A 5-Star Blender Review That Affirms Love is Real
Electric Lit relies on contributions from our readers to help make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive. Please support our work by becoming a member today, or making a one-time donation here.
Osterizer Classic Series 10 Cycle Blender
I highly recommend this blender and came here to say so. Since people buy for their homes on Amazon now, I thought I should leave my review where the most shoppers will see it. I have the original version—Oster have rereleased it this year in their “Classics Collection,” but I’m sure the new one is just as good.
My husband and I received this blender for a wedding present in 1975, in a color called Harvest Gold, though it’s really more chartreuse than gold. My mother-in-law ordered it from the Sears catalog with a 10-year warranty—she told me, I think, to make sure I knew just how much she’d spent on it, how much she could afford to spend on it. But I can assure you we never needed that warranty (and the joke’s on her in the end, since the Osterizer has far outlived her).
A lot of things in our kitchen at that time—all around our home for that matter—were second-hand, so the blender was quite a novelty. But with my husband and I both working full-time I can’t pretend it got a lot of use. Mostly we used it to crush ice for drinks, to be sipped while dinner was in the oven. Everyone was drinking Harvey Wallbangers at that time, OJ and vodka with Galliano floating on top. Crushed ice made them seem fancier, and in the early days of a marriage it can be important to pretend things are a little better than they really are, even to each other.
I wasn’t much of a cook, but when our old college friends came over I’d try to make something really special so it didn’t feel like we were just playing at being adults. I learned to make fondue—blending cottage cheese, cheddar, and heavy cream—from the Standard Osterizer Recipes cookbook.
It was the ’70s—we could’ve been doing a lot worse than chipping ice for our mixed drinks. But we were still young in our own quiet way: we read poetry aloud in the den, Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery, and sang Beatles covers around an acoustic guitar. Surrounded by friends, everyone swaying into the couch cushions—I always felt so pleased with us in those moments. Later when the house was quiet, arms full of cups and ashtrays, I’d tell my husband what a nice night it had been, and he’d say that every night with me was a nice night.
It seems like I was always chipping ice for one thing or another. Snow cones were a lifesaver. Our twins always wanted a big birthday party, all their friends and a scavenger hunt around the house and our little yard. Since I’d stopped working by then, I could make my own fruit juice syrup instead of buying so much ice cream, and crush the ice fine as dust in the Osterizer. Almost a decade of birthday photos show the girls stained nose to chin with wine-colored juice—faces turned up to the camera lens, both arms twisted around each other’s shoulders.
As they got older, I found more time to cook. I applied myself to the Osterizer and its recipe book, and it rewarded me with quick breads, soups, salsa, even pancakes for slow Saturday mornings. Our kitchen was modest, and each year the new Sears catalog tempted me with shiny steel Oster appliances we couldn’t afford. But eventually I did save up for just one: a toaster that fit eight slices at once—perfect for the four of us. I’ve heard people say that you should always eat dinner “as a family,” but in my house breakfast was our time. At the table, before the frantic dash for books and bagged lunches, I soaked up their company. It was something to inhale, like a breath kept swelled inside until they returned from work and school and sports.
The year we both turned 60 my husband and I decided to start eating healthy and walking more, so only frozen fruit and leafy greens went into the blender. But his health seemed to get worse, not better. It was hard to find something to cook that didn’t bother his digestion. Then, the same week my daughters brought the grandkids for a visit, a doctor diagnosed him with stomach cancer. It was triggered by a very common bacterial stomach infection, a very treatable thing had we known it was there.
The details are not important for the purposes of this review, but I will say that the Osterizer is very good for pureeing foods. Anyone who has ever taken care of a loved one at home knows that there’s a time when swallowing becomes difficult, and from then on neither liquids or solid foods are advisable. And there’s a time too when blending food to mush is the only thing you can do for someone, and so you do it with fierce concentration as if it were the most challenging recipe you’d ever prepared. There’s even a time, though it seems impossible, when you will miss this unappetizing task, and all the other tasks, and long to do them again.
I hope this review will urge some newlyweds to buy this blender, or put it on their wedding registry. I have been to a fair number of weddings in my life, and I always gift the couple an Osterizer if I can find one. I suppose it’s my way of setting them up for all of it, the best way I know how. My daughter, I remember, playfully rolled her eyes at us when she unwrapped hers, but the next week invited us over for margaritas straight from the blender. We brought over old records to play on the new turntable, another gift. It was a perfect night, and I told my husband so as we brushed our teeth before bed. Every night is a perfect night with you, he told me.