Sunday, August 14, 2011

Spin Cookery

Quick, what's the first thing you think of when I say the word blender? I'm thinking Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake.

Not your style? What about Fresh Tomato Bisque? recipe below:)

In the early 1920s, for the purpose of making soda fountain drinks, Polish immigrant Stephen J. Poplawski, received a patent for a blender. The Poplawski Blender, with a spinning blade at the bottom of a glass container, was similar to the blenders that are still sold today. Since today is the day Mr. Poplawski was born, I thought it might be the perfect time to revisit the many uses of this handy dandy appliance!

The secret to enjoying your blender reveals itself once you get into the habit of using it more often. Oh I know, you probably have it tucked under the closet or high out of reach. Well, perhaps, today I will be able to coax it down or out!

First, let me tell you about an exciting discovery I made over at Elise's Simply Recipes blog. YOU! are going to love this!

"Did you know that many, if not most, blenders can be used with a standard mason jar, or wide-mouthed mason jar? This is a trick my mother taught me. Apparently 40 years ago or so...manufacturers used to include a mason jar in the box with the blender. Mom recalls even a booklet that listed the many things one could make with the mason jar blender, including ground spices, whipped cream, and peanut butter. We use this trick most often to make whipped cream. The blender whips it right in the jar, so if we have extra, it's already in a jar for storage. And it is easier when it comes to making small quantities."

I took a quick look through some of my vintage appliance cookbooks, and lo and behold, I found two ads for "blend and serve" jars. One is from Your Waring Cookbook © 1976 and the other from the Osterizer Blender Spin Cookery Cookbook © 1974.

Be sure and visit Elise's link above for more insight into using a regular Mason Jar as a blending vessel. There are tons of comments from others who have already successfully tried it. In the mean time, I found you a How To Use Mason Jars With a Blender video.

Wowza! Imagine the possibilities! Just think, no more fiddling with the blender after whizzing up a nutritious on the go breakfast drink or smoothie. Now, not only can you grind, grate, puree and liquify in seconds but you can store any one or all of your concoctions in its very own blending vessel with it's very own lid. Isn't that cool? You can whirl whipped cream, fresh condiments, nuts, seeds, bread crumbs, herb mixes, dressings, and coffee beans in their own serving containers. The blender whips it right in the jar! Didn't I tell you you were gonna love this! Hurry, run to the kitchen, drag out that blender, dust it off and see if your blender base will snuggle up with it's very own mason jar.

By the 1950s, blender and small appliance cookbooks had blender recipes for everything from soups to nuts. A few even included gelatin desserts and molded salads. This recipe for Tarragon "French" Dressing was found in the Complete Small Appliance Cookbook by John and Marie Roberson. (As a side note, I must tell you, with the exception of the bump up in the corner, this book is in excellent condition. I mention it because it was published in 1953 and it has less wrinkles than I do:) Which of us do you think has been around longer? On second thought, don't answer that:) I've scanned the back of the book so you can see the assortment of kitchen gadgets toted in the 50s.

Tarragon "French" Dressing
1/3 cup tarragon vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp sugar
Dash Tabasco Sauce
Combine all ingredients in blender in order given. Cover and blend at high speed for 30 to 40 seconds or until completely blended and slightly thickened. This dressing is especially good served with meat and fish salads. Makes 1 cup. Complete Small Appliance Cookbook © 1953. (a "modern" version of this recipe, which also uses a blender, can be found here. )
The Blender Cookbook by Ann Seranne & Eileen Gaden © 1961 promised to revolutionize America's cooking habits with "exciting new ideas, short cuts, and magic recipes that will take the drudgery out of cooking and make it a pleasure."
"Soon you will find that you will use your blender many times every day in the preparation of your daily meals, to grind, grate, crumb, puree, chop, aerate, and homogenize. Your entire cooking habits will become revolutionized almost over-night. You'll find yourself relating much of your obsolete, old-fashioned kitchen equipment to the that top shelf!"

So who invented the blender? According to the folks at the Blender Expert website, "We wouldn't even be talking about food blender history if it wasn't for the existence of a small electric motor invented in 1910" by Chester Beach.

Two Racine, Wisconsin engineers, Chester Beach and Frederick Osius, and a master marketer, Louis Hamilton, made household appliance history by inventing a small motor than ran on either AC or DC electrical power. The first Hamilton Beach product, an electric hand-held massager, was produced in 1910. The same year, Hamilton Beach Manufacturing Company was founded for the sole purpose of developing more "universal" motor-driven appliances. (source)

By most accounts, Stephen Poplawski goes down in history as the inventor of the blender simply because he received his patent before anyone else did. But, as with most early inventions, many people had their hands in the process. Speaking of food processors, at first, it appeared the blender may have gone by the way of extinction until home makers realized for certain tasks, the blender was still tops for whizzing up tasty creations such as these that I found in a Dairy Association recipe leaflet.

Did you know you can make cheesecake in the blender? I can't tell you how many last minute cheesecake creations were whirled together at our house when I was a kid. If memory serves me correctly, my mother had a cheesecake blender recipe that relatives exclaimed "was out of this world!" I don't have that particular recipe handy but, I did find this recipe for No-Cook Cheesecake at Lynne's Country Kitchen.

When you think about, there are many ways to make the most out of your blender even in today's gadget laden world. I recently came across a book titled Blender Baby Food which looks promising. Jessica Seinfeld, in her book Deceptively Delicious ©2007, uses all kinds of purees in her innovative approach to getting her family to eating healthier, especially the kids. My grandson, Noah, acclaimed chicken nugget prince, loves her recipe for Chicken Nuggets. I must admit, when I tasted them at Michele's last year, I was indeed impressed.

Look what Mary over @ One Perfect Bite gorgeously whirled together; Watermelon and Strawberries Sorbet two ways!!!

Here's the recipe for Fresh Tomato Bisque pictured above as found in The Best of Bon Appetit ©1979.
Fresh Tomato Bisque
2 lbs. ripe tomatoes (about 6)
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 tbs. butter
1 bay leaf
1 heaping tbs. brown sugar
2 whole cloves
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsps. finely chopped fresh basil
1 pint light cream
1 cup milk
6 large croutons
2 tbs. chopped chives
Skin and seed tomatoes. Saute onion in butter and add the tomatoes chopped. Add bay leaf, sugar, cloves, salt, pepper, and basil. Simmer stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are thoroughly cooked-about 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf and cloves and transfer to blender to puree (or strain through a coarse sieve). Add cream and milk and heat thoroughly. Serve topped with toasted buttered croutons and sprinkle with chopped chives.

I hope I have nudged you a bit to break out that blender of yours. It just may become your new best friend. And you know what they say about friends, "make new friends and keep the old." Not only do I use a percolator for coffee, I've also been known to make use of a very good friend; my vintage Waring Blender!

1. Healthy Blender Recipes
2. Banana Cottage Cheese Tofu Pie
3. Barbeque Sauce
4. How to Make Smoothies, Soups, Frozen Raspberry Sorbet, Sweet Potato Soup, Garlic Hummus, & Strawberry Applesauce


  1. Louise, not to worry. I appreciate the link love. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  2. I guess you could say I use the blender too much, it sits on my counter top. I have gone through 3 or 4 of them since the early 70's and yes I was one mom who use the little Mason jar for baby food. My oldest being 40 this year! Love the blender! Now-a-days, I use it for fruit shakes!!!

  3. Forgot to say, loved this blog and the recipes! Thanks!

  4. Gah! I still don't own a blender, and that tomato bisque is calling my name!

  5. Some Peaches Vavoom would hit the spot right now - it would go nice with a sexy, butter-bathed chicken. So, is it bad that my answer to question number one was "Strawberry Daquari?" Now you've got me thinking that smoothies will be a whole lot easier in the future. Thanks, Louise!

  6. I actually remember when the blenders appeared in ouor home; it was a revolution. I still have quite a few recipes from those days that I make now. Your bisque is a must try.

  7. our blender has a permanent space on the countertop as the hubby like whipping up healthy shakes almost everyday. Very interesting about the mason jars, need to investigate if it works on my blender. :)

  8. The mason jar trick is officially blowing my mind right now. I spent a ridiculous amount of money on a magic bullet for that very purpose a few years ago, only to lose the entire box of kitchen supplies it was packed in during my last move ( seriously...how do you lose an entire box when you only have 25 or so). This I have to try.

  9. oooh now I want to make a bisque!

  10. OH MY GOSH, that is SO COOL! I really had no idea...I'll be trying it out today. You may have created a mason-jar-blending monster over here ;)

  11. I can't recall the last time I used the blender. I'm a food processor girl.

  12. Wow, you learn something new everyday. I have to share this with friends....I can't wait to try it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, as well!!! Your on my favorite blog list. I really am going to enjoy your blog!

  13. I want whatever burger joy you want to send me!

  14. OMG I love your post (LOL) love the drwas, love the recipoe book, and love the chocolate turtle cheescake,and I love my Blender....gloria

  15. Wooza indeed, what tasty nibbles. I love the history and the imagination that went into this post. Cheese cake to soup, the versatility of the blender. I think its the most used item in my kitchen,

  16. I loved seeing the vintage information on using the Mason jars on your blender! Thanks for doing that, a sweet look back. One way I use my blender with a jar is to chop almonds into small chunks that I sprinkle over my morning yogurt. I blend up enough to last about a week and keep it in the fridge. Yup, you don’t need the magic bullet; you just need a Mason jar!

  17. My oldest is doing a junior year abroad (starting in 3 weeks!!) and is already lamenting an anticipated absence blender priviledges ;-)

  18. Didn't Jamie Oliver do the chicken nugget thing on TV?

  19. Louise, nice recipe...as for blender, although mine has a permanent place on the counter, most of the time I use my hand blender and love it...
    Hope you are having a great week :-)

  20. I love tomato bisque... I am looking forward to cooler weather so I can make soup.

  21. What a cool idea! This may be one of my favorite posts and you've put up some great ones :-)

  22. I remember, when I used the blender daily. Now, although I still use it, the food processor is more versatile.

    Blender is great for smoothies.

    I love the mason jar addition.

  23. The first thing that popped into my head when you said "blender" is "broken." Broken and long gone. I am not a blender person. I do love my immersion blender and food processor, mini food processor, and Magic Bullet clone (that I got for $10 at Macy's and works like a dream), but despite having a state-of-the-art Kitchen Aid blender I still found it lacking in so many ways.

    The tomato bisque sounds heavenly and is now on my list of new recipes to try. Peaches Vavoom, of course, was my nickname in high school. ;-)

  24. Louise! Mason jar blender? So genius. How did I not think of this before you? I already know the answer to that question, but thanks to you I really do need to whip whip cream into a handy jar like that. So awesome. The tomato soup looks awesome and perfect for my tastebuds and of course the other delightful recipes are always amazing. You never cease to amaze me, even more amazed you still check out my blog. Sure appreciate ya!

  25. and now i feel ashamed for letting my blender gather dust, stating that i never drink smoothies...:)

  26. Thank you, my friend, for letting me know about my profile link. Turns out I didn't have the "share profile" box checked. Thanks again and also for your lovely comments :-)

  27. Wow! You got me thinking out of the box with my use of the blender. Thanks for some great recipe!!

  28. That cheesecake looks scrumptious!

  29. Thanks, Mary.I really appreciate it.

    I rarely use the older blender anymore, Glenda. It was a gift from my aunt many years ago. At this moment, a fruit shake sounds perfect! Thank you so much for visiting...

    Hmmm...I bet it could be prepared without a blender, Yummy.

    That "sexy" butter-bathed chicken of yours look scrumptious T.W. A Strawberry Daiquiri still sounds good and I haven't even had my coffee yet this AM! For those of you who may have missed T.W.'s gorgeous farm fresh chicken, check out, Culinary Types!!!

    Indeed they were, Rita. I read that homemakers were actually scared to use them at first:) Let me know how you like the bisque.

    So does mine, Veron. I had to dig out the older blender pictured, I no longer use that one. I hope the mason jar trick works on yours. It's fun to concoct all kinds of things in the jars.

    The mason jar trick is truly a lifesaver, Jesse. Do share your creations when you try it. Oh, I know what you mean about losing an entire box when moving. I had entire bound set of Gourmet Magazines from 1969 before I moved into this house. Oh where oh where can they be??? I've turned the house upside down numerous times and I'll be darned, they are GONE!!! (I also had a fabulous Neiman Marcus cookbook which is gone too:(

    oooh now you should, Simply Life:)

  30. I thought of you, Heather when I was thinking about the possibilities. I hope you have a future post planned with all your "monster blending" combinations!!!

    I had a feeling you were "a food processor kinda girl, Chan.

    Your blog looks delicious, Angela. I'm delighted to have "met" you.

    Okie dokie, duckie! It's in the mail:)

    Well, Gloria aren't you just bursting with love! I love my blender too. The newer one as well...

    Thank you LouAnn it was a fun post to prepare.

    Hi Connie. Thanks for dropping by and leaving that wonderful tip. Since I make yogurt at least once a week, I will be whipping up some almonds for sure!

    How best to solve that dilemma, Inger? I'm sure you will come up with something!!!

    I'm not sure if Jamie Oliver did the chicken nugget thing on TV, duckie. I'm not much of a food tv kinda gal:)

    Hi Juliana! I have my hand blender tucked away since I started whipping up so many combinations in mason jars. Now, they are taking up valuable counter real estate but, it works GREAT!

    As I am, Pam. Not that I'm rushing summer but, soup in autumn just sings coolness...

    Oh Tina, now you went a made me {blush} Glad you liked it!!! You are most welcome. I wouldn't want others to miss one darn goodie at your blog:)

    I still use my blender daily Chaya. As a matter of fact, I'm sipping a smoothie "as we speak." (my Friday evening dinner:)

    So should we be calling you Peaches or Vavoom or both, Pattie? Let me know how the bisque turns out. I have it on my list too but chances are, you will get it done first!!!

    Oh dear, Kasha. You have a delightful blog and I love to visit:) I wish I could take credit for that incredible tip but that goes to Elise. I only tried to document it in pictures:) And, speaking about whip cream, Marion and I have probably gained mucho weight because, when you have perfect fresh whip cream calling your name each and every time you open the fridge, who can resist? Not me!!!

    Time to dust that baby off, Grace and dig out those Mason jars. YOU won't be sorry!!!

  31. Quick, what's the first thing you think of when I say the word blender? ... 2waringblender.blogspot.com


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise