Coping with Cooking Odors

One very unfortunate drawback of my fragrance sensitivity is that I have also become very sensitive to strong natural odors as well. Even, sadly, cooking odors.

Over the years, I had perfected my spaghetti sauce recipe. Technically, it’s a Marinara Sauce, but we call it spaghetti sauce since we mostly use it for spaghetti. I would make a HUGE, as in 24 cups or 6 quarts, batch. I start it early in the morning so it can simmer all day long. Next I divide it into 2 cup packages and freeze it in zippered plastic bags. Then, as we wanted it, we could take a bag out of the freezer, place it in water for maybe 30 minutes, and then we would have spaghetti sauce.

As you might guess, the entire house smells like my sauce by the end of the day. In December of 2003, I had already been working at home for about 6 months because of my health issues. One Monday morning, I got a batch of spaghetti sauce started before work. At that time, I was working upstairs, as far from the kitchen as you can be. But, by the end of the day, I had a really bad migraine. Curiously, it had NO impact on my ability to eat the spaghetti sauce.

For a while after that batch was gone, I was buying bottled spaghetti sauces. My husband was aghast because it is so not like me. I’ve always been a make-it-from-scratch girl. Alas, these sauces weren’t as good as mine; plus they had more sodium than my low sodium diet allows. Finally, we came up with a plan for making my sauce.

I start off in the usual fashion – sauteing the onions, garlic, etc. Then I add the rest of the ingredients except the bay leaves and bring the whole thing to a boil. Next I take my 2 crock pots, place Bay Leaves in the 2 pots and then divide the sauce between the 2 pots – stirring during the process so eveything is well mixed. At that point, we carry the crock pots out to the garage and let it cook all day. As an added precaution, I move my car out of the garage – don’t want the car smelling like spaghetti sauce.

We’ve done this several times now, and it seems to be a good plan.

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