July 2012 Archives

A Blendable Feast


340recipes.jpgI live in an old house with no air conditioning in the kitchen, which means that for the months of July and August, I implement a strict moratorium on oven use. I get a lot of use out my appliances during this time, especially the toaster oven and the food processor, but the real star this summer has been the blender. Most of my repertoire consists of smoothies-as-meals, but last week I found a whole stash of blender cookbooks in the Kirschner Collection, and found that so much more is possible (heck, you can even make baby food out of blended calves' brains if you have some around.) So, I put together this menu of blender recipes to serve as inspiration for the rest of the hot months. Enjoy!

Herbal French Salad Dressing
From 340 Recipes for the new Waring Blendor (1947)

3/4 Cup Mineral or Salad Oil
1/4 Cup Wine Vinegar
1/2 Cup Tender Celery Leaves
1/2 Cup Water Cress Leaves
Few Sprays Parsley
1 t. Herb Flavored Salt
1/8 Clove Garlic

Place all ingredients in container in order indicated.
Put cover on Container.
Turn on WARING.
Run until contents are thoroughly blended, 15 seconds to 1 minute.

waringcookbook.jpgCurried Fresh Pea Soup
From Waring Cook Book for the 8 Push Button Blender (1968)


1 cup shelled fresh peas
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small carrot, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 stalk celery with leaves, sliced
1 medium potato, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cream or milk

In a saucepan combine peas, onion, carrot, garlic, celery, potato, salt, curry powder and 1 cup chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Into container put contents of saucepan. Cover. Blend 30 seconds on Button 8 (LIQUEFY). After 10 seconds, remove cover and add remaining cup chicken broth and cream or milk. Heat over simmering water, or chill and serve cold with a topping of whipped cream.

modernmeal.jpgSalami Spread
From Osterizer: the New Modern Meal Maker (1953)

1 cup diced salami
1/4 cup condensed celery soup
1 package cream cheese

Remove skin from salami. Place all ingredients in glass container and Osterize to a smooth paste. Stop and start motor as necessary to scrape mixture from sides of container with a rubber scraper.

chickenring.jpgChicken Ring
From Your New Electric Blender (196-?)

1 envelope plain gelatin
2 tablespoons sherry
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup hot chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Few drops Tabasco
6 sprays parsley
1 slice medium onion
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup each finely chopped celery and green pepper
1 cup cooked peas

Into container put gelatin, sherry, lemon juice and chicken stock or broth. Cover. PRESS High Button 11. Blend 30 seconds. Add mayonnaise, egg yolks, seasonings, parsley, onion, and chicken. Cover. PRESS High Button 14. Blend 30 seconds, stopping to stir down if necessary. Empty into mixing bowl and fold in celery, green pepper, and peas. Pour into 4-cup ring mold and chill until set. Unmold and serve garnished with salad greens.

yourwaring.jpgFrozen Fruit Sherbet
From Your Waring Cookbook: the Pleasure of Blending (1969)

1 small can (6 ounces) frozen fruit juice concentrate (orange, lemon, etc.)
4 tablespoons sugar
3 heaping cups crushed ice

1. Put all ingredients into container. Cover.
2. Press button 8. As mixture freezes around blades, remove cover and gently push mixture away from sides of container and into center with a rubber spatula. Be careful not to push down into ice. Blend for 60 seconds or until mixture looks like snow.
3. Spoon into dessert dishes and serve.

blenderway.jpgCoffee Cooler
From The Blender Way to Better Cooking (1965)

1 cup milk
2 cups cold water
4 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup nonfat dry milk solids
1 tablespoon instant cocoa
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 banana, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

Put all ingredients in blender container in order listed; cover and run on speed 7 (or high) until smooth. To serve, pour over ice cubes in tall glasses.

Guest Post: Revisiting the Kirschner Collection


This week's post comes from Liz Gunderson of Food for Fun. Liz, a University of Minnesota alum helped to move the Kirschner Collection from Doris Kirschner's home to campus. She came back to visit the collection at Magrath Library last week and wrote a post about it.


In 1995, my friend Ann and I loaded up carful after carful (and if memory serves me correctly, there was a truck involved, too) to transport Doris Kirschner's 3000 cookbooks to the Food Science Library at the University's St. Paul Campus. I took my time going through the books, stamping each with an inky black "Doris S. Kirschner's Kitchen" stamp, reveling in the history that these books contained.

Kirschner may have lived in a different era and she certainly had a different lifestyle (lupus kept her bedridden much of her adult life), but she wore the hats many women wear: mom, wife, person of faith, student, hostess, friend, woman. Her cookbooks reflected the times in which she lived. But these books also reflect what it means to wear all of these hats. And that part doesn't change.

When I look at my collection (at 300 cookbooks, it's much smaller than Kirschner's), I see similar themes:

Children - Kirschner had two copies of the 1965 version of Betty Crocker's New Girls and Boys Cook Book. Both have been carefully wrapped in cardboard binding by library staff as the books have come completely apart. I have the same book in my collection, along with a handful of other kid-friendly cookbooks.

Feeding a husband - Admittedly, my copies of Scentuous Cookery; or How to Make it in the Kitchen (1971) and How to Keep Him (After You've Caught Him) Cookbook (1968) aren't given too much read time. The titles crack me up, though, so I keep them around.

International - Kirschner was interested in foods of other places and cultures long before it was popular to be so. Leeann and Katie Chin's Everyday Chinese Cooking may sit on my shelves, but it was Kirschner who first befriended Leeann Chin, long before this entrepreneur launched her Chinese food and restaurant empire.

Single topic - Nuts anyone? I have a copy of a Jif Choosy Mothers' Peanut Butter Cookbook from 1979. Cheese. Always a hot topic--just this past June, I picked up a recipe booklet from the first-ever Minnesota Cheese Festival. Cocktail books and branded recipe pamphlets. My copies of The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book, The PDT Cocktail Book, and Hollywood Cocktails may be more recent than what Kirschner had, but they're still about booze.

Kitchen equipment - Kirschner's era meant she had books on how to cook using the blender and microwave. While I do have 1952's Magic Recipes for the Electric Blender, the books I actually cook from include those written for grills, slow cookers, and pressure cookers.

Diet - What struck me about this section of Kirschner's collection is how little things change. Low-Carb diets were being touted then, just as they are today. (Hilarious find:1966's Martinis & Whipped Cream: The New Carbo-Cal Way to Lose Weight & Stay Slim). But alongside the low-carb/high-protein diet books sits The Rice Diet Report (1987). Also on her shelves: The Doctor's Wife's Thinking Thin Cookbook (1967), The Slenderella Cook Book (1957), The Bronx Diet (1979), The Last Chance Diet, When Everything Else Has Failed (1976). My "diet" books may be more along the lines of healthy eating (Weight Watchers, vegetarian, whole-grain, dairy-free), but they represent an interest in eating well.

Here's my read on the Kirschner's Cookbook Collection: Cookbooks for children mean motherhood was important to Kirschner. The cookbooks to "please her man" meant she wanted a strong marriage. International cookbooks provided armchair travel to other cultures. (And what mom and wife doesn't want to escape reality, at least from time to time?) Single topic? I'd say Kirschner was an inquisitive woman who was hungry for knowledge. The equipment books mean she wanted to stay on trend, maybe save some time in the kitchen. And the diet books emphasized her desire to be attractive, healthy, thin.

It's easy enough to laugh at the era from when Kirschner's books were collected (How to Keep Him (After You've Caught Him)? What were they thinking?), but in these books I recognize her desires as the same as all women's. What was true in Kirschner's time was also true in the 1990s when the books were catalogued into a University-owned collection. They're still true in 2012 and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Women have many roles to fill and the fact that Kirschner captured that so well in her collection of cookbooks should be honored.

If it's at all possible for you to visit these cookbooks, please take the time to do so. You'll learn a lot about Kirschner and her era, but you'll also find timeless and universal truths for all women.

Going Nuts in the Kirschner Collection


I'm all out of writing energy this week, so instead of a regular post, I've compiled this photo journey through all of the nut cookbooks from the Kirschner Collection. My favorite title is definitely Around the Kitchen Clock With Walnuts.

Have a great weekend.

A Foodie Road Trip


This past spring I went on a road trip across the West. When we began to plan our meals and stops I looked no further than the Kirschner Collection. There you will find the staple Roadfood and goodfood : Jane and Michael Stern's coast-to-coast restaurant guides by Jane and Michael Stern, along with Cafe hopping in the Southwest by Sunny Conley. We also used the Flavortown USA app, designed by a local friend that adds all the locations from the show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Here are a few of our favs:

  • Catseye Cafe, Bozeman,MT First, let me say I am not a cat person. Don't let the cat kitsch decor here scare you off, or the long waits, or you might miss the best banana bread french toast in your life! Amazing!

  • Catseye cafe

  • Hash House, Las Vegas, NV The name says it all, as they specialze in great hash with the yummy crusty bits I love. Don't forget to order toast, as it was so much fun to select from the kaleidoscope of jams and jellies.
  • Rock Spring Cafe, Rock Springs, AZ It is worth every second to drive an hour outside of Phoenix for the best pie in the USA. The mixed berry crumb rocked my world. So much I almost drove back a few days later to get some more. Thank goodness they ship, so I can get their pies all year round.
    rocksprings cafe

    My husband and I put on over 4,000 miles from Minnesota to Montana, through Utah and Nevada to Phoenix, Arizona, then back home, but well worth it for these and numerous other foodie stops, and beautiful scenery.