Some restaurants, such as Amigos in Port Washington, N.Y., report that more than 90% of their bar sales are blender drinks. At Bridge Kitchenware in Manhattan, customers tell Fred Bridge they want blenders to make margaritas at home.
Because the blender has been pretty much ignored by the food establishment, you have to go to pre-1973 cookbooks to find blender recipes. The best sources are Junior League and women's auxiliary cookbooks, with page after page of shrimp pastes, clam dips and horseradish-cream mousses.
It's been the inspiration for a lot of folk recipes, the kind that get passed from one amateur cook to another.
For some reason, many of them are for low-calorie dishes, such as the mock sour cream made by pureeing a cup of cottage cheese with a teaspoon of milk and a teaspoon of lemon juice. One of the best-known blender drinks is the Weight Watchers milk shake, a (temporarily) filling slush made by blending one-third cup powdered skim milk with one cup of diet soda and three ice cubes.
Health-food enthusiasts make their own peanut butter by blending roasted peanuts with a little oil. Parents make additive-free baby food from home-cooked fruits and vegetables blended with water or milk.
Seranne makes "creamed" soups from leftover vegetables by blending them with chicken broth, then adding cooked rice or potatoes for thickening.
Her favorite this year is made of sweet red peppers, a little potato and a can of chicken broth: "No calories, and just delicious. But then I did put sour cream on the top."
And every so often a cookbook publishes a real blender recipe, probably because there's nothing else the author can find to do the job as well.