A tale of two Roasts: NHS v Bladebone

As many of you are aware I have been in the clutches of the NHS for the last week. I had hoped I was popping in for the day last Monday but the doctors had other ideas. I ended up staying for a week, desperately playing Hotspot with my phone and my Ipad. Why oh why can’t hospitals have public wifi, it would keep a lot of us very quiet and prevent the formation of escape committees in every ward. I was in a ward with five other women none of whom seemed to need sleep. Actually that isn’t quite true, two were wailers, two were vommers and three had one of the above and snored. Loudly. Soooooo….essential to put in your bag are chargers, ear plugs and condiments. The delightful T came in every day despite me imploring him not to bother and as he was coming in I gave him a list of condiments to bring in depending on what was on the menu. By the end my locker was just full of mayo, tartare sauce, grindy salt and pepper, home made balsamic salad dressing, lemons and a grater and other essential items. I am sure there must be a market for those that are rushed into hospital without time to prepare as I was. There should be a foodie condiments basket with little portions of everything you might need including a tiny packet of cheese and biscuits, pickle, home cooked ham and heritage tomatoes, the possibilities are endless. On my third day James, number one son, came up trumps as he brought in a Cha Han from Wagamamas with sides of gyozas. That’s my boy. He also bought me a lovely pair of pyjamas with pockets to hide my goodies in. Perfect. Oh and the best watermelon I have had since Thailand. It is worth having children.

 

I do appreciate that the NHS is run on a budget, honestly I do. The nursing and caring staff were absolutely brilliant, working flat out under a lot of pressure. As far as the food goes it was, well there was, hmm, it was plentiful. The first couple of days I was unable to eat but after that I could and was grateful for the quantity to a point. However everything tasted like it had been made with the cheapest ingredients possible (fair assumption to be honest). The first night I could eat I had tuna mac. An interesting meal made with ‘value’ tuna, ‘value’ pasta, what looked like some left over courgettes and mushrooms squished in and all coated with a layer of ‘value’ cheese. I use the word cheese advisably. It was a coating of something pale and solid. It came with a ball of mashed potato that had formed its own protective shell and overcooked peas. Do I need to use the word overcooked, let’s just make the assumption that it is in front of every noun. Mmmm carbs and carbs with carbs. Carby. Actually there was one dish that wasn’t overcooked, the potatoes that came with my roast were startling in their ability to cause pain if hurled from one side of the room to the other. There were patients that were doing that sort of thing, it was an exciting ward.

 

 

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The NHS roast. Plentiful yes but that was possibly a drawback. Note the lack of any vegetables except the firm potatoes. The meat was almost certainly beef. Of some sort. There was a powerful gravy.

 

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Oh hello my lovely Bladebone Roast. I hate paying for food that I can cook better myself, I truly resent every mouthful and it can seriously ruin my day. Never a problem here at the Bladebone in Chapel Row. Look at that perfectly cooked beef flung wantonly over the delicious vegetables, see the cheeky asparagus wedged over the crunchy (yet soft inside) roast potatoes, all perfectly sauced with a scrummy gravy. Perfect. I had to stop here on my way from hospital incarceration to home incarceration and it was a great call to make. A short time of freedom which sated me in so many ways.

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