Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

Written by fellow blogger James J. Cudney, whose awesome blog This Is My Truth Now is among my favorite sites,  Watching Glass Shatter was a lengthy and awesome read about family secrets, family dysfunction, and ultimately, family bonds and love that keep people connected, even during some of the worst times.

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The premise of the story is thus: Ben Glass, the patriarch of the family, has just died. His widow Olivia – who I totally picture as Helen Mirren – learns of a potentially devastating family secret Ben kept from her. You learn one of the secrets early on in the book, but I don’t want to spoil it so I won’t reveal it. However, it is the impetus for Olivia to get to know all five of her sons in more depth, and as a result, learns that they each have secrets of their own.

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I like the analogy of glass shattering as representing the calm family facade that Ben and Olivia maintained throughout their marriage and the play on the word as it is also the family surname. Olivia reminded me a great deal of my own grandmother, very stoic and calm, sometimes cold in her manners, but with this smooth facade hiding lots of emotion and love.

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Each of the sons – Teddy, Matt, Caleb, Zach, and Ethan – have their own distinctive personalities and voices that come through very clearly, sometimes irritatingly so, because they are far from perfect. Yet, as I kept reading, I started understanding and even relating to each of them in their quest to maintain that Glass family facade. I liked Ethan the best because he is so close to his mother and seems initially to be the only son that truly cares for her well-being.

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In one early pivotal scene, Olivia’s sister Diane serves them both breakfast after the funeral, in Olivia’s elegant, calm, and beautifully decorated dining room. The room is very much like Olivia – almost untouchable in its exquisitely detailed beauty, and the appropriately elegant breakfast of gourmet coffee, juice and quiche that is described so delectably made me salivate just reading this scene.

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Grabbing a quiche out of the refrigerator, she sliced two giant wedges and put them in the broiler to warm up. While the coffee dripped, Diane set two places at the breakfast nook in the corner, her favorite spot in her sister’s house……..She checked the quiche, savoring the golden-brown crust and bubbling Gruyere, her nose tempted by the comfort it offered.

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Quiche Lorraine is that classic French dish that combines Gruyere cheese, eggs, and bacon into something heavenly that angels could eat happily.  I had some caramelized onions leftover, so I added those to the mix. And yes, I used, premade Marie Callender pie crust instead of making it from scratch. Don’t judge.

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2 premade pie crusts (or go all out and make your own!)
6 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
8 slices of bacon
1 cup caramelized onions
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 375F, and prick the crusts in the center with a for, then blind-bake them for 10 minutes. Let cool.

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Cook the bacon, and when slightly cooled, crumble and sprinkle into the bottom of the piecrusts.

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Add a layer of onions on top of the bacon in the crusts.

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Beat the eggs together with the cream, the Gruyere, and the nutmeg, and add salt and pepper. The Gruyere is salty, so don’t go overboard with the salt.

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Pour the egg mixture on top of the bacon and onions in the piecrusts, and bake for 25 minutes. Check for texture and remove from the oven if it’s not wobbly anymore. If it’s still a bit wobbly, leave another 2-3 minutes.

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Let cool and serve. I personally think quiche is the most perfect dish in the world, and this recipe hasn’t changed my mind. DELISH!

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19 thoughts on “Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

  1. Vanessa, I’m so glad you enjoyed the book too! I loved your description and beautiful pictures. 💖

    The recipe looks delicious as usual. I’m adding to my recipe book. I don’t think I’ve ever had quiche before! 😉❤ Hope you had a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jen! Quiche is really one of the most spectacular and yet simple dishes to cook, particularly if you have some pre-made pie crust on hand. But even if you don’t, making crust for quiche is the simplest thing ever. And you can pretty much use any ingredients to flavor the eggs, any kind of cheese or herbs or meat. If you make it let me know how it turns out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You will really enjoy it. It’s such an amazing book. You get into the heads of all these different characters and even the ones you don’t like you eventually come to empathize with them.


      2. Hi Rose (hope I got your name correct from the blog!) — Thank you for purchasing the book. I look forward to getting to know you. Have a great evening. (and thanks for this post connecting us, Vanessa!)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Vanessa!

    This was a complete surprise… and I am utterly grateful. You had mentioned reading it at some point, but I did not expect to be a featured element in your amazing blog in such a cool way. So much to comment on:

    When were you making this quiche? I made two yesterday afternoon for brunch with my parents today. I was heating them up this morning around 11am… as I put the last two pieces in the refrigerator for lunch tomorrow, I saw a tweet mentioning the book and your blog! Thank you!

    You completely nailed the kitchen matching Olivia — no one’s picked up on that before. What a fun way to see it come to life in your post today.

    I’ve enjoyed getting to know you this last year. This was a delight today and I cannot express my gratitude properly.

    Big hugs!



    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was my pleasure. I made the quiche this morning. I finished reading your book last week. I really enjoyed it. You’re a very talented writer and I really enjoyed getting into the heads of these characters. There were actually a few food scenes that I had thought about blogging, but this one seemed to work the best for a Sunday morning.

      Liked by 1 person

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