Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I have no taste (aaugh!)

I started coming down with a cold over the weekend. By Monday, I was going through tissues like an elephant watching Dumbo.

Halfway through Tuesday, I realized something terrible: I had no sense of smell or taste.

Lunch was a salad of arugula, roasted red beets, blood orange and goat cheese. I could tell the difference between beet and orange only by texture; the greens were completely anonymous.

After work, I gamely went for a drink with friends from work (y'know, something medicinal). I ordered single-malt scotch, figuring the fumes alone would clear out the pipes: nothing. I may as well have been trying to smell a glass of water.

For dinner, The Boy made curried roasted butternut squash soup, topped with wilted baby spinach. He went a little overboard on the ginger—that, I noticed, but only because it made my throat tingle—but the spices, and The Boy's claim that the apartment now smelled like Rupali (which serves
Curry Hell, the world's hottest curry), were beyond my reach.

After dinner we had mint tea. I had to check the label to see what flavor it was; I was getting no clues.

This morning, I made scrambled eggs on toast. As I melted butter to cook the eggs, I instinctively leaned over the pan to inhale that simple/luxurious aroma, and came up empty. And that's when I realized what a gift it is to be able to smell food—and how much I'd miss my sense of smell if it went away permanently.

The scent of lemon zest makes me happy. So does fresh ginger, basil, rosemary, garlic. The smell of vineripe tomatoes reminds me of my grandfather, who used to grow them in his greenhouse. (
Demeter's Tomato fragrance is a pretty good representation of that dusty-vegetal aroma). And then there's fresh warm bread, and aged Gouda, and roast chicken, and roast pork, and OMGBacon! Losing this simple pleasure would be like becoming color blind.

Well, at least I still had texture. My breakfast strawberry-banana-yogurt smoothie had a thick, creamy texture; I noticed the tiny strawb seeds much more than usual. The eggs were light, fluffy, pleasantly slippery to swallow. And I was more aware of the butter soaking through the toast.

Oh, yay.

I'm not worried that my senses are diminished forever. But this Saturday is our anniversary, and we've planned a night of
Drink (get yer bacon-infused bourbon ready, kids!) and Radius. I'd really prefer not to have to ask for the special texture menu ...

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Anonymous Dawn said...

Oh sweet LimeyG, sounds like you and I have been blessed with the same affliction this week. The only thing I've been able to almost taste was a bowl of beef ball Pho on Thursday night. When I'm sick, there is nothing that makes me happier than nice hot Pho with slippery noodles and hot chiles to clear the sinuses. It was heavenly.

8:12 PM  

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