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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2 premade pie crusts (or go all out and make your own!)
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.
Cook the bacon, and when slightly cooled, crumble and sprinkle into the bottom of the piecrusts.
Add a layer of onions on top of the bacon in the crusts.
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.
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.
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!