532: Cooking Smells

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:04

I'm Matthew.

Molly 0:05

And I'm Matthew.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:06

And this is still Matthew The show where we spill something on Matthew and then put him in the washing machine.

Molly 0:13

And you Well, none of us can have any then.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:16

Oh, that's true. Well, I mean, whoever, whoever gets extracts me from the washing machine gets a freebie.

Molly 0:22

Oh, okay. Okay. Well anyway, yeah, so this is actually spilled milk in case you wonder. Yeah, you

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:27

probably thought you tuned into a completely different show. Yeah.

Molly 0:31

This is this spilled milk. And we usually cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any. Today we are talking about cooking smells or

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:40

we're gonna smell something this act okay. This is really actually germane. It's apropos because this happened to me yesterday that I smelled something delicious and couldn't have any really Yeah, because teeth are terrible. I hate my teeth. I maybe I hate all teeth.

Molly 0:54

Oh, I was I was wondering how things are going with your teeth Tell me all about your teeth I

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:58

know everybody's wondering so let's do it. Let's let's make this a segment tooth news with math. Go on Joe. I have to get a crown and I've never gotten a crown before but apparently like the thing about teeth is and I realized I'm not the first to to recognize this is that they were out long before the rest of you does. So anyway, so So I'm at the part where I went in and like for two hours the dentist like ground half of my tooth off and then put on a temporary crown. So I could like eat without like getting stuff like it hurting and getting stuff stuck in there. And the temporary crown fell off almost immediately. And so yesterday I was pretty much subsisting on smoothies and putting at while the rest of the family had pizza for dinner.

Molly 1:44

Are you a grinder or a clincher? Both? Yeah, yeah. Oh, you're a clench your Kleiner Kleiner.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:50

Yeah, a grantor? The grantor sounds like a, like a creature from like English fairytales. Right or

Molly 2:00

dollars. Kinder? Sounds like some sort of I don't know, like German dance.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:05

Oh, yes. Can you do the collider?

Molly 2:08

Okay, anyway. Okay, so Matthew, what did you smell yesterday that you couldn't have any

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:14

pizza like the rest of the family reheated? Some pizza that I had made on Sunday or Saturday and it smelled so good. And I couldn't have any because it was too crunchy.

Molly 2:23

I'm so sorry. Last night, I made kimchi fried rice recipe. Yeah, from like the show years. I mean, like a decade. Oh my god. Anyway, it was especially good because I didn't have quite enough rice. Like I didn't I didn't measure the rice. But I could tell it wasn't quite enough water. I didn't have enough rice. And so there was like extra bacon X, you know? Yeah, I use the same amount of everything that I

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:51

use too much Chem cheat or rice? Because like if you just sauteed some kimchi with bacon, and how would that be bad? Right? So you probably couldn't have that either. Yeah, but right after the show, I'm going back to the dentist so they can put on a new temporary crown, which I'm sure it's also going to fall off immediately. When's your Cornish coronation? My tooth ascends to the throne on January 26. God that's like send out they made a mold of my tooth. This is so interesting. They made a mold of my tooth and they have to send it out to the lab to be like cast in like composite material. And then they're going to glue it onto the stump of my tooth.

Molly 3:25

I'm kind of surprised. Wow, this is too new.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:29

Is it too new to new, a tooth

Molly 3:33

tooth new.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:34

It's like it was like the poan nerf only to the tooth sniff.

Molly 3:37

Anyway, this is turning out to be a long segment. But what I'm gonna say now is even more interesting, which is that I'm really surprised they don't have like an in house like 3d printer.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:46

I'm so glad you mentioned that some dentists do it like depends on like, they have to be trained on it and they have to like put up the money for it so so like more and more dentist's office, I think are getting crown printers where I don't know what they're actually called in their office. But my dentist doesn't have one yet.

Molly 4:03

My kid goes to like sort of our neighborhood orthodontist. And it's like a fairly new practice. Maybe like, you know, it's five to eight years old. And it's very shiny and like 20 branch races when she she has a retainer and her top retainer cracked. Yeah. And so we went in, they do like a 3d scan of her mouth using this like wand and then they printed her a new one nice, crazy.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:32

I mean, I was excited the first time they printed me a debit card at the credit union on the spot.

Molly 4:37

I was. I was thrilled. Yeah. Oh, wait a minute. Actually, they didn't. I don't know. They didn't print her new when they printed a new one. Yeah, a whole new mountain. We get it right. They printed her a whole new mouth. Oh, they printed her. They printed a new like impression of her mouth which then the retainer is made on okay. This is so important that Isn't the show yeah, let's do it. Okay, so, yeah, so today's episode was suggested by me, but I don't remember why. Okay, except, except that this is something that I imagine a lot of our listeners

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:16

when we said the episode was about it's either about teeth or something. It's a Cooking Cooking smells.

Molly 5:21

There we go. So I am someone who does not have like an exhaust fan in her kitchen.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:27

I have one that's that's like a placebo exhaust fan and makes a noise but doesn't actually exhaust anything.

Molly 5:32

Yeah, I have no exhaust fan. i There is like a fan in the ceiling. But it just it makes it sound like an airplane taking Oh, yeah, I've never actually noticed that it pulls anything toward it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:44

Have you ever turned on or like Have I ever turned on to entertain you the bathroom fan in our apartment? It's the loudest device. I think if you look up in the Guinness Book of World Records, like what is the loudest device in the world, it says go to Matthews bathroom. Which is why people keep showing up with a Guinness book under one arm. It used

Molly 6:02

to be so when our dog Alice was younger, she was crate trained. And we used to keep it in the crate when we were out of the house or overnight. And the crate sat in like it kind of the edge of the kitchen. And when we would turn on the fan in the ceiling, she would go get in her crate she found it. So Tara Oh, yeah, I can understand that. Anyway, but all this to say the the fan is also like in the middle of the kitchen. So any smell that it would suck up if it did suck?

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:35

Which would would it would chuck sock? Yes.

Molly 6:38

Has to get like pulled it like across the room before it actually goes anywhere? Yeah, I get it, you know. Anyway, so all this to say cooking smells are something that I think about a lot because I have actively stopped cooking certain things because they made my house smell for days afterwards. Yeah, we are. So anyway, listeners I would love like, you know, this episode is one that I'm particularly curious to hear your thoughts on. Like, I wonder how many of our listeners also don't have functional exhaust fans?

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:13

Just want an email saying like I do or don't have a functional exhaust fan?

Molly 7:17

Yes. Okay, everybody. Yep. Yep.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:20

Could we have a like a Survey Monkey? Or like a Google form? Let's let's ask. Yeah, let's have producer Abby, could you please set up a Google form or survey monkey or something? The only question is, do you have a working exhaust fan in your kitchen? And we'll report on a later episode. The great probably, because because we're still several weeks ahead.

Molly 7:39

So wait, how are we going to get the URL for the Google Form? It'll

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:42

be in the show description in your podcast player. Perfect.

Molly 7:45

Okay. Anyway, so this episode suggested by me host Molly, it's cooking smells. So Matthew, what is a cooking smell? Let's break it. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:54

I had it. Yeah. I had a question about this into your since you chose the episode like you can you can set the definition. Is it like an aroma that is released when cooking? Or could it just be the smell of an ingredient?

Molly 8:07

I think it's both. Okay, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:09

thought you were gonna say just in a released aroma.

Molly 8:12

So this is tricky, because one of the things I want to talk about today is roasted broccoli. Oh, sure. And I really like the smell of broccoli when it's roasted. And I also like when it's roasting. And I also like really enjoy having leftover roasted broccoli around to eat like colds the next day. But when you take off the lid of your leftover broccoli container, it truly smells like the dump. Yeah, you're

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:38

right. Okay.

Molly 8:39

I don't I don't know. I feel like we need to kind of include all these foods that like all these smells that are released by food. Okay, as it's

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:48

not talking about the ones that are not released. The ones the ones that are kept bottled up inside. Because like,

Molly 8:54

I don't really I don't think we need to talk about the smell of a ripe peach or like the smell of durian, right? I think we're talking about like Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:07

but you know, that like raw broccoli? Like I was gonna say like raw broccoli doesn't smell like anything, but then I thought about it and he totally does. Like, totally like rain kind of smell. It

Molly 9:17

dies. It's a very like wet greens smell. Yeah, it's, it's also kind of squeaky smell, but maybe it's just that it's kind of squeaky if you like rub.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:26

Yeah, pretend I know what a squeaky smell is.

Molly 9:29

Okay. Anyway, okay, so Matthew, let's, let's start on memory lane. I'm gonna do one first. So the first thing that comes to mind when I think about cooking smells like just across the board, is I think about the period of time when my mother would be making Christmas cookies with Barbara Fretwell, which I've discussed so many times on the show, but the smell in particular have like cookies that had like nuts in them ground nuts, that smell. I just remember coming into that house like after school. My mom would go pick me up and bring me back to the front wells where she would have been baking for hours with Barbara. And especially if they were making Linzer cookies which have ground almonds and the dough the smell. There was nothing more comforting. Yeah, I think then that smell.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:15

I get it. Okay, so for me, I'm glad we I'm glad we said we could be incidental smells because like definitely one smell that like brings me back to my childhood. Even today is the smell of kimchi, especially like the jarred kimchi that you would get at a Western grocery store. Because my dad would eat that and I was terrified of it. We've talked about this on the show before but I certainly remember the smell. And I love kimchi now but but like still that smell like makes me think of my dad.

Molly 10:40

I love that your dad this like, you know, white guy in Portland, Oregon, was eating kimchi. You know, like, yeah, I don't know how he

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:50

would I think he would just like try anything spicy. Anything pickles,

Molly 10:54

saying my dad would try anything pickled, but not necessarily anything spicy. And I think was more in the in line with like, Eastern European pickle. Oh, Yang. More than that. Also, more than like Asian pickled things. Another thing that I always think about is the smell of my dad cooking hamburgers on the grill. You know how like, food often tastes different when somebody else makes it for you. Okay, well, when I cook a hamburger, it just it doesn't do the same thing for me. Like, in the old factory sense that my dad's hamburgers used to? Yeah, no, I like a hamburger smells like a hamburger smells like a hamburger. But still somehow like hamburgers on the grill, cooked by my dad is a particular cooking. So I

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:40

put steak cooked by my dad on my list. And I'm realizing now as you say that, that the big difference is that when when my dad would cook steak or burgers, it would be on a gas grill. And really the smell that I'm remembering is the mixture of like the cooking meat smell and the propane gas smell from the gas grill.

Molly 11:58

Yes. Oh, I'm so glad you mentioned that because my dad used a gas grill to I don't remember him ever using charcoal. So maybe if

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:05

I really want to like live in that nostalgia. I should like release some amount of propane into the kitchen. Well cooking.

Molly 12:11

Yes. Such a good idea. Matthew. The other thing I think about when I think about cooking smells is my mother's aversion to cooking smells. Oh, okay. And this is something I feel like, even now when my mom comes over and my mom just randomly appears at my house, sometimes not as much as she could not as much as she could. But inevitably, like she has like radar for when we've decided to get high for since. And she will always show up. Like just when it hits.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:40

And you're like, hey.

Molly 12:44

And like I really love my mom. Like, you know, it's cool. But I don't really like my mom being around when I'm like in the giggly. Yes, you know, anyway, but all this to say whenever my mom comes over, I always instinctively it's like, ingrained in me to hope that my house doesn't smell like old cooking smells. Oh yeah. Because I remember as a kid, my mom complaining about like without an exhaust fan, how

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:12

can you help it?

Molly 13:13

I can't help it. And you know, the thing is, is that, you know, my mom now often comes into my house and comments on a good cooking. Oh, that she smells. So I think Tony Negroni has been changing, you know,

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:24

you should put up like, one of those boards that like you see at a construction site like like a electronic sign that says like, you know, like roadwork next five miles, but instead like you just put on like, what's been cooking recently? And so like, what sort of like melange of aromas you're going to encounter when you enter the house?

Molly 13:42

Exactly. Yeah, cuz my house also is like very, like late 50s like open floor plan. So you can imagine that whatever cooking smells were in everywhere. I mean, sometimes actually, Ash will go close our bedroom door just to try to keep this Yeah, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:59

will sometimes do that too. And then later, I find that it didn't help at all it just kind of trapped the smell in there so that later like when the smell is already dissipated in the kitchen, dining room area. I'll open the bedroom and I'll be like, oh mackerel, that is what I always say when I walk into my bed. Oh, mackerel. Oh, mackerel. Okay. Other thing that I put on my list is chili that I mentioned. That was one of the first things I learned to cook and so like, I definitely remember the the aroma of like, the chili that my mom and I would make together that would simmer for like three hours. Hmm.

Molly 14:29

Oh, I love that. Oh, man. That's great. So Matthew, I understand that Mr. Etymology is going to be making an appearance today. That's right. Wanna Do you want to bring him on?

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:40

Yes, Mr. Mr. Etymology come on in.

Hi, I'm Mr. Etymology, and our segment today is going to be the many words for a smell. So I made a list of different words that mean like a smell, and I want I want to just talk about like trying to find each one or like what what does it represent for us, which is like off the cuff? So first off aroma

Molly 15:07

aroma has a positive cast to it. Aroma is Yeah, aroma is always positive. And it to me is evocative of like, a, like kind of a light and wafting kind

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:22

of Yeah, I think of it as like a warm smell like I yeah, I like it's hard for me to imagine it's like talking about an aroma for like, like a smell of something that's kind of cold. Even if it's a good yeah, like peppermint. Like I don't think about like a peppermint aroma, but now they say it maybe I do if it's like peppermint tea.

Molly 15:39

You know, I also think of aroma as having to do with food. Yeah, although you can have a Roma therapy. Oh, that's true. Okay, all right. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:47

next scent

Molly 15:49

scent. Oh my god. So this one always trips me up. I often give like writing prompts. That like start from a smell. And I find it really challenging to find the right word to use. I feel like scent is a fairly neutral to positive word. But it sounds like so many other words. Yeah, you don't see it written down. I feel like scent makes no sense.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:13

I think of the movie Scent of a Woman movie I

Molly 16:15

have not seen I haven't seen it or feel like what about sent for you

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:19

feels very specific to me like you would use it to describe you're going to talk about like the specific thing that's making the sand like whereas you could have just like a nice warm you know, holiday aroma as you enter the house. But like a scent. I think you're talking about like, what does this particular ingredient contribute? Oh, god,

Molly 16:39

that's really interesting. And yet people talk about tone people talk about like, Scent of a Woman. Yes. No, like a like sense. Like, are you wearing a scent?

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:50

Yeah, that's true. I guess it could also mean like a specific perfume. But there's still that specific aspect to it.

Molly 16:55

That's so interesting. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:56

never thought about I don't know I'm probably wrong. Okay, all right. Go on. Odor

Molly 17:01

odor. Definitely negative.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:03

I feel like an odor is the opposite of aroma.

Molly 17:05

I think you're right. It does feel like like we've identified a polarity, you

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:11

have identified a polarity because like odor doesn't have to be super specific, but it's definitely bad.

Molly 17:18

It's always bad. Can you think of an odor that is like a use of odor that's not that's funny at

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:23

the word malodorous exists? Because it seems like like Mal is bad and seems like that implies that there could be like a bond odorous or something. Yeah, yeah, let's see if we can make bond odorous. Yeah, the guy for you too.

Molly 17:38

Okay, what about fragrance?

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:41

That feels very perfumey to me, like not necessarily but like you know, things are described as fragrance free so like fragrance sounds like something that's like added to produce a particular scent.

Molly 17:53

I also feel a little bit like I like a fragrance has a certain amount of like strength. Yeah, like it might be stronger than an aroma or a scent. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:02

but like I don't know. It's weird that we have there were like a more that I that I left out but there's still more okay, bouquet.

Molly 18:09

Wait, but fragrant fragrance fragrance is usually positive. But I think it can also be negative like Yeah, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:15

think so too. But it feels it feels like flowery to me. It does. Like I don't I don't imagine like like your like your burger having a fragrance.

Molly 18:23

Do you think it's from like romance language do so because I get that vibe from it like same as the next word, which is bouquet. Which to me like they both feel there's a certain, like, flowery nature involved in both of these words for me. Yeah. You would never say the bouquet of a hamburger.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:41

Yo. If and now that you've said that. I love it.

Molly 18:46

I'm getting a little bit of grass, a little bit of huff

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:49

and puff bouquet of I think it bouquet is like specifically wine like that. If you're talking about it with something else, you're doing it like sort of as by analogy to this to the yes, a fragrance. Oh, no. That all the words just smooshed together in my brain.

Molly 19:06

Yeah, if you are using bouquet, you are like imitating the conventions of wine descriptions, right? Is that what yeah, that's

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:14

what I mean. Okay, like that used to be like people would make fun of wine descriptions all the time. And like I never hear that anymore. Well,

Molly 19:21

I also never hear wine district Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:23

that's true. Maybe maybe people kind of forgot about why

Molly 19:28

they did. Yeah, yep. What about our saw our last word is with

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:33

so I think this could be I think it's like trends negative but could be positive but it's like a sort of a surprise smell.

Molly 19:42

Surprise smell.

Unknown Speaker 19:43

It's like It's like this scent analogy.

Molly 19:47

It's like analogous to your mom's surprised cheese sandwich but it's Yeah, right. So it's you never know what's gonna whip through the the cheese.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:55

You never know what's good. Oh, oh no.

Molly 20:01

I meant the brand, right?

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:02

Yeah. Right. That makes it better. I think like you're walking it sounds kind of English. You're like walking down the high street and you'd like catch a whiff of like, you know, a Donner kebab.

Molly 20:15

Yeah. I feel like it's something that doesn't. It's fleeting. a whiff is

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:19

fleeting. It does. Oh, wow. That could be like, the deepest, most philosophical thing we've ever said on the show.

Molly 20:28

Oh, God, remember when we had like a tote bag or a t shirt that had all of our spilled milk isms on it? Do you think a whiff is a whiff is fleeting? Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:36

maybe we can swap that out for this year's pledge drive. Okay.

Molly 20:48

Wow, Matthew, that was really interesting. Thank you for bringing on this. Well, it wasn't really Mr. Adam Knology. But it was

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:55

I'm thinking of the second is Mr. Etymology presents because I think Mr. Etymology has to show up kind of unexpectedly like a whiff. Okay.

Molly 21:02

Okay. Let's talk about like the absence of smell, which is, you know, something I think all of us have thought about more than ever before in the last couple years. So

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:12

I have not experienced this myself, but many people I know have losing losing your sense of smell and by extension, most of your sense of taste because of an infection or other reasons. I think the thing that we've all learned guys that it's like, way more debilitating than you could imagine if you haven't experienced it, I

Molly 21:32

imagine you've probably experienced like a whiff of it Oh sure. Like know how to grow right or something. Right. When all of a sudden everything tastes like a texture instead of Yeah, you know,

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:44

yeah, it's not that you'd like you lose your sense of taste completely. It's just like it doesn't work right. Like it's law. Yes. faculties.

Molly 21:52

You know, um, there is a writer named Molly Birnbaum who I believe she I believe she works full time for America's Test Kitchen now. But years ago, maybe a decade ago she wrote a book about traumatic injuries she sustained and and she lost her sense of smell for a long time and it slowly came back and she like interviewed Oliver Sacks. Sure enough it's a really it's a really wonderful memoir that included a lot of a lot of science.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:23

If you remember the name of the book I can look it up if you don't let's look it up Season to taste how I lost my sense of smell and found my way

Molly 22:30

Yes. Anyway if you're interested in reading about the experience of losing one sense of smell learning more about what that's like and maybe some strategies that helped her yeah back to it's a good book. Okay, so Matthew, let's let's go into actual cooking smells in our own I'm excited. So let's start with the positive let's go like favorite cooking. Okay for me,

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:54

so no question. My number one onions saw Tang in a pan.

Molly 22:59

I love that smell too. And you know interestingly enough it's one that I felt kind of like self conscious about for a while when my mom came over sure because I remember that being like the number one smell that she would complain about. Sorry, I just shut a closet drawer with my anyway, I remember her complaining about that maybe in like my grad school apart. Sure thing that like but it smells so good. How can anybody complain about I don't know. Okay, good. Well, what are yours? Okay, so mine is mine is kind of like diagonally related to your so I love the smell of leeks cooking. Oh, yeah. Specifically leeks specifically. Yes. Oh my god. Absolute so good.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:41

Okay for me bacon. I know. I know. It's cliche, but it's cliche for a reason.

Molly 23:46

Yep. Yep. Okay, I'm gonna go yeast doughs, especially after like a night in the fridge.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:53

Interesting. So not the dough. Not the loaf. Well, it's baking.

Molly 23:57

No, the raw dough. That's good rato after like a night's rest in the fridge and it's almost it's almost a smell. It almost does something unpleasant to your nostrils. Almost like wasabi. Yeah, like it. it fizzes up your nostrils. But it's also so wonderful.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:16

Yeah, cuz like you're releasing like a bunch of carbon dioxide along with

Molly 24:20

the Oh, so it literally is filled up by nostrils. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:24

Roasting green chilies. Whether whether it's like, you know, there's one I think tonic or orchards at Seattle farmer's markets. They have like a big like gas fired chili roaster that you can smell a mile away when they bring it to the farmers market. But also if I'm just like broiling, simple blonde O's in my own home like that is such a good smell. You know,

Molly 24:42

Matthew, if we ever go on a corporate retreat again, we should consider going to New Mexico should yeah, like hatch chilies. Yes, we could just smell green chilies up and down.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:53

We had catch multiple surgeries. Endless whiffs so many whiffs so much fragrant but as you know, with his food

Molly 25:00

Eating Okay, sesame oil. Yeah they love the smell of sesame oil. I don't love like other sesame products don't do it for me the same way like tahini. It's a nice toasted sesame seeds. Nice sesame oil. Yes,

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:15

I agree. I like all sesame things. I do agree. I think sesame oil is the best but like I like a sesame bagel. I love that smell too.

Molly 25:24

That's right I think I struggled to differentiate like the the the yeasty smell the bagel. From the cesspool we

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:32

should have it side by side blind bagel smelling Oh, we

Molly 25:35

should Oh, this sounds like fun. Okay, for me Dashi

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:37

and like anything made with dodgy like that to me, like, you know, as soon as I smell that, like, I feel like I've just walked into like a restaurant or shop in Japan.

Molly 25:47

So wait, hold on, I want to get a little bit more specific about this. So you know, we did a whole dashi episode and we wanted the things we had was like, you know, bags of instant Joshy like tea bags of dashi. Does it matter to you whether it's like you know, instant granules, tea bag Dashi, or like fully from scratch No, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:07

don't think it matters like the the overall like smell profile is is similar enough that they all affect me the same way.

Molly 26:14

Okay. Okay, Matthew, I'm going to go with jasmine rice, which I see here that we both have on our list. There is something about there's so much science that we are not covering in this episode, but I'm thinking in particular about the smell of toasting or cooking rice it's not completely unlike like oh yeah just smell genuine. I mean like I don't know what you know what's being released that smells like that but it is so oh my god it's so it is a savory smell but there's a sweetness to it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:49

That's one of those smells they want to have it perfume your whole house and like when you if you like come home and like there's jasmine rice in the rice cooker like it lifts your spirits. Wow, me know it just occurred to me like is like a very specific one that I really like and kind of just forget about in between getting a whiff of it is Have you ever made toasted rice powder, like for making a Thai salad? Especially? Yes, yes. Yes. So you take some usually Thai long green sticky rice, and you toasted in a dry skillet or wok until it's pretty well colored and like some smoke is coming off of it. And it has like a real like, you know, toasted just just this side of burnt rice fragrance. That's totally different from the from the aroma of like rice steaming, and it's so appetizing. You know,

Molly 27:38

I've never made the Iranian or Persian dish do either and

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:42

I keep it's been on my list forever to try it. I think I'm afraid it's gonna go wrong.

Molly 27:46

I'm very afraid it's gonna go wrong. But God I can only imagine the combination of smells that come off of that when you invert it on to the serving dish and lift off the pan and you've got this like golden brown crust of rice on top. Oh my god, I can't even imagine.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:06

Okay, I asked a couple other people in my family for their top cooking smells. I have some reports. Do you want to hear my reports? Okay, teenager the show December tots D said reducing a super savory broth. And I put like braising a stew but I like there's better

Molly 28:22

Where does your child get this? like wait a minute reducing a super savory broth? What what are they? What do you think they're referring to

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:29

like like the come up from school like like throw throw together a demi gloss like cook that down for like 17 or 25 hours? Not really.

Molly 28:37

I first second I believe what they're talking about is

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:41

like often I will make like a red wine beef stew just like totally improvised. And if the often like I will find that like the amount of liquid that it takes to braise is like more dilute that I want in the finished product cuz I'm going to be serving it with some egg noodles are polenta or something. And so I will strain the stew and just boil down the liquid until until it's more intense and that makes quite the aroma.

Molly 29:03

And so part of it is like a like a while yakking off smelling imagine right which is such a good smell. Oh my god.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:12

Like when you pour white wine and like your big camera zotoh And you've got like onions cooking and butter and then you toast the rice a little bit and then you pour in white wine. Crazy good. So

Molly 29:24

good because you got the toasted rice you got the onions then you're adding the wine and like suddenly sending up all that wine aroma to Yeah. What did wattle say

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:34

wotso. Said yaki amo as you sow yaki Mo is roasted Japanese sweet potato. It is a very popular dish in Japan in the fall and winter. And you will find it like you know being sold on the street by like a street vendor and that smells really good. But also if you go to many supermarkets, they'll have like out in front of the store, basically, a glorified toaster oven full of roasting sweet potatoes that you can smell like three blocks away.

Molly 30:01

Oh my gosh I love that you know something else I want to mention since we just talked about wine so one of my favorite smells is the smell of bowling yeah say when it's almost done sure and the bowling is a I make is usually Marcela has ons which has white wine in it. But at the same time bowling is a gives off one of my least favorite cooking smells earlier in its cooking process.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:29

I know what you're talking about. Yeah.

Molly 30:30

Do you know what I'm talking about when you first Okay, so, you know with bowling is that you've got like your aromatics you add the meat you get it? You know, so it's not pink anymore. You add the wine, you cook off the wine and then you add milk. Yeah, then it smells I don't even know it's a it's one of the worst cooking smells, I think. Yeah, it's

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:50

it's, I would say it's kind of rank.

Molly 30:53

It's horrible when you add the milk,

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:56

but you have to you have to like like go through the funk to get to the feast. Yes,

Molly 31:00

absolutely. I mean, I just like I made Bolognese last week and June came in while I was making the bowl anyways, and she wanted to help and I like actively steered her away from standing near the pot when I added the milk because I was like, she is not going to want to eat this. If she smells it for the next like 30 minutes. Sure. What are other cooking smells that you don't like?

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:26

Okay, hard boiled eggs. That's easy easily number one like you know makes like when they're like yeah, like when they're boiling or or like I guess even more so like when they're cold and being peeled. Yes, like when they're boiling they don't they don't have that much of a fragrance.

Molly 31:40

Do you ever feel like some of them smell worse than others? Like some of them smell more hard boiled ag

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:45

I mean, I think it probably mostly just comes down to like how how long they're being cooked because like the once you get up to a point like the more you cook it the more like sulfur is being emitted. Ah, I didn't realize that. So I don't think I don't think it probably varies much from egg to egg but except in terms of like a smaller egg or like an egg with more yolk is gonna cook faster. Okay, okay. You know what? More white I don't know, you know what

Molly 32:11

I really struggle with. So, and I think this is another one of those things that I prefer. That is okay with me if somebody else is doing the cooking, but Okay, so I do not like the smell of chicken fat. Like the instant that we're done eating the meal. I don't want to share chicken fat anymore. And I think part of it is that there's something extra like sticky about that chicken fat smell like the last time I roasted chicken in my house, which was easily I think a couple years ago because I have stopped roasting chickens in this house. For this reason the entire house had that like kind of like oily chicken fat smell for oh, it lingers, yay these days. And it makes me just like kind of imagine like a film of chicken fat aerosols all over everything, which then kind of like repulses me on a whole other level. Sort of like a small sauna is so what is the deal with chicken fat like does it like aerosolize more readily than other meats? Like it is so into no

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:18

idea. I'm not even going to speculate because I don't know but I agree with your experience.

Molly 33:22

So yeah, I have stopped cooking chicken like in like dry preparations like a roasted chicken or roasted chicken thighs like I've cooked it in the Instant Pot a whole bunch that's nice because it's like wet and it traps the smells differently.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:39

But there's a big like, you know, Starburst like on the front of the box of my instant pot, the tips traps the smells.

Molly 33:46

Literally the smells will never come out of the lids. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:50

know I haven't opened mine. I've cooked a bunch of things in it, but I haven't opened the lid yet.

Unknown Speaker 33:53


Molly 33:56

Anyway. Yeah. So Matthew, I literally have not done anything like satiating or roasting chicken in my house in a couple of years because I can't handle the lingering smell.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:08

Yeah, I do that all the time and I just deal with it.

Molly 34:11

But when I come into your house, which I haven't in a little while I mean we're we're recording this from our closets again. When I come into your house I never smell like lingering cooking smells

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:22

that's because we have 17 glade plugins going at anyone

Molly 34:26

you do know I was gonna say you do not like your house usually just smells like neutral.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:32

I think I think we just have like, like more airflow than your house somehow because like this this thing you've described where like smells like like pass through the house and linger for days just never happens to that extent in our house and I and I like I will cook macro pretty often

Molly 34:49

holy shit if I pardon my language if I cooked macro wise this is like a family show. Now. If I cooked macro in the house, I would have to get a new house. Yeah, I thought of you the other day. Because remember how I had a very old episode long ago now you said that if anyone ever spills milk in a car they have to get in your car car, right? So I managed to have the same car for over six years now. And it had never had milk spilled in it, despite the fact that my spouse insists upon like eating cereal in the car all the time. I know oh my god, no. Anyway, inevitably, whether they're driving their own car or whether we're going somewhere in my car, they're eating a bowl of cereal.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:30

They're eating a bowl of cereal while driving the car

Molly 35:33

sometimes. Yes, I know. Wow. I know. Anyway, but so far, my spouse's only spilled the cereal in their own car. Okay. But the so my car had managed to go like six years without having any milk spilled in it. And then my child the other day was drinking a vanilla steamer in the back seat. And the dog was back there too, and wagged her tail, and knocked into June steamer and milk spilled in the backseat of my car. Do you think I should get a new car?

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:04

Well, I think it's it's like a problem that sort of builds over time. Because like, at first you're like, Oh, this isn't too bad. And then like, ferments more and then, you know, it builds and builds. I just say no, no car, Matthew. Great. Perfect time for a new one. That's how it works. Right? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, but like seriously, though, like when you get in the car like now can you smell it?

Molly 36:28

Wow. Part of it's nice that it's really quite cold outside right now. So I think I probably shouldn't be able to answer that for a while. Maybe.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:35

Yeah, maybe like When summer comes around like your car is going to turn into like like a funk sauna.

Molly 36:42

Sounds like a great album. You know,

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:44

you should you should get your car detailed. I don't know what that means, but it probably fixes everything.

Molly 36:48

I'm sure it'll fix everything. Yep. Okay. Matthew, are there any cooking smells that you can think of that are both good and bad?

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:56

Yeah, I have one that I just couldn't decide which category to put it in. And it's the smell of Tonkotsu Ramen broth cooking so it's like a very funky porque fatty like pork bony smell that like in and of itself is really not a good smell and even like people who are big fans of that style of ramen will will generally agree with that but like it portends something so delicious and you can't really I can't really like separate the the aroma itself from the good the auspicious portent

Molly 37:29

you know, wow. So many words, you know? So I don't I don't have a grill. We wanted to get a grill a few years ago and so we went out and bought like a like a Weber kettle because it's so she remember when this happened and so good. But then we discovered that we we will never we've used it once. We will never look with charts. That right so we put it up on by nothing and some lady came and picked it up from our driver last summer. Anyway, so now we have no grill but I you know like Rosa loud. You have a sign up someday I'll get a grill. I definitely I can imagine it being really useful to have a grill with an outdoor with like a burner next to it right? Yes. Imagine the things I could cook out there that I would never cook inside. How really good point. Oh my god, Matthew, when this happens for me, you come over we make some tonkatsu ramen broth.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:25

Okay, takes a long time.

Molly 38:27

I'm gonna I'm gonna pan cook some chicken thighs. Get nice crispy skin. So many things you get something

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:33

that's not a grill but like you open the lid and it's just a stove with a bunch of burners.

Molly 38:38

I could put just like an induction burner. Or I could put an induction burner like on the ground outside my back door. There we go. That's true.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:45

Yeah, that would be easier than getting a grill. Brandon has

Molly 38:49

often suggested to me getting like a little single induction burner which they have a couple of it to Lancey because still NC doesn't have a stove. But yeah, I mean, maybe I don't know I just never felt like spending money on stuff like that. There's always other things to

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:05

spend and also like you'd have to like be outside like while everyone else is inside I guess there's gonna be like a summer thing.

Molly 39:11

Yeah, but also like if you have like I mean Matthew You and I both have like a little like you know deck or balcony type thing you just like park it right outside there and you can just watch it that's true

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:21

I could park a burner on my probably the our lease says we're not supposed to do that but whatever. Okay.

Molly 39:27

Well, Matthew, this episode you despite the fact that we didn't remember really what prompted this. This has turned out to be kind of a delightful romp through the whiffs.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:41

I love to I love to tiptoe through the whiffs on a spring day. I always bring my ukulele Yeah, me too. That's we often like like passed by each other like each each like holding up a ukulele and an angle and strumming it as we tiptoe through the through the whiffs. Yep, I usually pretend I don't know you.

Molly 39:58

Always hurts my feelings. Okay, well, you know, it's my week to do now, but wow.

And I'm pretty pleased about this. So it's been a while since I have mentioned a library book that I have been on hold for for a while. Oh, the library. You on hold now. Anyway, so I've got a book here that I want to talk about today. It's called The Secret Lives of church. Ladies, have you read this? I have not. Okay. It's got a one some sort of metal though. So it was a National Book Award finalist. There we go. It is. So the book is The Secret Lives of church ladies by Disha Filia. And it came out in 2020. It's a collection of short stories. And I'm generally not a short story person. But I had heard really good things about this from another writer. I admire Jamie Annenberg. Anyway, so I requested it from the library, and I gotta tell you, like, the morning after I picked it up, I opened it at the like, while I was eating breakfast. And by the time I knew it, I was done with the first story like nice, so readable, so smart. The first story at least is quite sexy. While also anyway, the general premise is that these stories there are nine of them. They feature like four generations of characters who are all grappling with what they want to be in the world and they're kind of caught between the double standards of the church and their own needs and passions. So there's there's a lot of sex in here. Sounds good. Anyway, it's it's just, it's fantastic. It was so it was even better than I hoped it would be when I put it on hold at the library.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:44

I'm going to put a hold on it now. Either that or the library is going to put a hold on me. Ooh,

Molly 41:49

it's really smart. It's terrific. It's the secret lives of church ladies by Disha Philea

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:55

Okay, hold placed as of now Awesome. Okay, great. Our producer is Abby sir Catella exes rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts vote in our survey about whether or not you have a working exhaust fan. Fan that like technically the technically works, but doesn't really do much like mine. That should be a no right. I have three I

Molly 42:18

think we need to have three questions like Do you have an exhaust fan? Mm hmm. Does it Does it remove smells?

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:24

I think there's gonna be like one question with three options like yes, I have one and it works Yes, I have one and it doesn't work. No, I don't have Okay, what am I gonna do with this information? Are we gonna like profile our listeners for the purpose of targeting them with ads for exhaust fans?

Molly 42:37

Oh, yeah. Yeah, sure.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:39

Yeah. Chris if you want to get profiled and targeted fill out our survey the link is going to be in the in the show notes.

Molly 42:45

Excellent. Well, if you if you I don't know want to talk about cooking smells you can go to our Reddit which is reddit.com/are/everything spilled milk?

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:57

Yeah, probably a lot of people are gonna be over there talking about this, this survey and like speculating about what the results are going to be

Molly 43:04

I can't wait to decide what kind of like visual we're gonna use to display the results like oh, hi chart graph like bar graph whatever. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:14

like I like stocks but it's give me like the back of our of our PowerPoint. Oh, but But no, no, the like, type of chart

Molly 43:24

is so important. Yeah, yeah. Okay, well, yeah, we're

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:26

gonna do some serious like data visualizations of data mining. Well,

Molly 43:31

thank you for listening to spilled milk the show that's

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:35

it's like a sauna for your ears. Like if you have like the over ear headphones. Like there's there's there's all sorts of like auditory aromas collecting and aerosols. Like it's right aerosols. That's the thing everyone wants to be thinking about these days.

Molly 43:49

I've got them in my headphones. Me too.

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:52

I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.

Molly 43:53

I'm Molly Weissenberg.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:02

Let's let's see if we can recapture the magic. Oh, he said, Hey,

Molly 44:06

I'm freshly showered.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:08

I can smell it from here.

Molly 44:09


Matthew Amster-Burton 44:10

this is what we're good at acting.

Molly 44:11

This is really fitting because it's our cooking smells episode. Should we do the intro?

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:16

Yay. You do it. Do what? This is our best intro. I know. Oh,

Molly 44:25

I'm Molly. Oh, we

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:26

have to do it again.