Don't try this at home
Share with others:
You can use Pyrex to prepare, bake, store, serve or transport food -- but there is one thing you'd better never ever do with Pyrex.
We found out the hard way.
It was 2001, our first Thanksgiving stationed in Texas with the Air Force, away from our home in Pittsburgh. For the first time I found myself face-to-face with a raw, naked Thanksgiving turkey.
Six guests were coming for dinner. They were bringing some of the side dishes, but I was on my own with the big bird. Why hadn't I paid more attention in previous years when the women of the family were battling the birds?
Up at 6 a.m. on a holiday so the bird would have enough time to bake, I diced celery and onions and tore bread for stuffing (loosely packed -- I knew food safety dictated at least that much, if not baking the stuffing separately).
Bird stuffed, I basted it lightly with butter and put it inside a Reynolds roasting bag, then stuck the whole assembly in a foil roasting pan.
Five hours later, voila! a gorgeous, browned, succulent-smelling bird. One of the guests, carving, helped himself to a couple of tastes and proclaimed it perfect. Success! And on my first try.
Until the gravy.
The guests had assembled and were packed in the kitchen where I was finishing the meal. I looked at the stunning array of besmirched pots and pans and wondered what I was going to make gravy in.
I remembered my mother making gravy on the stovetop in a glass pan before. (Later she explained she'd done it on several occasions but always kept the heat very low and took her chances.)
I grabbed a 9-by-13 Pyrex baking dish and started tossing in pan drippings, flour and water.
"You can use those on the stovetop?" one guest asked.
"Oh yes," I replied with the air of one who knows what she's doing.
Everything went fine for a while. The gravy bubbled along and started to thicken as I stirred. I walked away for a moment to arrange items on the serving table, then heard a sickening pop and a chorus of exclamations.
I stuck my head back in and found gobs of gluey gravy heaped in the stove burner and trickling down the front of the stove, with the shattered Pyrex pan in the middle of the mess.
Oops. All was not lost. We spooned most of the gravy into a heavy-duty cardboard box and threw the broken pan in with it, then took the whole disaster to the dumpster in the alley.
And there were still plenty of pan drippings to make a new batch of gravy. In a metal pan.
First Published October 7, 2004 12:00 am