Thursday, September 24, 2009

Super Nose Saves the Day

Or at least the money.

Do you know how pregnant women develop a keen sense of smell? It's supposed to help them avoid toxins that could harm the growing embryo. I came down with it 11 years ago with my first pregnancy ... and it never left.

This means that I can smell things that mere mortals cannot, such as the precise moment when a banana goes from ripe to overripe. It also means that the milk starts to smell funny to me long before anyone else notices. Indeed, they pretty much think I am insane when I hold a jug of milk near their noses and they can't smell anything. It isn't that the milk smells downright bad so much as a little less than fresh. Slightly off. Odd. Choose your description.

Wednesday I decided that the milk didn't smell right. We purchased this milk in a two-pack on 9/14 and the date on the jug was 9/27. We opened the second gallon Sunday 9/21, so I was surprised that it started to turn my nose 3 days later. And well, even though I know the milk wasn't bad yet I found myself not wanting to drink it or pour it on J-Baby's cereal.

I didn't, however, mind boiling the heck out of the milk to make tapioca pudding. The jug had about 6 cups of milk left, which was a double batch of pudding plus a half cup of milk for J-Baby to drink (he swears it tasted delicious and that I am just weird). So the upside to having super nose is being able to use not-so-fresh milk before it passes the point of no return. I could just as easily have made yogurt or cottage cheese, except well, I like tapioca pudding better. Tapioca pudding makes a fine breakfast and is relatively low sugar for the amount of protein it provides.

And yes, once upon a time my super nose did save the day, or at least the car and possibly our lives. I was 6 months pregnant and we were coming down the mountain after an afternoon of apple picking, using the brakes often as we basically coasted downhill. We'd had our new station wagon for a month, purchased in anticipation of our baby-to-be. We had friends in the back seat. Anyway, I asked if anyone smelled smoke. No, of course not. I asked again a minute or two later. No, it must be something outside the car. Finally I insisted that we stop because I could both smell and see smoke, so we did, and there was a fire in our wheel well. We were able to put it out with dirt from the side of the road, but it could have been far worse if we hadn't stopped. The culprit? The dealership had failed to remove the thick plastic that wrapped the disc brakes during transport. The friction of repeated braking created enough heat to generate the fire.

So it was worth it that time, and I am looking forward to eating tapioca pudding, but I do wish that the trash can didn't stink so badly.

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