How could I resist a blender in a chef's hat that can make an old lady dance and a little girl...snap her fingers? Pretend to shoot a gun into the sky in celebration? I'm not sure about that gesture, but it's definitely supposed to be as happy as the little dog kicking up his heels in delight.
Of course, when I bought it, I didn't consider the very real possibility that it would make me think of my very first employment. If I'd realized that, I might have been a little more reluctant to grab this book. (Okay, probably not. I didn't love the job, but I DO love weird old recipes enough to overcome any reluctance to think about the job. Just humor me and pretend that you believe that something could discourage me from picking up an old cookbook.)
So what was that first, not-so-fondly-remembered job? Here's a hint:
I was a nursing home cook.
And yes, that often meant blending the holy hell out of pretty much anything you can imagine a crappy cafeteria serving. Salisbury steak. Chicken patties. Grayish "green" beans. All manner of canned fruit.
We even had to put Jell-O in the blender to liquefy it, then dump it into a bowl and add a special powder to thicken it up so the consistency was more like pudding.
My favorite dessert to serve (aside from pudding, of course, which was ready to go!) was cake because we only had to put it in a little bowl and dump some milk over it before we sent it out to people on a pureed diet.
So what delights for convalescents did Waring recommend whipping up with the new "blendor"? For the most part, they sound way worse than anything I made with our bland, overcooked cafeteria-style food.
For those who needed plenty of vitamins, here was the special recipe:
Grapefruit juice (ugh!) with Brewer's yeast powder (Not sure about the flavor here-- My grandma said she liked eating it, but she was in the minority-- at least in her family-- on that count), haliver oil (Not sure what that is? It's a mix of cod liver oil and halibut oil! Sure to be a delight on its own or mixed with grapefruit and yeast!), and viosterol (apparently an old name for a preparation of vitamin D). Yeah, it looks as if these are the types of recipes that will encourage malingerers to get well SOON.
What else might they be forced to endure? Liver was popular:
Oddly enough considering the patient might have compromised immunity, raw meat was popular:
And for those who really liked being trendy:
Raw liver! Sure to be welcome mixed with pineapple juice.
What if the patient refused liver, though? What then?
Yes, chocolate-liver malted milk! Even the writers must have realized how scary that sounded because they felt compelled to add an explanation:
Sure the chocolate flavor covers the taste! Who could possibly detect, much less object to, a half cup of milk that contains equal parts raw liver and chocolate syrup?
My guess is that it's a lot more people than Waring wanted to recognize. But at least it makes me feel better about my stint of blenderizing fish sticks and canned peas. I could have been throwing together some raw liver and chocolate syrup!