This morning, I took a Mason jar of vegetable stock out of the freezer to thaw for soup this evening. There was a little water left in the pot after I made my coffee, and I thought I remembered having read something on the internet about heating a jar in warm water on the stove to help speed the defrosting process. I didn’t remember exactly, but I had the water left, and I was in a rush, so I plopped the jar in about an inch of hot water, and immediately hard the crackling sound of breaking glass. I looked and sure enough, the glass around the frozen stock had cracked in several places, like a plate of ice being stepped on. I removed the jar from the water, and after a moment’s mourning, threw the whole thing away. No one wants glass soup.
A few minutes later, washing yesterday’s dishes, I remembered another kitchen and more broken glass. I was six or seven, standing in my best friend Vanessa’s kitchen, making jello with her for the first time. I’d made it before, I said, and I probably had. Vanessa heated the measuring cup of hot water directly on the electric stove, careful not to touch the red circle when she finished. We mixed in the jello powder, and went to the sink to add cold water. As soon as the water touched the hot glass, it cracked, and all our jello ran down the drain, leaving only shards of sticky glass behind. We had to get Vanessa’s mom who was mad we’d used the stove without asking, but I think she might have helped us make more jello. At least, that’s how I want this story to end.
So I should have known, I suppose, the consequences of heat and cold and glass. But some lessons learned get forgotten, and some glasses just break.