by Robrt L. Pela
I’m glad this one still has its (tattered) dust jacket, otherwise I’d have no idea why Ruth Ellen Church is the author of Mary Meade’s Magic Recipes for the Electric Blender. Turns out, according to this book’s flap copy, that Church is Meade, although there’s no explanation as to why Church used a pseudonym as author of a syndicated food column in the 1950s.
Probably Church didn’t want to put her real name on recipes like Codfish Delight or Party Avocado Mold, which sounds more like a hostessing problem than a festive side dish. The gimmick here was that housewives could use their then-newly popular electric blenders to make every course of each meal they prepared. The best section is the desserts chapter, which is oddly placed at the front of the book and wherein Meade—I mean Church—goes batshit with soft, creamy confections, among them Nesselrode Pudding and something called Fluffy Prune Pie, one of the few recipes that includes a caveat (“…cut the pieces small!”) that’s possibly code for “This dessert causes diarrhea!”
FLUFFY PRUNE PIE Rich stuff, so cut the pieces small!
Place in blender: ¼ cup orange juice 1 small piece lemon rind 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Blend until rind is grated. Without stopping blender, add gradually
1 pound of pitted prunes, cooked until very soft
Blend smooth. Add
1 cup walnuts or pecans
Blend a few seconds to chop. Pour into mixing bowl and mix in
¾ cup sugar ¼ teaspoon salt
Beat until stiff, then fold in
2 egg whites
Pour into baked 9-inch pie shell and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. When cool, top with whipped cream to which you have added 2 drops almond extract. Pie is rich and sweet, so I prefer not to sweeten whipped cream for it.