Elegant Dressing for Evening

painter_m-j_de_mesterton_february_2017

Above: a proper evening gown, full-length and low-cut at the bodice; this dress is more appropriate for an evening with dinner and dancing than for cocktail parties. (See below.)

Below: “Your Editor”, Painter M-J de Mesterton wears a lacy, cotton-lined dress that can be worn at afternoon tea, or at cocktails/drinks parties year-round. Also, it is suitable for less formal dinners and nightclubs. Long sleeves that leave space for bracelets make this knee-length gown very elegant, and the round neckline accommodates big pearls. Amazon.com has similar dresses for as little as 39.00. Blue suede shoes with comfortable three-inch wedge-heels are by Clarks.

painter_melodie-jeanne_de_mesterton_elegant_evening_dress_2017

Remember Rational Standard Dress-Sizes?

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

Sven-Bertil Taube Sings

My cousin, Sven Bertil Taube sings seafaring songs written
by his illustrious father, Evert Taube, a National Poet of Sweden.
Sven-Bertil played an elegant role in the recent film, Män som Hatar Kvinnor (Men Who Hate Women). known in English subtitles as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

Sven-Bertil Taube Sings

My cousin, Sven Bertil Taube sings seafaring songs written
by his illustrious father, Evert Taube, National Poet and Composer of Sweden.
The handsome Swedish movie star Sven-Bertil Taube played an elegant role in the recent film, Män som Hatar Kvinnor (Men Who Hate Women). known in English subtitles as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

M-J de Mesterton Makes Cornish Pasties

Cornish Pasties by M-J de Mesterton, Photo Copyright Elegant Survival 2009

M-J de Mesterton Makes Cornish Pasties

Cornish Pasty Made by M-J de Mesterton, Photo Copyright Elegant Survival 2009

I’ve been making Cornish pasties since the age of 20. My mother wrote a book about the pasty and its history which was published in 1990, but my method and ingredients differ from hers. The following is my pasty (pronounced “pass-tee”) recipe:

I will not formally transcribe my recipe and method for making pasties, because I never use measurements. I can tell you, however, that they are made with a short crust containing both butter and lard, water, a teaspoon of malt vinegar, and unbleached, plain white flour. Since salted butter is used in the dough, add just a dash of salt to it. I add sea-salt and hand-milled pepper to the filling, which consists of four ingredients, diced very finely: tri-tip steak, which is always well-marbled and never tough; ordinary, high-starch brown-skinned potatoes, turnips, butter bits, and white or Spanish onions. The finely-diced beef and vegetables are tossed together in a mixing bowl with the salt and pepper before being laid upon the dough, dotted with butter and enclosed. The edges are crimped, either on top or on the side of the pasty, and a couple of well-placed slits are made in the top to allow steam to escape. The final product is brushed with a beaten egg mixed with a teaspoon of cream. The pasties are then baked in a very hot oven for close to one hour. Once the pasties have cooled for about twenty minutes, serve with an oil-and-vinegar-dressed lettuce salad. Offer Cornish cream, Spanish or Mexican Crema, or sour cream as an optional condiment. The pasties depicted here, which I made, are the optimum size for a meal; the dough for them was shaped into a ball about half the size of a woman’s closed hand, then was rolled out and cut around a 7″ luncheon plate. Making giant pasties just isn’t elegant, nor is it traditionally Cornish. I also make miniature pasties for parties, by using a tin can or the bottom, inner ridge of the same luncheon plate as a cutting guide. These mini-pasties are easily eaten by hand with a cocktail napkin to catch any pastry-flakes. For a basic short-crust guide, please see my Elegant Apple Pie recipe.

~Pasty Recipe and Pasty Photos Copyright M-J de Mesterton, Author of Elegant Survival

M-J de Mesterton Makes Cornish Pasties

Cornish Pasties by M-J de Mesterton, Photo Copyright Elegant Survival 2009

M-J de Mesterton Makes Cornish Pasties

Cornish Pasty Made by M-J de Mesterton, Photo Copyright Elegant Survival 2009

I’ve been making Cornish pasties since the age of 20. My mother wrote a book about the pasty and its history which was published in 1990, but my method and ingredients differ from hers. The following is my pasty (pronounced “pass-tee”) recipe:

I will not formally transcribe my recipe and method for making pasties, because I never use measurements. I can tell you, however, that they are made with a short crust containing both butter and lard, water, a teaspoon of malt vinegar, and unbleached, plain white flour. Since salted butter is used in the dough, add just a dash of salt to it. I add sea-salt and hand-milled pepper to the filling, which consists of four ingredients, diced very finely: tri-tip steak, which is always well-marbled and never tough; ordinary, high-starch brown-skinned potatoes, turnips, butter bits, and white or Spanish onions. The finely-diced beef and vegetables are tossed together in a mixing bowl with the salt and pepper before being laid upon the dough, dotted with butter and enclosed. The edges are crimped, either on top or on the side of the pasty, and a couple of well-placed slits are made in the top to allow steam to escape. The final product is brushed with a beaten egg mixed with a teaspoon of cream. The pasties are then baked in a very hot oven for close to one hour. Once the pasties have cooled for about twenty minutes, serve with an oil-and-vinegar-dressed lettuce salad. Offer Cornish cream, Spanish or Mexican Crema, or sour cream as an optional condiment. The pasties depicted here, which I made, are the optimum size for a meal; the dough for them was shaped into a ball about half the size of a woman’s closed hand, then was rolled out and cut around a 7″ luncheon plate. Making giant pasties just isn’t elegant, nor is it traditionally Cornish. I also make miniature pasties for parties, by using a tin can or the bottom, inner ridge of the same luncheon plate as a cutting guide. These mini-pasties are easily eaten by hand with a cocktail napkin to catch any pastry-flakes. For a basic short-crust guide, please see my Elegant Apple Pie recipe.

~Pasty Recipe and Pasty Photos Copyright M-J de Mesterton, Author of Elegant Survival

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