Don’t Waste Lemon Peels: Make Marmalade



Lemons are dear. I never waste any part of them. Squeezed-out lemons are cut finely, with just the seeds removed, then boiled for an hour with non-GMO sugar, water, and fruit pectin. Refrigerated in a recycled jar with a pretty lid, my citrus marmalade easily replaces an expensive glass of “Bonne Maman”. So, after you make lemonade, you might just want to make marmalade. ~~M-J

Benefits_of_Lemon Juice_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton

Article at Natural News, by Regular Contributor J.D. Heyes

Clothing Care Tips: Protect Your Investment

Elegant Clothing Can Last for Decades If You Care for It Properly
My silk Sulka dressing gown was purchased on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue at their shop in the 1980s. It has always been protected from moths and bright sunlight, and thus is in excellent condition. Learn to enhance the longevity of your precious clothing. Here are some tips from our friend, eminent tailor Monsieur François:


Implementing some of the following procedures will go a long way in helping you protect and extend the life of your garments: 

Dry clean your garments sparingly. Frequent cleanings can actually cause your garments to prematurely wear because of the solvents and heat that are used in the dry cleaning process. Consider dry cleaning only when necessary or, at the end of the season before storing. After cleaning, garments should be removed from the plastic bags and aired. 

Limit the use of fabric softeners. They contain additives that stick to your clothing to make them feel softer. Unfortunately, frequent usage of these softeners will also compromise the fabric’s absorbency and make them less breathable. 

Use padded or shaped hangers as they are more gentle on your garments than wire ones. Uncoated wire hangers may also rust and stain your clothes.

 Avoid hanging your coats and jackets on racks or hooks, which may cause the neck areas to stretch out of shape. 

Give your wool garments a day’s rest between wearings, allowing them to shed wrinkles and return to their original shape. 

Fold knitted garments instead of hanging them, to prevent distortion or stretching. 

Brush your garments regularly and thoroughly to refresh  them, removing any soil, hair, etc. Use a slightly damp sponge or cloth on knits and finer fabrics. 

Always read the label on your garment for specific washing-instructions. 

Allow deodorants and antiperspirants to thoroughly dry before you dress. Also, consider using dress-shields to your garments to protect them against excessive perspiration, which can weaken certain fabrics. 

All garments should be either laundered or dry cleaned prior to storage. This step is not only essential, but will prevent attracting moths. 

Never store your jackets or garments in plastic bags. They create limited air flow which may trap moisture and cause mildew to form. Plastic bags may even cause leathers and suedes to dry out. Use canvas or cloth bags instead. 

Select a storage area carefully, avoiding those with high temperatures and/or high humidity. 

To revive your clothes when you have removed them from storage: first air out the garments thoroughly and then either brush them and/or lightly pass a garment steamer over them to remove any wrinkles or creases and to perk them up. Air the clothes thoroughly after these procedures, and before putting them into your closet.

~~Monsieur François (the late Frank Blaeser), Townline Tailors of Vancouver, British Columbia


M-J’s Shirataki-Miso Soup

Burdock Root or Gobo Slices, Broccoli, Adzuki Beans, Brown Rice and Shirataki Noodles in Miso Broth

©M-J de Mesterton 2014

Burdock root, known in Japan as gobo, is one of the best blood-purifiers. It has diuretic properties that help expel toxic products from the blood through urine. This root-vegetable is employed in the treatment of skin problems such as eczema (dermatitis) and psoriasis. Burdock is a remedy for liver and gall bladder complaints. Effusion of burdock seeds has been used for throat and chest ailments. Burdock is an appetite-stimulant and is used  for enhancing digestion and relieving dyspepsia. Dried burdock root is reconstituted by pouring boiling water over the bits and letting them stand until softened. It may also be used as a tea, or incorporated into brown rice, where it will soften as the rice and burdock mixture cooks. I use either fresh or dried burdock in stir-fried vegetables or kinpira-style braised vegetables.

©M-J de Mesterton 2014

Strained Yoghurt


Straining your own yoghurt makes a delightful Mediterranean or Middle Eastern spread for bread or pita. This is what “Greek yogurt” as marketed in the U.S. is trying to be, and failing miserably in most cases. Usually, to thicken their yoghurt, companies merely add artificial thickeners and starches. To make the real thing is incredibly simple. Put a round coffee-filter into a bowl-sized strainer or sieve, empty a container of plain whole-milk or full-fat yoghurt into it, cover with another round coffee-filter, and place over a bowl that allows some space between the bottom of the strainer and the base of the bowl, so that when your yoghurt is draining, it will not soak itself.  Keep the assembly covered with clear wrap, because fruit-flies love this stuff. I initiate this process before going to bed at night; in the morning I have wonderful, thick spread for my preferred bread or pita, and this yoghurt-cheese is also excellent with a fried egg.

Add cayenne pepper and/or zatar (za’atar) herbal mixture on top of this when used as a spread, and you will have an authentic Middle Eastern- style taste treat.

©M-J de Mesterton

See The Elegant Cook Bread Page for M-J’s Pita Recipe

Clothing "Sizes" Don’t Matter



Elegant Survival News

Waist_Measurements_MannequinClothing “Sizes” Don’t Matter: Use a Tape-Measure!

The days of buying women’s clothing by size are gone. Each manufacturer has a different set of measurements and corresponding sizes. The reasons behind this development are also diverse among the designers and makers of clothes. For example, in order to charge more for their designs, some clothing companies will pretend that a size 12 is a “plus-size,” for the purpose of charging more for it (as though accommodating a 38-inch bust were going to require several yards more fabric…). Size 10 used to be the ideal, and now some clothes-designers are calling garments with 36-24-36 a size “4”. Others are calling 40-28-40 a size 18, which is patently ridiculous. One company comes to mind, and that is J. Peterman, a big offender in this department, which sells what used to be marketed as size 12 as an “18”, causing their 18s to…

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Remember Rational Standard Dress-Sizes?

Nothing has changed since I posted these thoughts in 2011 (THE ARTICLE BELOW IS A RE-BLOG). Well, maybe…some women are now  abusing the term, “plus-size” when it serves their nasty purposes. Misery does love company. As the following article that I wrote in 2011 indicates, labels are often wrong. So, let’s not label each other, as we are all individuals. This applies in all walks of life. Let us go by accurate measurements when it comes to clothing ourselves, and measure the content of one’s character instead of a superficial thing like skin-tone. Generalizing is for idiots, and justifying evil simply because the perpetrators are part of a certain gender, religion or race is for the birds.

Elegant Survival News

Remember normal-sized clothing for women, before the American fashion industry started distorting sizing in order to flatter the anorexia cult? Standard sizing no longer exists–a dress with a 36-inch bust is now labelled as anything between size 4 and size 14, depending upon whom the maker is targeting. And today’s size 12 is now sometimes distorted by being labelled “plus” for the purpose of  charging more for it.  Some of the styles offered by New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman in 1948 started at size 12, and went up to size 20. Originally, “plus sizes” were anything above size twenty. In 1948, this black silk dress was offered at Bergdorf Goodman in sizes 10–16. If a woman wanted something smaller, she had to shop in the children’s section.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

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