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Bad to the Bone

PepeBy Cathy Jameson

We had a very busy week last week.  Busy is good!  But it means I didn’t have a chance to sit down and type the piece I had intended to type.  Instead of something fresh for you today, I’m posting an old story I shared with family and friends.  

We parents have had to be very creative with our kids – their schooling, their therapies, and their special diets.  This story is about a time I tried to make something healthy.  You’ll be so glad your device doesn’t come with smell-o-scope while reading this.



I woke up a little past 7 o’clock this morning and got a whiff of something rancid.  Ohmyword.  The smell.  Ronan was still asleep when I sniffed what I sniffed, but I immediately thought, Oh, no.  Ronan must have pooped sometime in the middle of the night.  Poor kid.  I’ll have to wake him up to change his diaper.  I walked into Ronan’s room, and the smell disappeared.  That was good.  But that meant that the source of the stink was coming from somewhere else. 

After changing Ronan, I walked toward the kitchen.  The smell permeated through that room and into our den.  Was it the garbage can?  No, but I took the garbage out anyway.  Strange.  The garage smelled awful, too.  My gosh!  What is that smell? 

I walked back into the house and called my husband, “Hey, I think something died in the garage.  Call me back when you get a chance.”As I walked toward the kitchen, my oldest came around the corner.  “Mom!  You left the stove on…all night?!”  I nodded and said, “Honey, it’s bone broth.  You’re supposed to cook it for hours and hours and hours.”

I repeated that first sentence in my head:  …it’s bone broth…

Oh. No.  It couldn’t be the bone broth making that smell, could it?  That stuff is all healthy stuff.  And we’re going to eat it when it’s ready.  It can’t be what’s so stinky. 

Could it?


I quickly opened up Facebook and wrote: 

Bone Broth people...the aroma from the broth as it simmers quietly on the stove, is it supposed to smell like one hundred small woodland creatures up and died in my kitchen?  Good night, Irene!  The smell! Ugh!  And gag!  And ugh!  What did I do wrong???

I got responses instantly.  Some were reassuring.  Friends said I was doing a “great job, mama!” because their bone broth also produces a pungent “roadkill” and “carcassy” smell while it's cooking. 

Whew!  I thought. 

But then, not everyone agreed.  Other friends’ bone broth did not reek or smell disgusting like mine smelled.  Those friends said that their bone broth smelled fabulous!  fantastic!  great!  amazing! even.

Oh, dear.  There were too many conflicting opinions.  And none of them were reducing the awful smell that was still wafting through my home.  If I wanted the smell of rotten woodland creatures to leave, I knew that I had to do one thing:  get rid of the bone broth. 

I cut the cooking time short for this batch.  I had to—the stink was just too much.  I turned off the heat and let the broth simmer.  Then, I took the bones out of the Dutch oven, put them in a garbage bag, and dumped the ridiculousness in the garbage can outside. 

Back inside, I poured the broth into a large glass bowl once it cooled.  Not one for wasting anything, I covered the bowl of simmered bone broth and put it in the refrigerator.  My plan was to try a taste of it.  Later though.  I didn’t know if I could stomach eating it while the carcass-y smell lingered. 

Fast forward a few hours…

I left a window open all day to get some fresher smelling air into the house.  I also diffused some Purification oil, which I can assure you was bought online and not at CVS, so that the house would lose some of the dead woodland creature stank that I could still smell.  

I haven’t tried the broth yet.  I promise I will do that.  But that'll happen on another day when things don’t smell so bad to the bone. 

Blogged December 2014


I never did taste that bone broth.  Made with chicken bones from a small roaster, the stink continued to stink while it chilled in the fridge.  As it cooled, the smell turned into a combination of an earthy, herb-y, death smell.  I don’t eat anything with death smell, so I dumped it in a hole in the backyard far away from the house.  I will try beef bones next time. 

Memory shared June 2018


I buy bone broth at the store now.   

Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.

*Apologies to Ronan for assuming his diaper was the stinky culprit.  Apologies to my Aunt Irene for using her name in vain.  And apologies to any woodland creatures that I may have offended while writing this post. J



Funny! When my son was young, he used the oven as a garage for his matchbox cars. One night, after turning the oven on to heat up before placing the food inside, we smelt a very toxic smell. That was the end of the matchbox cars.


One of those stories not funny at the time.....but later, LOL!

Has bone broth helped Ronan?
You can now buy it in bulk at Costco.

Speaking of stoves and smells-
One time I was using the self-cleaning mode on my stove. Unfortunately, I had left a pan of biscuits in the oven after turning it off (to stay warm) the night before and forgot to take them out. After the oven locked and went into burn mode, smoke and a burning smell poured out of the oven vent. Alarmed, we opened all the windows, called the fire department and waited for their arrival outside. It was a little embarrassing when they got the oven door open and pulled out the biscuits which now looked like charcoal briquets!


That is a hilarious story. I am very sensitive to odors, so I can only imagine how long you noticed the smell of the broth. Sometimes the things we do to be better parents end up not quite how we planned!

I've boiled chicken bones to make broth, but I never left it on for a long time, and I never experienced the smell you described. I have also bought it from the farmers market, which was faster, but more expensive!

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