On September 1st I made a cup of tea for Mr M and a cup of coffee for me. Whenever I open a bottle of milk - we still get ours delivered by a proper milk Lady. it comes in bottles to my door and I recycle the containers by washing them out and leaving them on the doorstep to be collected by her every other day. Where was I? oh yes, whenever I open a bottle of milk I automatically sniff it, just to make sure it is fresh. Somedays we don't use much milk because we are both out all day. So, yesterday I made the cuppa, sniffed the milk, no smell so not gone off yet and poured it into the tea and coffee. I gave Mr M his cup. he lifted it to his mouth and then made one of those good-grief-that's-a-nasty-pong noises. "Don't drink your coffee" he said as he carried his cup to the sink and poured the contents away. "didn't you smell the milk first?"
And that's when I remembered that I have lost my sense of smell. Ever since Little Miss brought a cold home from school for half term and shared it with all of us I haven't been able to smell - well, anything much. I can sometimes get smokey smells and I did get a faint hint of lemon when eating fish and chips in Morrisons but gone-off milk doesn't register and neither does that good country air smell that comes around muck spreading time. Mr M opened all the windows on the car and his eyes were watering from the smell but I couldn't even get a hint of it.
So now I am a bit concerned because milk that is "off" is dangerous and milk doesn't go sour anymore because it is pasteurised and all the sour-making bacteria is killed off. What makes it go off is the bacteria that lurks in fridges and I no longer have my sensitive nose to protect us.
I also cannot smell eggs. Because we have always had chickens and sometimes we are not sure about the freshness of eggs I have developed the habit of cracking the shell of the egg and sniffing it. If you can smell it then it is not fresh. If there is no smell it is fresh.
I crack three eggs yesterday and sniff them before dropping them into the bowl with the cottage cheese and beating them smooth for the sauce for our pasta bake. It wasn't until it was in the oven cooking that I remembered about the loss of sense of smell. I did the panic dance in the kitchen for a brief moment and then reason kicked in and told me that a three-day-old egg was not stale and never could be regarded as stale so we weren't all going to die from food poisoning.