On Thursday, I had back surgery. I get to stay in the hospital for a few days and then, possibly, a nursing facility. It’s a different game experience for me and the staff here is awesome.
The food on the other hand is hospital food. Since I’m at LomaLinda University Medical center, the food is predominately vegetarian because they are seventh day adventists. The food is as good as can be expected just because it’s hospital food.
They use what’s called cook chill here where the prepare each item in advance and put the food on plates where the hots are in containers and the colds are just on the tray. The tray then gets placed in a cabinet where it’s plugged in. If you’ve ever been in the hospital, you’ll notice that the hot stuff is in a special container.
Okay, enough explaining. I used to be on the cooking staff of the Veterans Home in Yountville, CA. We cooked 4500 meals a day. Some were what’s called modified mechanicals for specific diets and eating ability. Others were regular and served from the buffet in the main dining room. It was a lot of fun. We had a meat tank that held 1000lbs of meat cooked in a controlled environment. The meats were bagged, seasoned and tagged with the production date on it then put in the tank. The water coming in was hot and when the probe got to 140 degrees, it automatically drained and filled with cold water. We would unload the meat into boxes that went into a giant walk-in refrigerator. We also had steam jacketed kettles where we would prepare all sorts of foods including oatmeal, cream of wheat, scrambled eggs, Swiss steak sauce and more. We bagged and tagged these and the went into an ice bath and into the walk-in. We would cook for 10,000 people each day. It was a production plant.
We also had grills and a specialized salad bar in the main dining room. My view of that was those people fought for our freedom, we need to feed them good food. We had grilled yellowtail, steaks, skewers, and all kinds of goodies.
I think the best thing for me was that there were write ups in their paper about yuppie food and actual cuisine being found in the main dining room.
I loved working there but it was a union shop and most of the union people were really lazy. I’m not used to working with that type of mentality.
I thought I would share a little piece of my history with you. I had a great time!
Have a great day and Bon Appetit!