Friday, 2 July 2010
Reader's Wife's Big Jugs
Pay attention, the following could save your life.
A most useful object in the kitchen is the glass jug, made of borosilicate glass to withstand extremely high or low temperatures. Tough, easy to clean, hygienic in its impervious surface, elegant in its easy-to-handle functional design, it is the angelic expression of industrial magic.
But it's not immortal. The rim of the glass, particularly the pouring lip of the jug, can eventually develop cracks. If that happens shards of glass break off. Invisible glass knives.
This eventually happened one day in my gravy, very nearly my grave-y
I made the gravy as normal and poured it in to the glass jug, giving it a whack with a spoon. The jug was very old by then - a wedding present IIRC, those were the days lass - and must have developed tiny fractures which finally joined up and cracked slivers off the pouring lip in to the meat juices.
At the table I poured on the gravy and tucked in.
As the sliver went in to my tongue I first thought "bone?" and then looked down at my dinner to suddenly recognize glittering gravel poking up as the gravy-pool subsided. I opened my mouth and let the gravel tip out. With a flash of self-preservation I realized that it was important not to spit, not to move in any way which would result in the glass going further in to my tongue. I was able to pull out the main spike, a wicked flechette, and blood began to ooze out and drip on to the tablecloth.
Mr Raft must have also had a psychic experience because instead of jumping up or shouting, he moved very smoothly, realizing that I wasn't in a position to explain. Despite the horrific looks of it, once the main culprit was out, the rest was a matter of very carefully rinsing so that no other splinters of glass were left in my mouth and none got down my throat.
The moral of the story is: always run a finger round the rim on glass jugs, checking for un-evenness or broken slivers, hold it up to the light to give it a brief visual inspection. If it is in the least bit damaged, buy a new jug because there may be microscopic invisible stresses in the material.
It is also fair to point out that this is the only time such a materials failure has ever happened in all the years I've been using glass jugs, and it might not have happened at all if I'd been more careful about using wooden spoons instead of carelessly batting around with metal ones.
Wooden spoons and big jugs, that's what you want.