Elegant Living

Still Life by M-J de Mesterton

Photograph Copyright M-J de Mesterton ©2016
Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2016
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Elegant Dressing, Scandinavian, Scandinavian Bread, Finnish Bread, Finnish Dessert Bread, Scandinavian Coffee, Scandinavian Recipe, Scandinavian Recipes, Scandinavian Toast

Scandinavian Cinnamon Rusks

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Day-old bread is sliced and moistened in milk and/or cream, then sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon before being slowly baked in a low-temperature oven. This is the simple formula; every Scandinavian who makes this traditional toast or “cinnamon rusks” has his or her own technique. Cinnamon toast is a popular accompaniment to coffee. Scandinavian coffee is typically brewed “strong” using light-to-medium roasted beans. My Swedish grandparents had this traditional combination of cinnamon toast (kanelskorpor) and coffee every morning, though they did not make it themselves as I do. I sometimes use home-made brioche loaf for this purpose, as it produces a very light cinnamon toast or kanelskorpor. Cinnamon is a health-promoting substance in many ways. Here is an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola on the health-benefits of CINNAMON.

©M-J de Mesterton

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Clothes Unmade the Man

If one cannot see immediately what is wrong with this lamentable suit, then the clothing industry has accomplished its apparent mission of brainwashing an unwitting, mysteriously willing public into believing that the swill they’re pumping out is anything but poison. I really miss Roger Moore and Sean Connery as James Bond. No misanthropic designer was making their legs look short while their torsos look too long, and giving their feet the appearance of wearing over-sized clown shoes. O tempora, o mores….

spectre_suit_disaster_daniel_craigJames_Bond_in_Terrible_Jacket_Spectre

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Today’s tailors have totally lost the plot. When the actor playing James Bond is not “suited” properly, what hope is there for the rest of us?~~M-J

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Ugliest Suit in the Movies, Designed by Tom Ford and Worn by Daniel Craig as “James Bond”

And now a breath of fresh air, because after years of the same old hip-huggers or “low-pants”, billowing shirt-waists that cannot be tucked-into them, neckties that end at the nether-region, skin-tight, truncated trousers that end above the shoes, lateral wrinkles from cloth being pulled to the sides, a man’s suit of clothing that doesn’t make a monkey out of him seems downright innovative:Roger_Moore_Light_Grey_Suit

Notice the Unintentional Halo in the Ceiling. Roger Moore was the best-dressed Bond, and sartorially stellar as The Saint: Roger_Moore_The_Saint_Navy_Blue_Blazer

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Outsized Fruits & Vegetables; Chicken on Steroids?

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2016: I hadn’t gone shopping in a while, so when I came upon these grapes and jalapeño peppers at Albertson’s a month ago, they seemed normal at first. At home, they looked larger than life all of a sudden, like the Grapes that Took Over the World, and Jalapeños as Big as Texas. They may be genetically-modified (in fact, I’d put money on it). Yeah, them grapes were slightly smaller than golf-balls, and twenty years ago women would have been runnin’ scared at the sight of ’em. Those peppers ain’t just big, they are hotter than Hades. Talk about getting more bang for your buck–for all I know, the whole lot is deadly poison. Sure as shootin’, I am not going back to that store for more. The chicken breasts we bought there were just enormous, probably from a fowl critter named Dolly (in honor of the lamb created in a lab, not the huge-breasted singer, Ms Parton).

After poaching and frying those pieces of chicken, having spent more than an hour in the process, we were stunned at the foam-rubber texture of the alien meat. The animals had to have been pumped full of SOMETHING unnatural to make their breasts as large as those of turkeys and render their flesh absolutely inedible. It was impossible to know how the chicken would be when cooked, therefore lots of time and effort were wasted. Needless to say, the inedible meat was returned to its purveyor. Don’t let grocery stores ruin your meals–make sure the chicken you purchase is of normal size. Good thing we did not unwittingly serve this faux fowl to guests. That would have been ruinous!~~M-J

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And now, the eternal question: which came first, the funky chicken enhanced by hormones, or the FREAK EGG?

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Elegant Patio Furniture

Elegant, Wind-Proof Patio Furniture

Garden furniture that stays put in the wind is made from lightweight metal with a wide-open mesh. So, instead of the wind blowing over your chairs, it passes right through them. ©M-J de Mesterton 2016
Garden furniture that stays put in the wind is made from iron or metal with a wide-open mesh. Outdoor furniture that has a solid surface, even if it is lightweight and diaphanous, can turn your chairs and tables into dangerous kites during windstorms of 30 mph or higher. So, instead of the wind blowing your chairs about the patio, it passes right through them. Keep your cushions from flying and fading by simply stacking them indoors when not in use on the terrace.
©M-J de Mesterton 2016

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Elegant Outdoor Furniture

Plastic furniture is sometimes all right indoors, especially if it is in the high-styled modern idiom, and was created by or emulates that of 1950s and 1960s designers such as Eero Saarinen. But outdoors, one ideally will have garden or patio furniture made from wrought iron or of teak-wood, which will not deteriorate from exposure to the elements. Wooden and iron furniture exists in perfect harmony with landscaping and nature, especially when made in greens, browns, and other earth-tones.
Here is my Princeton, New Jersey garden courtyard, where I had outdoor dining furniture by the now-defunct, elegant wrought-iron furniture company Lyon-Shaw, and a smaller chat-table in iron, wicker and tile, by Alfresco Home.
My Elegant Patio Furniture Blends with the Garden
 A smaller side-table, also in wrought iron,  enhances the main outdoor dining set.
Affordable Health Care, elegant living on a shoestring

They Bought a Pig in a Poke

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Sculpture by J. Seward Johnson at His Sculpture Park in Mercer County, New Jersey (Photo by M-J)

As many of us warned in 2009, the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare” turned out to be a fright-pig.

Not one Republican voted for the thing.*

But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”–Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Mar 08, 2010.

For those who don’t know, here is what happened, quietly, on January 1, 2016, during the last year of Obama’s reign:

Medicare Tax went from 1.45% to 2.35%

Top Income Tax Bracket went from 35% to 39.6%

Capital Gains Tax went from 15% to 28%

Dividend Tax went from 15% to 39.6%

Estate Tax went from 0% to 55%

A 3.5% Real Estate Transaction Tax was added

These taxes were all passed in the United States’ so-called “Affordable Care Act”, which is exactly the opposite of what it was advertised to be. 

If you think it’s important for everyone in the U.S. to know what your Democrat-led government has done to degrade the lives of working Americans, then share this message.

  • The Republicans have since comported themselves in a manner that is less than exemplary. Not only had Republican-appointed Supreme Court judge the Hon. John Roberts found a shady way to declare the law “constitutional”, but after a Republican majority was finally elected to congress by the people who wanted them to overturn this punitive program, they failed to extract its rotten teeth or rescind it. Members of both parties in Congress are suspected of having taken “kickbacks” to keep the Affordable Care Act in place, or inducements from lobbyists. ~M-J
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The Folly of Following Fashion

Quod Erat Demonstrandum

Since 2006, I have been writing about the sort of misguided clothing-choice pictured in this photograph. Garments that only rise to that area just above the groin cause both the grotesque “Muffin-Top” and the risible anomaly known as “Plumber’s Crack”, yet every year, THEY’RE BA-ACK! Resist falling into fashion-victimhood, and stop risking your pants falling down. Wear your pants, trousers and skirts up at the waist, and you will not look this idiotic. SIMPLE, isn’t it?

©M-J de Mesterton 2012

 

Where Is the Waist? Editorial by M-J de Mesterton

Posted on September 14, 2010 at 1:29 PM     

Where is the waist? That’s what I wonder every time I look at photos of the newest “fashions.” What is new about the same old tragic clothing-concepts bobbing up again, masquerading as innovative? For the past ten years, pants and skirts have consistently been manufactured without even coming close to the waist, yet they are touted as the “latest.” To paraphrase General Honoré of Louisiana, someone’s “stuck on stupid.” I thought last spring that the tide of bad clothes was turning, but, having perused some catalogues this month, it is apparent that clothing designers are still denying their customers ample fabric to cover their “plumber’s cracks.” Snide cracks about “mom jeans” and thoroughly ignorant comments calling anything that indeed does come just up to the natural waist “high-waisted” are still being heard and read by those of us who actually remember where the waist is located on the human corpus: the place for belts, sashes, snaps and buttons is an inch or two above the navel, depending upon one’s height. The designer of the human body gave us the waist as an elegant way of keeping our pants, skirts and trousers from falling down; also to enhance our corporeal proportions. The true waist never comes below the navel, and it certainly cannot be found two inches above one’s crotch. Garments are falling down from where they rest on the hips, and the fashion world has insisted on staying down in the gutter after what seems to be a devastating, permanent fall from elegant, figure-enhancing style. Fashion-victims are afraid now to go against the hideous dictum that you must wear your clothes no higher than the hip. This is a big mistake, because if one follows the lines of his or her body, they will see that clothes descending from the waist lengthen the legs, while clothes that only come up to the hips turn even the slimmest among us into pot-bellied, short and sloppy-looking people who would have been laughed at throughout the previous decades and centuries. Wearing six-inch heels to compensate for the bad deeds done to your figure by stingy clothing manufacturers and designers does nothing but make one look even sillier. Extra-high heels will damage both your feet and back, and will not give back the height robbed from you by idiotic torso-stretching trousers and skirts. For men, extra-long trousers do not visually lengthen your legs; rather, they make you look dumpy. The fail-safe, time-tested method of developing real glamour and style is to dress in natural, luxurious cloths and fabrics from the waist-down; wear two-to-three inch heels if you are a woman, and keep your trousers from heaping into a puddle on top of your shoes if you are a man. And don’t forget the stockings and socks. No one will notice that you are not blindly and self-destructively following bad fashion. But, they will wonder why on earth you look so good, while their trousers are slipping into the mire together with all sense of style.

 ©M-J de Mesterton 2010

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Nostalgia: Remember Elegantly-Dressed Men?

In this stylish drawing of a man, you don’t see a skinny jacket that is bursting open to expose sad trousers that hang at the hip instead of at the waist, a bulging shirt and too-long tie. What we see here is a man who wears his trousers at the right length, ones that don’t pile-up like discarded potato sacks on top of his shoes, and which come up to the actual human waist, thereby visually lengthening his legs. And we see the gentleman’s traditional accessories: hat, gloves and walking-stick, all of which serve a purpose, including protection from the elements, enthusiastic pigeons, dirt, germs, roving animals, and whoever may dare to attack him or anyone else in his immediate vicinity; the gentleman is always well-prepared for a stroll down today’s mean streets. Alas, this picture is clipped from an advert by Burberrys that appears in one of my 1930s Sphere magazines. Today’s men, in general, look like short, dumpy cads in clothes that are designed to distort human proportions. (Add the slovenly yet popular three-day growth beard to complete a tragic modern image.) Never in history has so much sartorial splendour been readily accessible, and yet men have seldom looked worse. It doesn’t cost any more to dress correctly than it does to do it badly, especially since some of the ghastliest clothes are going for the highest prices. There are very few contemporary examples of elegant dressing in trendy venues and magazines. Help yourself by not following fashion, but instead by looking toward the best elements of the past for useful examples of tasteful masculine dress.

©M-J de Mesterton 2010

UPDATE: IT’S NOW 2017, and menswear has become steadily worse in the past seven years. Here’s a video that makes me nostalgic for the kooky clothing of 1966, when I was eleven–people then looked better than they do today–but, it also demonstrates that following fashion blindly is utter folly:

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Eating Nuts Helps Cognitive Function and Enhances Cardiovascular Health

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Ingesting Nuts Enhances Cognitive Function, According to an Australian Study

From the Publication, STUDY FINDS:

Read about Australian Study on Nuts’ Benefits for Brain Health in Our Later Years

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Walnuts Help to Prevent Prostate Cancer, Lower Your Levels of Bad Cholesterol, and Promote a Healthy Heart

The Benefits of Eating Walnuts

  • One-quarter cup of walnuts provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of plant-based omega-3 fats, along with high amounts of copper, manganese, molybdenum, and biotin.
  • Walnuts help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer as well.
  • Walnuts contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers several vascular benefits to people with heart disease, and those who have increased risk for heart disease due to multiple cardiac risk factors
  • Walnuts contain several unique and powerful antioxidants that are available in only a few commonly eaten foods.
  • Walnuts, eaten responsibly in quarter-cup daily doses, help with weight control, offer support for brain health and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Walnuts are Nutrient-Rich
    The Nutritional Benefits of Walnuts
Elegant Living

How to Save Over-Ripe Cherry Tomatoes

Mini-Tomatoes Cooked in Olive Oil
Don’t waste over-ripe tomatoes. If you’re not cooking a stew or soup in which they would be useful, you can pan-roast them for concentrated flavour, adding olive oil and salt to preserve them in a refrigerated jar. These specially-prepared tomatoes are a fantastic condiment for vegetables, beef, in salads, and cottage cheese. ©M-J de Mesterton
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Above: grape-sized tomatoes are roasted in an oiled cast-iron pan, first on the stove and then for a few minutes in the oven under a broiling-flame. This process allows tomatoes to become concentrated in flavour, while making them easier to eat when incorporated into an egg dish. ~ Copyright 2018 ©M-J de Mesterton

A Rolled Omelette, Japanese Style, is Called
Tamogayaki.

My rolled omelet has a layer of farmer cheese, a layer of pan-roasted cherry tomatoes, and a third one of Ari’s Pepper Paste, from the Armenian market. It’s a breakfast dish with lots of Vitamin C and protein. ©M-J de Mesterton 2019

I placed a couple teaspoons of Ari’s Pepper Paste in a small zip-bag and snipped off one corner of it in order to apply the flavourful condiment to a layer of my rolled omelette.
Elegant Living

The Important Medicinal Benefits of Camphor Oil, a Traditional Survival Essential

Excerpt from the Article on Camphor Essential Oil, by Meenakshi Nagdeve in the Publication, OrganicFacts.net
“The health benefits of camphor essential oil include its properties as a stimulant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, decongestant, anesthetic, sedative, and nervous pacifier. It also acts as an anti-neuralgic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, and an insecticide.”

Ingest or apply (to skin) essential oils such as camphor, peppermint and tea-tree in tiny quantities. Use a pipette or eye-dropper to dispense it, and dilute with coconut oil to a tolerable strength. For more information, visit the following page:
https://www.organicfacts.net/ingesting-essential-oil.html

Medplants.blogspot.com

http://medplants.blogspot.com/2014/09/cinnamomum-camphora-camphor-tree-kapur.html

Cleaning the House, Elegant Living

Cleaning the Sink and Food-Waste Disposer

Mould-Prevention in the Waste-Disposer Opening
Bon Ami, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, a bottle brush, Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover Spray, Comet Cleanser, Lysol, et cetera will be helpful for scrubbing the inside of your sink and its food-waste disposer (garbage disposal of “In-Sink-Erator” brand) interior. I have cut and removed the rubber flaps that covered the hole because they were prone to growing blackish mould on their undersides. I cover the aperture with a stainless-steel drain-basket instead when grinding food-waste.  After scrubbing the hole with a bottle brush, that brush gets thoroughly cleaned and run through  the dishwasher. ©M-J de Mesterton

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M-J’s Elegant “Egg Salad” with Chopped Vegetables and Leafy Greens

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Spinach, kale, rocket (arugula or watercress), purple onion, celery and chard were finely diced and dressed with classic vinaigrette. Two boiled eggs at a deep yellow stage of cooking (not quite hard-boiled) were cut into sections and distributed on top of the chopped vegetables, which had already been tossed with vinaigrette. For visually-appealing boiled eggs, I use the method favoured by chef Jacques Pepin: with a push-pin, poke a hole in the wider end of a raw egg in its shell before lowering it into a pot of water. I simmer the egg for eight minutes, then bathe it in ice-water. The pinhole in the egg will prevent the buildup of sulfur inside the egg and thus keep the yolk from turning green, and resting the boiled egg in cold water makes it much easier to peel. This chopped power-greens salad with two eggs is very nutritious; it can of course be made without the red onion, and naturally welcomes additional ingredients such as bacon or shredded cheese.
©M-J de Mesterton 2019
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From News Target: the Latest Survival Articles

03/18/2019 / By Mike Adams