Austerity Cookery · Austerity Cooking · Elegant Austerity Foods · Elegant Cook · Elegant Cook M-J de Mesterton · Elegant Cookery · elegant living on a shoestring · M-J de Mesterton Elegant Cook · Original Austerity Food

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

Caring for Your Clothing · Classic Clothing · Clothing Care · Clothing Guide · Clothing Protection · Elegant Clothing · Elegant English Clothing · elegant living on a shoestring · Elegant Women's Clothing · English Clothing · Men's Classic Clothing · Men's Clothing · Protecting Your Clothing Investment

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


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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
elegant living on a shoestring

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

elegant living on a shoestring

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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elegant living on a shoestring

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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easy elegant dessert · Elegant Dessert · elegant living on a shoestring · Elegant Strawberry Dessert · Elegant Strawberry Shortcake · Summer Solstice

Elegant Strawberry Desserts


Strawberry desserts are simple. Just arrange washed and trimmed fresh berries on pound cake slices, shortcakes, or angel food cake, and decorate with whipped cream. According to the American Algonquin tribe, Strawberry season begins this year on Summer Solstice, which is always the longest day of the year–seventeen hours long, to be precise. This full moon coincides with strawberry season’s start in the Northern Hemisphere once every seventy years, which is why the June 20th, 2016 full moon is called “Strawberry Moon“. ©M-J de Mesterton 2016


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
Donald J. Trump

Donald J. Trump Interviewed in 1988

 I lived and worked in Manhattan for twenty-two years, during which time Donald J. Trump was well-known and loved by nearly all who knew him. I did art-restoration work for his family portraits periodically from 1986–2002. The man treated everyone well, especially the “little” people who worked on his projects. Mr. Trump was never called a racist or a bigot until he ran for president against a Democrat, the woman who spent billions on advertisements that amounted to slander and libel. She does belong to a family that has made an industry of character-assassination for decades.~~M-J

Jealous competitors of Donald J. Trump and a vicious press would have you believe that Donald Trump is a political neophyte and not conservative. He has written numerous books on the state of America and how it can be improved. The above series of clips from interviews of DJT includes spots from the early 1980s and possibly the late 1970s that totally blow apart the nasty propaganda of the mainstream media, and offer proof-aplenty that Donald J. Trump has held the same core beliefs for decades. And the following link will demonstrate that DJT is the most democratic (are Democrats really democratic?) presidential candidate in history:  


Donald John Trump’s Mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, Originally of Scotland
(Later Married to Frederick Christ Trump, American Citizen of German Heritage)
©M-J de M. 2016
elegant living on a shoestring · Elegant Outdoor Furniture · Good Taste

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.
Diamond and Silk Black American Sisters for Trump · elegant living on a shoestring

Diamond and Silk Tell it Like It Was

An attention-grabbing woman who has a show on Fox News, serving as a “moderator” at the first presidential debate of the recent election, tried to destroy Republican candidate Donald J. Trump by framing cheap, untrue slurs as the first”debate” topic, inviting all his fellow candidates to assail his character and qualifications. Me-Gyn Kelly failed to accomplish the mission she was given by Fox News big-wigs for this very first primary election debate, and behaved very unprofessionally in her duties. Two keen observers of the election scene, who support Donald Trump’s candidacy, respond to Me-Gyn’s vicious, tabloid-style attempt to bring down a highly-accomplished builder, businessman and popular figure from New York City who just happens to have also produced a television show that teaches people how to have high professional standards. Mizz Kelly has made of herself a target of ridicule. Pundits Diamond and Silk voice their disgust with the female talking-head in this lively video.

Elegant Cook · Elegant Cook M-J de Mesterton · elegant living on a shoestring · Elegant Low-Carb · Low Carb Diet · Low-Carb · Low-Carb Breakfast

M-J’s Peanut Flour Waffles 1-28-2016 1-57-40 PM

Above: M-J’s High-Protein Waffles are Sliced Thin and Filled with Ham, Cheese, and Dijon-Laced Mayonnaise for Low-Carb Panini (Grilled Sandwiches)

M-J’s Gluten-Free Peanut Flour Waffles

One egg

1/2 cup of buttermilk

1 1/2 cup of water

1 cup of peanut flour*

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of melted butter

1 teaspoon of brown sugar (optional; this bit of sucrose helps the waffles to caramelize)

1 tablespoon of lemon juice (optional, but it does add to the leavening)

1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)

Approximately 5 drops or 1/4 cup of of sucralose sweetener (optional)

If your batter is too thick, add more water or milk. If you think it’s too thin, add a bit more peanut flour.

Brush a waffle iron with butter to prepare its surfaces. Heat your waffle iron, and be careful to add just enough batter to it for each waffle–I find that stopping short of the edges by an eighth of an inch will keep the batter from overflowing once the iron is closed. These waffles take approximately six minutes to bake. You can check on them by opening the waffle iron after four minutes.  For a savoury experience, these waffles are good with bacon and sour cream, and with chicken or roast beef as well.  Of course, these waffles are excellent with strawberries and whipped cream, or dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

©M-J de Mesterton 2016

Peanut_Protein_Waffles_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton 1-22-2016 11-14-39 AM


Wrapping the Waffles in Layers with Waxed Paper 1-22-2016 3-20-31

M-J’s Gluten-Free, Peanut Flour Waffles are Ready for the Freezer

*I use Protein Plus Peanut Powder. Here is their proprietary description:

Peanut flour is a dry powder formed after the partial extraction of oil from the roasted peanut seed. It is used to add flavor and protein to processed baked goods, nutrition bars and snacks, as well as to marinades, sauces and dressings. Worldwide, peanut flours have been limited to use by industrial food processors as a major food ingredient. While peanuts are about 25% protein, peanut flour is about 50% protein. That’s because the process of mechanically removing fatty oil from roasted peanuts enriches the levels of the remaining peanut components. The resulting flour is naturally low in fat, high in protein and relatively low in carbohydrates.

Protein Plus roasted peanut flour provides a healthful, lower-fat, and gluten free boost to a variety of foods. It is a great thickener for soups, a flavorful and aromatic ingredient for breads and pastries, as well as a creative coating for meats, fish, and other dishes. Peanut flour is a good source of Vitamin E, Folate, Fiber, Niacin, Magnesium, and Phosphorus.

Substitute at least 30% of your plain or self-rising wheat flour for peanut flour in any of your favorite recipes. Peanut flour is not self-rising and will need a rising agent added if called for in your recipe. When baking with peanut flour, you may want to add an extra egg or other moistening agent to prevent dryness.