blogging as I enjoy your ramblings and thought processes for someone who has the entertainment of a brick wall to look to help pass the time.


  35. turn it slightly anticlockwise and it looks like a face - the tomatoes are eyes, the nose is a spud and the mouth is a pasty - how very sweet that they should do that. I also can see a man on the moon!!! (no, I don't drink or take any illegal drugs!)

  36. I was waiting for dinner to appear but alas its either late or it's finished you off! Anyway whilst I was waiting I thought I would write a little ode to your plight...

    Traction Man was a journalist Action man
    Now reduced to a fraction of the man
    He once was

    Having been struck down by a flesh eating bug
    His diagnosis was misunderstood
    Which led to him being strapped down to a hospital bed
    Undernourished and underfed

    He decided to publicise his plight
    With a lap top computer under cover of night
    Beneath the sheets of his hospital bed
    He photographed the food the NHS fed

    Posted on his blog for all to comment
    The general opinion was ’It’s clear, it’s dog vomit’!
    Relieved to know he wasn’t alone in his opinion
    He decided to fight the NHS system.

    So to all you NHS caterers out there
    Let this be a warning to you, stand by and be aware
    `cos the army of discontent is now after you
    Best change that Lamb hot pot to a real beef stew!

    Linda Tenerife

  37. Now i've eaten some odd things with gravy in my time, inc a full English brekky with chips and gravy....but on a baked spud....thats just not normal!!.


  38. That.... is disgusting, never heard of gravy with a baked spud and the pasty looks burnt and weighing a kilo.

    Just a thought, the latest publicity in your direction . If I were you I would move the meal around a bit before you take a picture of it, just in case some staff in the kitchen have suspected you and arranged your meal to trap you and identify you.


  39. So they found some more brown powder then, and whisked up a brown liquid with it.

    Don't be lulled into a false sense of culinary excellence. Be strong! Be vigilant! It's a slippery slope towards complete and total compliance, made even slipperier by brown secretions.

  40. Awww mate, you make me wish I had enough money to get over there, smuggle you out and bring you home. Where we could at least be close enough to smuggle you decent food at regular intervals :) I know it's no condolence, but our hospital food sucks just as bad.

    Yvonne - New South Wales, Australia

  41. tomato and gravy! yum yum yum

  42. as a vegetarian, I would eat
    - the tomatoes (though their colour is a little dull)
    - half of the potato, avoiding the insulting gravy
    - the edges of the pie, avoiding whatever is inside it (I am deeply suspicious of kidney and steak pies).