From the Clothes Line: Elegant Survival of Your Clothing

Summer Clothing Survival

Drying Clothes Naturally

Clothes and Towels Sunbathing on the Clothesline

Washing and Drying Your Shirts

A well-made shirt can cost $100.00 or more. That is an investment to protect. Your shirts will last much longer if they are washed by hand and hung to dry. Don’t use so much detergent that it takes a rinsing marathon to remove it. “A little dab’ll do ya”, as the old Brylcreem jingle said. Ideally, one would hang shirts on a clothesline, upside down, with clothes-pins or pegs. This keeps pinch-marks off the important areas of your shirts. The sun will dry them in no time. Alternatively, one could hang them indoors, perhaps out-of-sight behind the the shower curtain, on hangers. A sturdy spring-rod, placed inside the shower area for the purpose of hanging clothes to dry will not interfere with your existing shower-rod. If you don’t want to get hanger-marks on the shoulders, just put wash-cloths under them, over the ends of your hanger. The worst thing to do, even if you wash your shirts in cold water in the gentle cycle, is to dry them in a machine–doing so will quickly degrade your shirt, which will die an angry death before its time. My husband and I have shirts from France and England that are more than twenty years old, and in perfect condition.

An electric, energy-consuming dryer is an enemy to high-quality clothing. In fact, dryers shrink clothes and wear them out quickly; lint is composed of fibres that a machine robs from your clothes. You’d be surprised at how swiftly shirts dry naturally, and when they are just a wee bit damp, they’re easy to iron. In cases of stubborn collar and cuff soil, when hand-scrubbing fails, you can still wash your white shirts in hot water, soap, and a little bleach, as long as they are rinsed well, and then hung to dry. (Bleach alternative may be a better choice, if you can get it to work on stubborn stains. I sometimes use hydrogen peroxide and/or vinegar.) The sun will do some natural bleaching of white cotton. Save costly energy and your shirts by hand-washing and sun-drying them.

Giving your precious shirts to a dry-cleaner or other laundry service is wasteful. They crush buttons and machine-dry the poor things. Do clothes hanging on a line outdoors conjure up bad images for you? Too bad, because it is one of life’s simple luxuries to be able to dry a beautiful, well-made shirt in the sun–some of the best people do it. Believe me, it’s not remotely infradig to care for your own shirts. After all, who cares for them more than you do?
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, May 2008-2012

Elegant Survival News

Clothes-Line_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton_2007The Clothes Line, an Elegant Survival Original, Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006

Clothes dryers are energy-wasters, and will ruin your clothes as well, through fibre-loss and shrinkage. Some electric dryers even tear holes in clothes. Hand-washing and line-drying your shirts and other washable garments will extend their lives. I use Zote soap and a microfibre cloth to rub dirt out of cuffs and collars. Underarms need special attention, too. I use a microfibre cloth instead of a brush because it is more gentle on the fabric, while strong enough to grab what I like to call “café crud” from cuffs.

You don’t need a fancy contraption for natural clothes-drying; a five-dollar investment in a clothesline from a supermarket, and a packet of wooden clothespins for about three dollars will do, and you can be line-drying in a jiffy. Having a couple of trees to hold your clothesline at each…

View original post 87 more words

Advertisements

Elegant Breakfast Dish: Pink Grapefuit

Grapefruit_Elegant_Breakfast_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton

Grapefruit is part of a healthy, elegant breakfast. Peeled and cut into sections, then drizzled with a bit of honey and a few grains of sugar, this exquisite pink grapefruit is ready to eat in an antique Japanese export bowl  (which I acquired in 2004, and has disappeared–that’s all right; my main collection is Baron Morimura’s Noritake).

Grapefruit has a reputation of breaking-down fats, so it is advisable to eat it in conjunction with your favourite bacon-rich breakfast. By the way, in our house, Real Men do eat quiche, an entrée that would be beautifully complemented by grapefruit. ©M-J de Mesterton

  Visit Elegant Cook for M-J’s Quiche Lorraine Recipe
Featured post

Swedish Potato Salad

Swedish_Potato_Bacon_Salad_Elegant_Cook_M-J_de_Mesterton
Boiled new potatoes, diced red onions,  chopped bacon with a little warm bacon fat for flavour, vinaigrette and brightly-coloured, diced capsicums (optional) make a splendid summer potato salad, either chilled or at room temperature. It is a tasty, safe alternative to mayonnaise-based potato salads, which cannot withstand long periods in the heat of a sunny day. This recipe is traditional in my Swedish family. ©M-J de Mesterton
Swedish_Potato_Salad_Copyright_M-J_de_M_Elegant_Cook
Swedish Potato Salad, an Excellent Summer Picnic Dish

M-J’s Cupcakes Filled with Swiss Meringue

Create hollow areas within cupcakes with a demitasse spoon or a paring knife. The resultant cake bits can be saved in a bowl and eaten later. Your cupcakes will be filled with a light, fluffy icing that is essentially a very sweet meringue that is stabilised by being heated while whipped. Here is my recipe:

SWISS MERINGUE ICING

In the top of a double-boiler over a simmering inch or two of water, whip five egg whites with a cup of white granulated sugar, a cup of confectioners’ sugar, a dash of salt and 1/4 cup of water, using an electric mixer at high speed. Continue beating the mixture until it forms stiff peaks. Remove from heat and allow to cool; whip a teaspoon of vanilla into the meringue. Use your Swiss meringue before it hardens, but most of the time, it stays spreadable for many hours. This is my method, but there are numerous other recipes on the internet for Swiss meringue. In my kitchen, I cook this meringue icing in the stainless steel bowl of my Kitchenaid mixer set atop a mid-sized stockpot with a couple inches of simmering water in it, using an electric hand-mixer to whip it into shape. Swiss meringue icing is sometimes referred to as “seven-minute frosting”. Depending upon various conditions, you may need to whip the meringue for more or less than ten minutes. I’ve had days when it took much longer than that. Find a formula that works for you. Spoon your room-temperature meringue into a gallon-sized polyethylene zippered bag with one corner cut off, as shown, or a professional pastry-bag. Fill the holes in your cupcakes with Swiss meringue, and top them with it as well if desired. Chocolate or buttercream frosting on top of your filled cupcakes would be wonderful. Alternatively, fill some cupcakes with ganache and top them with Swiss meringue icing. ©M-J de Mesterton

Elegant, Refreshing Daikon Salad

gyoza_with_daikon_salad_m-j_elegant_cook
Gyoza with Daikon Salad

Daikon is a health-promoting Japanese white radish. I create shreds of daikon with a sharp Victorinox peeler, then place them on a bed of finely-shredded lettuce, sometimes with a few fine pieces of red onion for even more nutrients and additional piquancy. Ideally, this refreshing salad is dressed with mirin or a vinaigrette. It makes the perfect complement to gyoza dumplings.~©M-J de Mesterton 2018

Tanimura_Antle_Little_Gems_Lettuce_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton

Little Gems Sweet Lettuce, by Tanimura & Antle, is a Nutritious Component of M-J’s Elegant Daikon Salad

Elegant Avocado Salad

Avocado_Elegant_Salad_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton
Using a tool for creating Swedish meatballs (similar to a melon-baller), I was able to make pieces of avocado more appealing than usual in a salad. I doused the avocado balls in lemon juice to prevent them losing their fresh green colour. Elegant salad design dictates that dressing is added only to the  lettuce component, so that the other ingredients are clearly visible.  With the addition of Roma tomato-wedges and finely shredded cheese, this concoction made a perfect summer luncheon for one.

©M-J de Mesterton 2018

Conserving Water in the Kitchen

White_Cactus-Flowers_Copyright_Elegant_Gardening_M-J_de_Mesterton

Water-Conservation_Elegant_Survival_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton
The water in a sink-sized white bucket, in which coconut oil was once packed, after rinsing some dishes and utensils in it, can be saved and given to plants. This pail came with a tight-fitting cover, which I sometimes use if I wish to agitate utensils in the water. A little washing-up soap is welcomed by trees and flowers; soap helps to keep away insects and mould. Be sure there is no trace of animal product in the kitchen rinse-water, though (or in your compost-heap), because it will attract rodents and other pests. I live in the Mojave Desert, where water is scarce and expensive–a little of the precious liquid goes a long way, especially in my dry-climate garden of cacti, morning glory and palm. ©M-J de Mesterton

Cactus_Flower_Bouquet_de_Mesterton_4-06-2018

Elegant_Survival_Veg-Rinse_Water-Conservation_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton
Cleaning your lettuce and other vegetables with a little hydrogen peroxide or vinegar in the water makes them more sanitary. The rinse-water can be conserved and used in your garden. Plants benefit by being fed a little hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. ©M-J de Mesterton

Cooking with Ginger Helps Fight Cancer

Ginger_Cooked_inHaricots_Verts_for_Anti-Cancer_Properties
Raw, Sliced Ginger, Sautéed with Haricots Verts, or Thin Green Beans, Helps Fight Cancer


Microsoft, bless their collective heart, took the liberty of cramming my uploaded photos of today into a “video”. So, I’m testing their somewhat bizarre product at YouTube, where I’ve had an inactive channel for a couple of months, waiting for content. Might as well get started….

What’s with the photos I took yesterday? First, one of my flowering cacti was being buzzed by a hummingbird, and I lazily snap-shot it via zoom-lens through the patio door. Then, I made a Spanish tortilla (classic Iberian egg dish) for my husband Jacques, who suggested I photograph the thing. Then I read that cooked ginger develops a cancer-fighting property in the process, so I sautéed some raw ginger in coconut oil with green beans (alas, it’s not as quick & easy as my habit of throwing whole ginger-root into a smoothie). I decided to take some shots of that endeavour for my blog, Elegant Survival News, to spread the good word. The green beans and ginger made a tasty dish, especially after I added home-made chili-oil and ponzu sauce at table~~M-J de Mesterton

 

M-J’s Home-Made Blue Cheese Dressing

Blue_Cheese_Dressing_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton

Bottled blue cheese dressings usually contain corn syrup, sugar, and trans-fat oils, which makes them less than salubrious while ruining their flavour. They don’t taste anything like the dressings freshly-made by smart restaurant cooks. Here are my four simple ingredients for home-made blue cheese dressing: buttermilk, sour cream, crumbled blue cheese, and lemon-pepper (lemon juice and freshly-ground pepper are great in its place, though juice will thin the mixture). I do not use exact measurements when making this concoction. I simply put the ingredients into a bowl or jar and stir or shake them to mix well; this method leaves the blue cheese in appealing little chunks. ©M-J de Mesterton

Deep-Fried Gyoza

M-J’s Health-Promoting Gyoza, Fried in Coconut Oil 
Gyoza skins are filled with health-promoting vegetables, roots and legumes: carrots, celery, red onion, raw ginger root, gobo or burdock root, raw turmeric bulb, and cooked mung beans; all of  these ingredients have been chopped together in a food processor. After being filled and crimped, gyoza are then deep-fried in coconut oil. A sauce made with tamari, sweet vinegar, red chile oil and white wine or sake is on the table as a seasoning. This is an attractive, tasty way to feed your family the vegetables, legumes, and medicinal roots that they ordinarily would not dream of eating..
COPYRIGHT M-J de Mesterton 2018
Pan-Fried Gyoza
Traditional Pan-Fried and Lightly Steamed Gyoza

 

Home-Grown Organic Turmeric

Turmeric_Chopped_Victorinox_French_Chef_Knife_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton

Harvested in late autumn, cleaned and frozen, this home-grown  turmeric bulb is chopped and incorporated into a mixture of sautéed vegetables, or simply whirled raw into a blended smoothie~~©M-J de Mesterton.

Turmeric_Cleaning_Home-Garden_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton

Organic_Above-Ground_Gardens_at_Home_Copyright_M-J_de_MestertonIMG_9440

Pronounced “TERmeric” not “toomEric,” this spice is used in India and Japan for health and longevity. Turmeric can be used in cooking, or ingested in capsules. Turmeric is a well-researched anti-inflammatory agent, as well as a powerful antioxidant. Inflammation is the root of most ills and degenerative conditions in the human body.
©M-J de Mesterton
Turmeric Capsules, a Convenient Way to Take Curcumin for Its Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The 2001 book, The Okinawa Program by Bradley J. Willcox, M.D., D. CraigWillcox, Ph. D., and Makoto Suzuki, M.D., is based upon the25-year-long Okinawa Centenarian Study. It is one of my favorite diet and health books.Turmeric has recently garnered respect and much publicity as a medicinal plant from the ginger family. The qualities of turmeric are not news to the famously long-living people of Okinawa, as related on page 149:
Excerpt:
Ucchin, or Turmeric M-J’s pronunciation note: TER-mer-ick
(Curcuma longa, Jiang Huang, Curcuma, Indian saffron, Ukon, Valerian)
Ucchin,commonly known in North America as turmeric,  is one of the Okinawans’ favorite herbs (as it is in India), and claims a multitude of health benefits. It’s known as ukon to the Japanese….
Folkloric Claims
Turmeric is from the ginger family. The stalk of the plant is the part most commonly used in both herbal and traditional medicine, and is the part that provides the distinctive yellow-orange powder that adds flavor and color to curry. It was probably brought to Okinawa centuries ago from India, which had active trade relations with the Ryukyu Kingdom (as Okinawa was formerly known). In Ayurvedic medicine…turmeric is thought to strengthen the immune system, relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, improve digestion, relieve gas, killl parasites and worms, alleviate menstrual problems, dissolve gallstones, and relieve other ailments. The Okinawans are in full accord with these claims, and highly prize their turmeric.
Excerpt, page 150
Turmeric possesses significant antioxidant properties, comparable to those of vitamins E or C, which is probably why it proves powerful against cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research has reported somedegree of inhibition for cancers of the GI tract, including oral, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancers. And, there is further evidence for its effectiveness against breast and skin cancers.
~~M-J de Mesterton, August 2009

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑