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. My husband, who had innocently ordered the stuff at Albertson’s butcher counter, brought all the chicken back for a full refund. 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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Tea Things

Elegant Apple Pie
M-J de Mesterton’s Elegant Apple Pie with Appliqué
Antique Noritake
Apple Tart and Antique Noritake, by M-J de Mesterton

M-J’s Recipe for Elegant Apple Pie Appears on The Elegant Cook

M-J's Original Almond-Lemon Flavoured Faerie Cakes
M-J’s Original Almond-Lemon Flavoured Faerie Cakes

Below: Hosting a Tea Party; Formal Tea; the True Definition of “High Tea” is “Workingman’s Supper”

Afternoon Tea, Explained ("High Tea" is Merely a Workman's Supper)
Afternoon Tea, Explained
(“High Tea” is Merely a Workman’s Supper)

Green Tea Fights Flu

ARTICLE by The NUTRITION REPORTER, JACK CHALLEM

“Green tea is known to contain antiviral components that prevent influenza infection,” wrote Hiroshi Yamada, MD, PhD, of the University of Shizuoka, Japan.
Yamada and his colleagues analyzed questionnaires from 2,050 students, ages six to 13 years, in elementary schools in Kikugawa City. The questionnaires included information about their consumption of green tea.

Click Here to Read M-J’s Main Website, Elegant Survival

Elegant Smoothies for Winter Health

Winter Health Smoothie

An elegant, nutritious drink for winter health: M-J’s Vegetable SmoothieButtermilk, lemon juice, raw broccoli, celery, jalapeño pepper, and cucumber blended together make an excellent breakfast tonic.©M-J de Mesterton

An elegant fruit smoothie always has a pleasant, inviting colour and flavours that blend together marvellously.This one contains four strawberries, a few chunks of pineapple, and a small section of banana, all of which canbe processed while frozen if necessary, with the addition of water and yoghurt.

Elegant Smoothie

Celery, purple cabbage, a piece of whole lemon, pear-tomatoes, jalapeños, home-grown sprouts and buttermilk or yoghurt mixed with water in a blender make a tasty post–Christmas diuretic smoothie.
©M-J de Mesterton

Broccoli, Celery, Jalapeño, Parsley and Lemon are Blended with Buttermilk or Yoghurt to Make this Elegant Smoothie
This elegant smoothie has properties that help to prevent colds, flu, water-retention and cancer.©M-J de Mesterton

Celery, Cucumber, Parsley, Broccoli, Jalapeño Pepper, Yoghurt, and Lemon are Blended to Make a Delicious, Elegant Winter-Health Smoothie

Merry Christmas 2012

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Ideals Magazine Cover from 1943

 

ELEGANT SURVIVAL CHRISTMAS MOVIES

Some Recommendations:

Beautiful Christmas imagery and a touching, amusing story make Fred Claus a magical, hilarious and romantic family film.

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote is a delightful time-capsule about the human condition, starring Patty Duke, Piper Laurie and Jeffrey de Munn.

Music of the Heart is based upon the true story of a violin teacher in Harlem. Starring Meryl Streep, it is one of those New York movies that realistically portrays the plight of talented people living there, and ends with a stunning, triumphant scene. The extremely talented Meryl Streep learned to play violin for her part in Music of the Heart.

 

Swedish Meatballs, an Elegant Austerity Dish

Elegant Swedish Meatballs and Potatoes 

An elegant way to stretch your meat budget in these austere times is to make Swedish or Scandinavian-style meatballs. Each household cook has his or her recipe, but the basics are ground meat such as beef, veal and/or pork mixed with bread crumbs or bits of bread (I use bits of brioche pulled out from my brioche hamburger buns, which have been reserved in a freezer-bag), an egg and some cream or milk.  Finely-minced onion is optional. Spices include nutmeg and/or allspice, salt and optional white pepper. Onion powder can take the place of minced onion, or that flavour may be omitted altogether. Meat mixtures are shaped into small balls and rolled in flour, then fried in butter. A pan-gravy is made while the finished meatballs rest in a warm oven until serving time. I prefer to use ground beef, brioche bits, sour cream, minced onions or onion-powder, nutmeg, salt and white or green ground pepper.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Serve Swedish meatballs with new potatoes and perhaps a little lingonberry or cranberry sauce on the side.
This Danish baking-dish has the traditional cream gravy at its bottom, topped with the meatballs (this type of meatball recipe is found in Swedish, Danish and Finnish cookbooks).
Very small new potatoes are usually just boiled in salted water, and not cut into pieces.
These Yukon Gold new potatoes have been cut and boiled, then sautéed in butter and smashed lightly.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Elegant Dressing for Fall and Winter: Tweed Suit

Elegant Dressing for Autumn: Classic Tweed Travelling Suit
M-J de Mesterton in Aquascutum Tweed Suit, Her Perennial Favourite

Rugged, traditional, natural and elegant tweed made from Scottish wool is the best material for fall and winter dressing. Easily covered with a trench-coat or embellished with a pashmina or long wool scarves, tweed will keep you warm and dry. Tweed suits, skirts, trousers and jackets are always fashionable.
©M-J de Mesterton

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

Preserving Your Clothing

Clothes dryers are energy-wasters, and will ruin your clothes as well, through fibre-loss and shrinkage. Hand-washing and line-drying your shirts will extend their lives. I use Zote soap and a small microfibre cloth to rub dirt out of cuffs and collars. Underarms need special attention, too. The reason for using a microfibre cloth instead of a brush is that it is more gentle on the fabric, but is strong enough to grab what I like to call “café crud” from cuffs. You don’t need a fancy contraption for clothes-drying; a nylon line from a variety store, and a packet of wooden clothes-pins or pegs for three dollars or a couple of pounds will do just fine.

When travelling, pack a small piece of Octagon, Zote or similar bar of laundry soap for hand-washing dainties and shirts in your quarters. The shower is a nice place to hang them; they will likely dry overnight, and probably not need ironing.  You might pack a couple of clothes-pegs as well.

The sun acts as  a fabric brightener, and your clothes will have a clean, fresh scent if treated to a sun-bath.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2009-2012