Saturday, May 17, 2008


At Target the blender selection ranges from a basic all-plastic
model for $19.99 to those in the one-hundred dollar range.
Most sport about a dozen different speeds, with words like
blend, stir, chop, mix, whip, mince, frappe and puree.
As a child I was fascinated by the numerous
descriptions of what this appliance could accomplish.
Frappe! (Rhymed with what -- trap?!) We didn't have frappes 
in Renton! (What was a frappe, anyway? Something frozen. 
Something that happens when you push the frappe button 
on the Osterizer.) I remember when I realized that each button 
essentially just made the blades whir, albeit at different speeds.
Oh! The disappointment! The innocence lost when I realized
that something as plebeian as chop was synonymous with frappe!
When you get right down to it, all you really need is 
go and stop. Maybe a go fast and a go faster. 
But a childhood without frappe seems barely worth enduring.
If I had the privilege of naming the blender buttons,
I would choose these:
flutter, julienne, lacerate, fluff, mingle, chew, rend, sever and dismember. 
At Target, today, I chose a "classic" style blender: chrome base,
glass jar, with two speeds: go fast and go faster.
But in spite of the lack of a better blender vocabulary,
tomorrow I'm going to throw in some fresh strawberries,
yogurt, vanilla and ice and whip myself up a nice pink frappé.

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