Osterizer Potluck

The Custom Osterizer Blender.

Every once in a while, a game-changing invention comes along that revolutionizes how we live.  A magical device that makes our lives easier and spurs innovation.  Something that makes us wonder how we got along without it.

No, I’m not talking about the iPad.  I’m talking about the Osterizer blender from the John Oster Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee Wisconsin.

Cover of the cookbook made by the home economists at John Oster Maufacturing Company.

Think about it: where would the world be without the Pina Colada, the Margarita, the…Cottage Cheese Glory?  Empires have been built on the whirring blades within a glass jar popularized by the heavy duty Osterizer blender.  Without it there would be no Jamba Juice Mango-a-go-go, no Starbucks double grande Tazo Chai Creme Frappuccino with whip.

The blender was invented by the Stevens Electric Company in 1923, a company purchased by the Oster Manufacturing Company in 1946.  The appliance was popularized with the heavy duty “Osterizer” brand blender, the “finest of all liquefier blenders…unequalled for power, versatility and simple elegance.  This amazing kitchen genie handles dozens of kitchen chores with dazzling speed and efficiency.”

But before the Osterizer was purchased by Sunbeam Corporation in 1960, they produced a number of cookbooks containing nothing but recipes that need to be blended.  That includes Custom Osterizer Recipes (1957), a tomb of 126 pages packed with mouth watering recipes like Tangy Meat Spread, Alabama Refrigerator Rolls, (a tobacco-less) Marlborough Pie, and Hindu Eggs.

As you can already tell, this device will allow you to “perform feats of meal magic” as the introduction says.  Although some ingredients here may now be banned under international law, I’ve picked several sinfully delightful recipes that are sure to be a hit  at your next church picnic.

Oster Home Economists create culinary masterpieces.

So give your dentures a rest, you kitchen wizards.  Enjoy the time saving magic of these “exclusive” recipes that have been “thoroughly tested in the modern Oster Test Kitchen” by Oster’s Home Economists at their Milwaukee Plant.

COTTAGE CHEESE GLORY

Ingredients

12 ounces cream-style cottage cheese

8 small stuffed olives

few sprigs parsley

1 thin strip green pepper

3 ounces blue cheese

3 tablespoons soft butter

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 pimiento

Directions

Put cottage cheese and blue cheese in the glass container.  Cover and mix at speed 6 until smooth.  Remove the feeder cap in the cover, add the remaining ingredients.  Turn the switch to speed 6 and off, until the food is chopped.  Empty into a bowl.  Serve as a dip with crackers or potato chips.  Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

My recipe notes

A staple of mid-century cuisine, cottage cheese shines as the main ingredient in this blended concoction.  Imagine a chunky white pile in a serving dish, studded with bits of black olive and flecks of red pimiento. Yes, imagine….  If that’s not enough to elicit a gag reflex, you can wash it down with…

Blended lunches go perfectly in the barn shaped lunch box.

PRUNE-CIDER TEASER

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cider

2 cups finely cracked ice

3/4 cup soaked, pitted prunes

dash of cinnamon

Directions

Put all ingredients in the glass container.  cover and run at speed 2 until prunes are liquefied.  Serve at once.

My  recipe notes

Ah, there’s nothing more refreshing than a tall glass of liquefied prunes to wash down your lunch!  But you’re going to need this digestif after a couple of trips to the potluck table for seconds of  Potatoes in Beef Jackets or Ham Loaf.  Don’t be such a “teaser”: this mocktail could use a shot of rum or gin

DEEP SEA LOAF

Ingredients

1 tablespoon gelatin

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 1/4 cups hot water

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup vinegar from sweet pickles

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 medium-sized avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced

3/4 cup diced celery

1 cup flaked tuna fish

1/4 cup sliced sweet pickles

Directions

Soften the gelatin in the lemon juice.  Put the water in the glass container.  Add the softened gelatin, sugar, salt and vinegar.  Cover and mix at speed 1 until gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved.  Add the celery, picklesand avocado.  Cover and run at speed 5 untilcoarsly chopped.  Stir in the tuna fish. Pour into an oiled 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan.  Chill until firm.  Unmold onto salad greens and serve with mayonnaise. Yield: 6 servings

My recipe notes

This is a lunch version of the classic savory aspic.  Again, like most of the recipes here, a photograph of this food sculpture is noticeably absent from the cookbook.  Apparently the Oster home economists decided to focus on flavor rather than presentation, or their food stylists just couldn’t quite figure out how to make pulverized food look appealing.  So you’ll have to use your imagination: Nothing like fish, avocado and pickles suspended in gelatin like a tasty terrazzo of temptation.  Imagine the colors!

The elegance and simplicity of the Osterizer blender.

MOCK DUCK

Ingredients

1 pound ground veal

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 inch slice medium onion

2 sprigs parsley

2 slices white bread

1 teaspoon sage

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

dash Tabasco sauce

1 egg

1/2 cup hot water

2 chicken bouillon cubes

Directions

Put egg, onion, parsley, seasonings and broken bread slices in OSTERIZER container.  Cover and blend at speed 2.  Put all the ground meet in mixing bowl.  Add the blended mixture.  Mix well.  Form into an oval-shaped loaf and place in a shallow baking pan.  Bake in 375-degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.  Baste occasionally with water and bouillon.  Yield: 8 servings.

My recipe notes

Like Jesus turning water to wine, the Osterizer has transformed beef into duck!  It must be those exotic ingredients: sage and Tabasco.  And clearly this is much more convenient than roasting a REAL duck.  Besides, this trifecta of beef, pork and veal is much more likely to satisfy the men than some measly poultry.  Imagine this loaf of ground meat glistening on the potluck table, with your guests fighting over who gets the biggest slice.

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