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I didn’t realize how much competition was heating up between hospitals in Raleigh until I got the Room Service Menu my first day here.

menuWhat I remembered about hospital food was an orderly who came in the evening and let you choose from a few bland options available on the next day — for all three meals — and if you weren’t in the room yet you’d get whatever they had the most of. Dessert usually meant jello.

With the exception of the hospital bed and the walker leaning against the wall in the background, you might think this photo was taken in a fancy hotel. Meals can be ordered at your convenience, from 6:45 a.m. until 6:45 p.m. Breakfast is available all day. Daily specials include things like “pork loin stuffed with sausage, wild rice, and spinach, topped with a shallot red wine sauce and served with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled zucchini.” Guess what’s in the picture?

mealThe first night here the special was pulled pork barbecue. Barbecue in a hospital! Even the collards are good here: no wonder I didn’t complain when I had to stay an extra day.  When the physical therapist took me for a walk yesterday, I almost expected to come back and find mints on the pillow.

I’m guessing that WakeMed and Duke Raleigh must have similar menu offerings, though I’m not anxious to be hospitalized at either one just to find out.

I’ll be happy to take my new hip home today and enjoy home cooking that’s just as good — and start making progress toward being able to do my part in the kitchen, too.

Don’t miss a chance to be thankful.

Tony Cartledge

About Tony Cartledge

Tony W. Cartledge is contributing editor of Baptists Today, in addition to teaching Old Testament studies and various ministry courses at Campbell University Divinity School. He formerly served as editor of the Biblical Recorder, newspaper of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, and as a pastor for 26 years. Tony is a graduate of the University of Georgia, Southeastern Seminary and Duke University, where he earned a Ph.D. He is the author of several books including the Smyth & Helwys commentary on First and Second Samuel and Telling Stories: Tall Tales and Deep Truths and several Bible study books for Nurturing Faith.