Saturday, August 30, 2008

Elegant Survival's Pick of the Week from Christabelle's Closet

Elegant satin skirt for evening in gun-metal gray, size 12, by Nicole Miller
at Christabelle's Closet on-line Consignment Boutique

Elegant Survival's Pick of the Week from Christabelle's Closet

Elegant satin skirt for evening in gun-metal gray, size 12, by Nicole Miller
at Christabelle's Closet on-line Consignment Boutique

Sun-Dried Shirts, a Natural Luxury


Washing and Drying Your Shirts

A well-made shirt can cost $500.00 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 clothespins. 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 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 fibers 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.) 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

Sun-Dried Shirts, a Natural Luxury


Washing and Drying Your Shirts

A well-made shirt can cost $500.00 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 clothespins. 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 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 fibers 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.) 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

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mrs. John McCain, Elegant Survivor



CARE

Arizona native Cindy McCain, born May 20th, 1954, is the wife of Senator John McCain. An advocate for children's health care needs, she founded the American Voluntary Medical Team in 1988, and led many medical missions to developing and war-torn countries during the Team's seven-year existence. In 2000, Cindy was instrumental in her husband's notable run for President of the United States. That year, she was chosen to represent the State of Arizona at the Republican National Convention as the Chairwoman of the Arizona Delegation. She serves on the Board of Operation Smile and the Halo Trust, as well as several local organizations. Mrs. McCain has a Master's degree in Special Education from the University of Southern California. A survivor of severe physical ailments and spinal surgery, she is also recovered from a resultant addiction to pain medication. Mrs. McCain is open about the subject, and encourages awareness of the problem in the spirit of prevention.

Cindy McCain joined the CARE Board of Directors and the Marketing and Development Committee in 2005.

Mrs. John McCain, Elegant Survivor



CARE

Arizona native Cindy McCain, born May 20th, 1954, is the wife of Senator John McCain. An advocate for children's health care needs, she founded the American Voluntary Medical Team in 1988, and led many medical missions to developing and war-torn countries during the Team's seven-year existence. In 2000, Cindy was instrumental in her husband's notable run for President of the United States. That year, she was chosen to represent the State of Arizona at the Republican National Convention as the Chairwoman of the Arizona Delegation. She serves on the Board of Operation Smile and the Halo Trust, as well as several local organizations. Mrs. McCain has a Master's degree in Special Education from the University of Southern California. A survivor of severe physical ailments and spinal surgery, she is also recovered from a resultant addiction to pain medication. Mrs. McCain is open about the subject, and encourages awareness of the problem in the spirit of prevention.

Cindy McCain joined the CARE Board of Directors and the Marketing and Development Committee in 2005.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Some Easy-to-Store Kitchen Essentials and Survival Foods

Ingredients for a Well-Stocked Pantry
Elegant Survival Kitchen Essentials


  • Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate or Bottled Apple Juice
  • Cornstarch
  • Unbleached White Flour
  • Rye Flour
  • Yeast
  • Gelatine
  • Almond Extract
  • Vanilla, Imitation or Pure Extract
  • Rum Extract or Flavoring
  • Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Hershey's Cocoa Powder
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Peppercorns
  • Dried Red Chiles
  • Dehydrated Mixed Vegetables
  • Brown Rice
  • White or Basmati Rice
  • Corn Meal or Grits
  • Dried Pasta
  • Alfalfa Seeds
  • Wheat Berries
  • Dried Parsley
  • Dried Chives
  • Dehydrated Onion
  • Dehydrated Garlic or Garlic Powder
  • Soy Sauce
  • Powdered Ginger
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Sesame Tahini Paste, Joyva brand of Brooklyn is best
  • Almond Butter
  • Popcorn, loose: Jolly Time Organic is better than Orville Redenbacher, at one-third the cost
  • Peanut or Corn Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Mustard Powder, Colman's English
  • Spanish or Hungarian Paprika
  • Capers
  • Green Peppercorns in Brine
  • Rose's Lime Juice
  • Maggi or another brand of Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • Canned Tomato Paste: store brand
  • Canned Whole Tomatoes: store brand
  • Canned Beets: store brand or generic
  • Canned Small, Peeled Potatoes: store brand or generic
  • Canned Green Chiles, whole or chopped
  • Coconut Milk, Canned
  • Whole Water Chestnuts, Canned
  • Canned Ham
  • Canned Vienna Sausage
  • Canned Beef (usually from Argentina)
  • Canned Pineapple, No Sugar Added
  • Peanut Butter
  • Raw Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • White Sugar
  • Molasses
  • Honey
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • White Vinegar
  • Boxed Red Wine, and a Cube of White Wine, both for Cooking
  • Frozen Peas
  • Dried Split Peas, Green or Yellow
  • Freeze-Dried Coffee
  • Coffee Creamer (not Coffee-Mate, which contains aluminum--check ingredients)
  • Coffee Beans
  • Tea Bags
  • Non-Fat Dry Milk
  • Powdered Buttermilk
  • Powdered Eggs for Emergencies
  • Bottled Lemon Juice
  • Herbes de Provence (a combination of marjoram, thyme, rosemary and savory, available at Costco)

To Be Continued....

Compiled by M-J de Mesterton, 2008

Some Easy-to-Store Kitchen Essentials and Survival Foods

Ingredients for a Well-Stocked Pantry
Elegant Survival Kitchen Essentials


  • Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate or Bottled Apple Juice
  • Cornstarch
  • Unbleached White Flour
  • Rye Flour
  • Yeast
  • Gelatine
  • Almond Extract
  • Vanilla, Imitation or Pure Extract
  • Rum Extract or Flavoring
  • Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Hershey's Cocoa Powder
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Peppercorns
  • Dried Red Chiles
  • Dehydrated Mixed Vegetables
  • Brown Rice
  • White or Basmati Rice
  • Corn Meal or Grits
  • Dried Pasta
  • Alfalfa Seeds
  • Wheat Berries
  • Dried Parsley
  • Dried Chives
  • Dehydrated Onion
  • Dehydrated Garlic or Garlic Powder
  • Soy Sauce
  • Powdered Ginger
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Sesame Tahini Paste, Joyva brand of Brooklyn is best
  • Almond Butter
  • Popcorn, loose: Jolly Time Organic is better than Orville Redenbacher, at one-third the cost
  • Peanut or Corn Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Mustard Powder, Colman's English
  • Spanish or Hungarian Paprika
  • Capers
  • Green Peppercorns in Brine
  • Rose's Lime Juice
  • Maggi or another brand of Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • Canned Tomato Paste: store brand
  • Canned Whole Tomatoes: store brand
  • Canned Beets: store brand or generic
  • Canned Small, Peeled Potatoes: store brand or generic
  • Canned Green Chiles, whole or chopped
  • Coconut Milk, Canned
  • Whole Water Chestnuts, Canned
  • Canned Ham
  • Canned Vienna Sausage
  • Canned Beef (usually from Argentina)
  • Canned Pineapple, No Sugar Added
  • Peanut Butter
  • Raw Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • White Sugar
  • Molasses
  • Honey
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • White Vinegar
  • Boxed Red Wine, and a Cube of White Wine, both for Cooking
  • Frozen Peas
  • Dried Split Peas, Green or Yellow
  • Freeze-Dried Coffee
  • Coffee Creamer (not Coffee-Mate, which contains aluminum--check ingredients)
  • Coffee Beans
  • Tea Bags
  • Non-Fat Dry Milk
  • Powdered Buttermilk
  • Powdered Eggs for Emergencies
  • Bottled Lemon Juice
  • Herbes de Provence (a combination of marjoram, thyme, rosemary and savory, available at Costco)

To Be Continued....

Compiled by M-J de Mesterton, 2008

Reminiscing about the 1980s in Manhattan...


...I present an old souvenir, probably from my thirtieth birthday, when Bobby Short sang Happy Birthday to me at Café Carlyle. No, this was some years earlier, when Joe Bushkin-- pianist, singer and composer, friend and colleague of Frank Sinatra, appeared at the Carlyle. What an exciting show he put on, which included his signature hit, "Oh, Look at Me Now". The late singer and pianist, Bobby Short had a home in France. He also lived across 57th Street from Carnegie Hall, in an elegant beaux-arts building. He had a lot of sartorial style, great taste, and lived very well. There's a photo of him in an old book about men's wear that we have in our library. He brought happiness to so many people.

Reminiscing about the 1980s in Manhattan...


...I present an old souvenir, probably from my thirtieth birthday, when Bobby Short sang Happy Birthday to me at Café Carlyle. No, this was some years earlier, when Joe Bushkin-- pianist, singer and composer, friend and colleague of Frank Sinatra, appeared at the Carlyle. What an exciting show he put on, which included his signature hit, "Oh, Look at Me Now". The late singer and pianist, Bobby Short had a home in France. He also lived across 57th Street from Carnegie Hall, in an elegant beaux-arts building. He had a lot of sartorial style, great taste, and lived very well. There's a photo of him in an old book about men's wear that we have in our library. He brought happiness to so many people.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wine Snobbery No Longer Blocks the Box

It is environmentally-friendly, user-friendly, and fun: wine in a box now has appeal for nearly everyone! The boxed wine is contained in a "bladder", and the wine is dispensed through a tap that pops out of the box. Aussies and New Zealanders have been drinking boxed wine for many years, and California has offered good, ready-to-drink wines for the refrigerator and counter-top for a long time. Wine snobs and Francophiles can reassure themselves knowing that in France it is standard to keep a box o'rosé on-tap in the fridge. Good wine brands come in three-liter units. A red wine that doesn't need to age can sit on a counter-top in your kitchen, ready for guests to tap, or for dispensing into an elegant glass decanter. The wine stays fresh because there is no air in the bladder, unlike when you pop a cork on a heavy glass bottle. Speaking of heavy glass, there is much less breakage and fewer bottles in your domicile with a handy box of good wine. To dispose of the container, cut and fold the box, "recycle" it, and toss the now-tiny bladder that used to hold your excellent wine. Napa Valley, California makes some excellent boxed wines.
~~M-J

Inexpensive, Good Boxed Wines Available at Target


Innovative Packaging

Wine Cubes are currently available in two sizes: 3-liter and 1.5-liter. The 3-liter Wine Cube holds the equivalent of four bottles of wine while the 1.5-liter Wine Cube holds the equivalent of two bottles of wine.Easy to stack, pack and carry, Wine Cubes are perfect for entertaining and on-the-go gatherings—picnics, family reunions, tailgates, barbecues, holiday parties and more. The eco-friendly packs are constructed of durable, renewable resource materials, ideal anywhere that glass containers are not suitable.

An innovative ramp evacuation system within the cube ensures that the wine is never exposed to oxygen and makes it possible for the wine to last four weeks after opening, guaranteeing that every drop is as good as the first.

Tasting Profile
Pinot Grigio-Packed with flavors of sweet pear and white peach. Deliciously juicy, smooth and aromatic.
Sauvignon Blanc-Crisp and refreshing, with appealing herbal aromas and fruit flavors of citrus and green apple.
Chardonnay-Full-bodied and smooth with apples, melon, citrus and a delicate floral note with hints of creamy vanilla.
Merlot-Scents of cocoa, sweet tea and spice, and a velvety texture for easy sipping.
Cabernet Sauvignon-Oak-aged for richness and sports juicy blackberry and plum flavors with a touch of herbal complexity.
Cabernet/Shiraz-The marriage of two popular grape varieties creates a seamless 50/50 blend. Medium to full-bodied with dark berry richness from Shiraz and a touch of herbal elegance from Cabernet Sauvignon.
Australian Chardonnay-Rich and crisp with a smooth texture, featuring flavors of tropical fruits and citrus, and a bright, clean finish.
Australian Shiraz-Lush, full-bodied wine packed with pepper, smoke and spice.
Product Pricing Details
The 3-liter Wine Cube, which retails for $15.99, is available in seven varieties including, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Australian Shiraz and a Cabernet/Shiraz blend.

Wine Snobbery No Longer Blocks the Box

It is environmentally-friendly, user-friendly, and fun: wine in a box now has appeal for nearly everyone! The boxed wine is contained in a "bladder", and the wine is dispensed through a tap that pops out of the box. Aussies and New Zealanders have been drinking boxed wine for many years, and California has offered good, ready-to-drink wines for the refrigerator and counter-top for a long time. Wine snobs and Francophiles can reassure themselves knowing that in France it is standard to keep a box o'rosé on-tap in the fridge. Good wine brands come in three-liter units. A red wine that doesn't need to age can sit on a counter-top in your kitchen, ready for guests to tap, or for dispensing into an elegant glass decanter. The wine stays fresh because there is no air in the bladder, unlike when you pop a cork on a heavy glass bottle. Speaking of heavy glass, there is much less breakage and fewer bottles in your domicile with a handy box of good wine. To dispose of the container, cut and fold the box, "recycle" it, and toss the now-tiny bladder that used to hold your excellent wine. Napa Valley, California makes some excellent boxed wines.
~~M-J

Inexpensive, Good Boxed Wines Available at Target


Innovative Packaging

Wine Cubes are currently available in two sizes: 3-liter and 1.5-liter. The 3-liter Wine Cube holds the equivalent of four bottles of wine while the 1.5-liter Wine Cube holds the equivalent of two bottles of wine.Easy to stack, pack and carry, Wine Cubes are perfect for entertaining and on-the-go gatherings—picnics, family reunions, tailgates, barbecues, holiday parties and more. The eco-friendly packs are constructed of durable, renewable resource materials, ideal anywhere that glass containers are not suitable.

An innovative ramp evacuation system within the cube ensures that the wine is never exposed to oxygen and makes it possible for the wine to last four weeks after opening, guaranteeing that every drop is as good as the first.

Tasting Profile
Pinot Grigio-Packed with flavors of sweet pear and white peach. Deliciously juicy, smooth and aromatic.
Sauvignon Blanc-Crisp and refreshing, with appealing herbal aromas and fruit flavors of citrus and green apple.
Chardonnay-Full-bodied and smooth with apples, melon, citrus and a delicate floral note with hints of creamy vanilla.
Merlot-Scents of cocoa, sweet tea and spice, and a velvety texture for easy sipping.
Cabernet Sauvignon-Oak-aged for richness and sports juicy blackberry and plum flavors with a touch of herbal complexity.
Cabernet/Shiraz-The marriage of two popular grape varieties creates a seamless 50/50 blend. Medium to full-bodied with dark berry richness from Shiraz and a touch of herbal elegance from Cabernet Sauvignon.
Australian Chardonnay-Rich and crisp with a smooth texture, featuring flavors of tropical fruits and citrus, and a bright, clean finish.
Australian Shiraz-Lush, full-bodied wine packed with pepper, smoke and spice.
Product Pricing Details
The 3-liter Wine Cube, which retails for $15.99, is available in seven varieties including, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Australian Shiraz and a Cabernet/Shiraz blend.

Wine Snobbery No Longer Blocks the Box, Continued

It is environmentally-friendly, user-friendly, and fun: wine in a box now has appeal for nearly everyone! The boxed wine is contained in a "bladder", and the wine is dispensed through a tap that pops out of the box. Aussies and New Zealanders have been drinking boxed wine for many years, and California has offered good, ready-to-drink wines for the refrigerator and counter-top for a long time. Wine snobs and Francophiles can reassure themselves knowing that in France it is standard to keep a box o'rosé on-tap in the fridge. Good wine brands come in three-liter units. A red wine that doesn't need to age can sit on a counter-top in your kitchen, ready for guests to tap, or for dispensing into an elegant glass decanter. The wine stays fresh because there is no air in the bladder, unlike when you pop a cork on a heavy glass bottle. Speaking of heavy glass, there is much less breakage and fewer bottles in your domicile with a handy box of good wine. To dispose of the container, cut and fold the box, "recycle" it, and toss the now-tiny bladder that used to hold your excellent wine.
~~M-J

Inexpensive, Good Boxed Wines Available at Target


Innovative Packaging

Wine Cubes are currently available in two sizes: 3-liter and 1.5-liter. The 3-liter Wine Cube holds the equivalent of four bottles of wine while the 1.5-liter Wine Cube holds the equivalent of two bottles of wine.Easy to stack, pack and carry, Wine Cubes are perfect for entertaining and on-the-go gatherings—picnics, family reunions, tailgates, barbecues, holiday parties and more. The eco-friendly packs are constructed of durable, renewable resource materials, ideal anywhere that glass containers are not suitable.

An innovative ramp evacuation system within the cube ensures that the wine is never exposed to oxygen and makes it possible for the wine to last four weeks after opening, guaranteeing that every drop is as good as the first.

Tasting Profile
Pinot Grigio-Packed with flavors of sweet pear and white peach. Deliciously juicy, smooth and aromatic.
Sauvignon Blanc-Crisp and refreshing, with appealing herbal aromas and fruit flavors of citrus and green apple.
Chardonnay-Full-bodied and smooth with apples, melon, citrus and a delicate floral note with hints of creamy vanilla.
Merlot-Scents of cocoa, sweet tea and spice, and a velvety texture for easy sipping.
Cabernet Sauvignon-Oak-aged for richness and sports juicy blackberry and plum flavors with a touch of herbal complexity.
Cabernet/Shiraz-The marriage of two popular grape varieties creates a seamless 50/50 blend. Medium to full-bodied with dark berry richness from Shiraz and a touch of herbal elegance from Cabernet Sauvignon.
Australian Chardonnay-Rich and crisp with a smooth texture, featuring flavors of tropical fruits and citrus, and a bright, clean finish.
Australian Shiraz-Lush, full-bodied wine packed with pepper, smoke and spice.
Product Pricing Details
The 3-liter Wine Cube, which retails for $15.99, is available in seven varieties including, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Australian Shiraz and a Cabernet/Shiraz blend.

Wine Snobbery No Longer Blocks the Box, Continued

It is environmentally-friendly, user-friendly, and fun: wine in a box now has appeal for nearly everyone! The boxed wine is contained in a "bladder", and the wine is dispensed through a tap that pops out of the box. Aussies and New Zealanders have been drinking boxed wine for many years, and California has offered good, ready-to-drink wines for the refrigerator and counter-top for a long time. Wine snobs and Francophiles can reassure themselves knowing that in France it is standard to keep a box o'rosé on-tap in the fridge. Good wine brands come in three-liter units. A red wine that doesn't need to age can sit on a counter-top in your kitchen, ready for guests to tap, or for dispensing into an elegant glass decanter. The wine stays fresh because there is no air in the bladder, unlike when you pop a cork on a heavy glass bottle. Speaking of heavy glass, there is much less breakage and fewer bottles in your domicile with a handy box of good wine. To dispose of the container, cut and fold the box, "recycle" it, and toss the now-tiny bladder that used to hold your excellent wine.
~~M-J

Inexpensive, Good Boxed Wines Available at Target


Innovative Packaging

Wine Cubes are currently available in two sizes: 3-liter and 1.5-liter. The 3-liter Wine Cube holds the equivalent of four bottles of wine while the 1.5-liter Wine Cube holds the equivalent of two bottles of wine.Easy to stack, pack and carry, Wine Cubes are perfect for entertaining and on-the-go gatherings—picnics, family reunions, tailgates, barbecues, holiday parties and more. The eco-friendly packs are constructed of durable, renewable resource materials, ideal anywhere that glass containers are not suitable.

An innovative ramp evacuation system within the cube ensures that the wine is never exposed to oxygen and makes it possible for the wine to last four weeks after opening, guaranteeing that every drop is as good as the first.

Tasting Profile
Pinot Grigio-Packed with flavors of sweet pear and white peach. Deliciously juicy, smooth and aromatic.
Sauvignon Blanc-Crisp and refreshing, with appealing herbal aromas and fruit flavors of citrus and green apple.
Chardonnay-Full-bodied and smooth with apples, melon, citrus and a delicate floral note with hints of creamy vanilla.
Merlot-Scents of cocoa, sweet tea and spice, and a velvety texture for easy sipping.
Cabernet Sauvignon-Oak-aged for richness and sports juicy blackberry and plum flavors with a touch of herbal complexity.
Cabernet/Shiraz-The marriage of two popular grape varieties creates a seamless 50/50 blend. Medium to full-bodied with dark berry richness from Shiraz and a touch of herbal elegance from Cabernet Sauvignon.
Australian Chardonnay-Rich and crisp with a smooth texture, featuring flavors of tropical fruits and citrus, and a bright, clean finish.
Australian Shiraz-Lush, full-bodied wine packed with pepper, smoke and spice.
Product Pricing Details
The 3-liter Wine Cube, which retails for $15.99, is available in seven varieties including, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Australian Shiraz and a Cabernet/Shiraz blend.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Don't Waste Overcooked Pasta

Photo copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008: click to enlarge
How to Salvage Overcooked Pasta

Instead of dumping your overcooked pasta--the result of an emergency elsewhere while you should be watching the pot--drain it well and sauté it in butter, then add grated cheese if you wish. It will have a toasted flavor and stiffen up a bit if you brown it as shown. Sautéed in butter or olive oil, overcooked spaghetti or pasta can have a nice texture. You may even add the sauce of your choice after it is browned. A little butter won't kill you, but an Italian, faced with mushy pasta, might!

Don't Waste Overcooked Pasta

Photo copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008: click to enlarge
How to Salvage Overcooked Pasta

Instead of dumping your overcooked pasta--the result of an emergency elsewhere while you should be watching the pot--drain it well and sauté it in butter, then add grated cheese if you wish. It will have a toasted flavor and stiffen up a bit if you brown it as shown. Sautéed in butter or olive oil, overcooked spaghetti or pasta can have a nice texture. You may even add the sauce of your choice after it is browned. A little butter won't kill you, but an Italian, faced with mushy pasta, might!

Cut Cable Costs


You can save many dollars per month by switching to basic cable television and continuing to rent the cable-box for a few bucks. One can even live without cable TV. Fox News Channel has an internet website that shows the main news stories on video, and other amusing content. Many other cable channels have the same feature. With the cable box, one can still rent on a pay-per view basis, or even choose to watch the free movies offered, including fearnet productions and classic horror flicks. If your monthly cable bill is a fright, consider living without premium service. It is possible to live without premium cable!

Additionally, you can purchase classic movies for a few dollars apiece and create a movie library. Considering what is actually available on premium cable television, and the abundance of things you would never watch but are paying for nonetheless, it's worth cutting from your budget.

Cut Cable Costs


You can save many dollars per month by switching to basic cable television and continuing to rent the cable-box for a few bucks. One can even live without cable TV. Fox News Channel has an internet website that shows the main news stories on video, and other amusing content. Many other cable channels have the same feature. With the cable box, one can still rent on a pay-per view basis, or even choose to watch the free movies offered, including fearnet productions and classic horror flicks. If your monthly cable bill is a fright, consider living without premium service. It is possible to live without premium cable!

Additionally, you can purchase classic movies for a few dollars apiece and create a movie library. Considering what is actually available on premium cable television, and the abundance of things you would never watch but are paying for nonetheless, it's worth cutting from your budget.

Elegant Survival Pick-of-the-Week from Christabelle's Closet


Genuine Crocodile Pumps, size 8B, by Ralph Lauren
New in Box, Originally $1,400.00; Now $420.00
A well-made shoe can last many years. Especially useful are classic styles, which are increasingly rare.

Elegant Survival Pick-of-the-Week from Christabelle's Closet


Genuine Crocodile Pumps, size 8B, by Ralph Lauren
New in Box, Originally $1,400.00; Now $420.00
A well-made shoe can last many years. Especially useful are classic styles, which are increasingly rare.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Elegant Survival Decorating: Window Treatment

Golden Wood Blinds in an Elegant, Energy-Efficient Room

Picture these warm, radiantly golden wood blinds in a room painted chocolate brown. Then, the light-colored sofa would take on a whole new aspect, while being accented by some brown and gold velvet cushions or pillows. With dark brown walls, this room could be an elegant study or library. The ceiling could be painted a glowing shade of golden brown or tan. As the room appears now, there is no contrast between room elements, and it looks cold. Speaking of temperature, imagine how warm this room could be in winter, with insulation provided by the wooden blinds and thick, velvet drapes. A heavy, woven brocade in brown, gold, and ivory would make an elegant window covering. Blinds and drapes also keep a room cool in summer. The combination of warm, dark wall-color, wooden blinds and opulent velvet or brocade curtains can make a room inviting and energy-efficient year-round.

~~M-J

Click on Photo for Source

Jacquard Curtains

Velvet Curtains

Thermal Blackout Curtains (Overstock.com misspells burgundy, but they have great deals and a live-chat feature where any questions you have about the product are answered quickly.)

Elegant Survival Decorating: Window Treatment

Golden Wood Blinds in an Elegant, Energy-Efficient Room

Picture these warm, radiantly golden wood blinds in a room painted chocolate brown. Then, the light-colored sofa would take on a whole new aspect, while being accented by some brown and gold velvet cushions or pillows. With dark brown walls, this room could be an elegant study or library. The ceiling could be painted a glowing shade of golden brown or tan. As the room appears now, there is no contrast between room elements, and it looks cold. Speaking of temperature, imagine how warm this room could be in winter, with insulation provided by the wooden blinds and thick, velvet drapes. A heavy, woven brocade in brown, gold, and ivory would make an elegant window covering. Blinds and drapes also keep a room cool in summer. The combination of warm, dark wall-color, wooden blinds and opulent velvet or brocade curtains can make a room inviting and energy-efficient year-round.

~~M-J

Click on Photo for Source

Jacquard Curtains

Velvet Curtains

Thermal Blackout Curtains (Overstock.com misspells burgundy, but they have great deals and a live-chat feature where any questions you have about the product are answered quickly.)

High Praise for the Lowly Potato

Potatoes: the much-maligned tubers aren't guilty of fattening us. The added fats in potato-preparation are the culprits. This humble vegetable that grows low on the ground is high in nutrients. The potato is high in a substance called "resistant starch", a carbohydrate which has a low glycemic index and acts as fiber.

A potato supplies more potassium per ounce than a banana. Potassium helps to regulate blood-pressure and blood-sugar. Potatoes also contain vitamin C, B-6 and about 60 anti-oxidants.

M-J's Recipe for Golden Brown Potatoes

Peel and cut into quarters or eighths, as many potatoes as you think you need for dinner. The cut potatoes should resemble chunks or nuggets. One potato per person is a safe bet; the leftovers can be re-heated and eaten the next day.

Boil water in a pot, with salt or chicken bouillon to your taste. Add the potato chunks and boil them for twenty minutes. Drain potatoes and then sauté them in butter or the fat of your choice until brown. Alternatively, you may coat the potatoes in lemon, olive oil and salt, then bake them on a cookie sheet until brown. A good way to evenly distribute the coating is to put the potatoes, oil and seasoning in a Zip-Lock bag and shake gently, being careful not to break the potato chunks.
Baked or sautéed, these potatoes are soft on the inside, and crispy on the outside.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

High Praise for the Lowly Potato

Potatoes: the much-maligned tubers aren't guilty of fattening us. The added fats in potato-preparation are the culprits. This humble vegetable that grows low on the ground is high in nutrients. The potato is high in a substance called "resistant starch", a carbohydrate which has a low glycemic index and acts as fiber.

A potato supplies more potassium per ounce than a banana. Potassium helps to regulate blood-pressure and blood-sugar. Potatoes also contain vitamin C, B-6 and about 60 anti-oxidants.

M-J's Recipe for Golden Brown Potatoes

Peel and cut into quarters or eighths, as many potatoes as you think you need for dinner. The cut potatoes should resemble chunks or nuggets. One potato per person is a safe bet; the leftovers can be re-heated and eaten the next day.

Boil water in a pot, with salt or chicken bouillon to your taste. Add the potato chunks and boil them for twenty minutes. Drain potatoes and then sauté them in butter or the fat of your choice until brown. Alternatively, you may coat the potatoes in lemon, olive oil and salt, then bake them on a cookie sheet until brown. A good way to evenly distribute the coating is to put the potatoes, oil and seasoning in a Zip-Lock bag and shake gently, being careful not to break the potato chunks.
Baked or sautéed, these potatoes are soft on the inside, and crispy on the outside.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

An Elegant, Low-Cost Wine for Parties

Photo copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008--click image for close-up.
Penascal Tempranillo Red Wine, 2005
Wine of Spain

Usually available in the U.S. for 5.99 per bottle. Tempranillo is the emblematic Spanish grape, and these are grown in the Castillo y León region of northern Spain. Hints of cherry, blackberry, and strong minerality combined with spicy leather and pepper notes make this a full-bodied red wine, yet it is not heavy on the palate. Its tannins are smooth, with a hint of oak. In 2005 and 2006, we served Penascal Tempranillo Red Wine 2003. It was always popular with our guests, and so is Penascal Tempranillo 2005. With the price of nearly everything going up, you need to have a good wine (and a good whine), at a low price. A good, low-priced wine from Spain comes in handy when you are hosting a party and need to purchase a case.

An Elegant, Low-Cost Wine for Parties

Photo copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008--click image for close-up.
Penascal Tempranillo Red Wine, 2005
Wine of Spain

Usually available in the U.S. for 5.99 per bottle. Tempranillo is the emblematic Spanish grape, and these are grown in the Castillo y León region of northern Spain. Hints of cherry, blackberry, and strong minerality combined with spicy leather and pepper notes make this a full-bodied red wine, yet it is not heavy on the palate. Its tannins are smooth, with a hint of oak. In 2005 and 2006, we served Penascal Tempranillo Red Wine 2003. It was always popular with our guests, and so is Penascal Tempranillo 2005. With the price of nearly everything going up, you need to have a good wine (and a good whine), at a low price. A good, low-priced wine from Spain comes in handy when you are hosting a party and need to purchase a case.

Elegant, Rugged Cotton Jacket for Women

Shapely Cotton Jacket for Women from Cabela's
Friday, Aug 15, 2008

The Topanga Jacket, $39.95

They offer "Topanga" trousers made from the same herringbone-weave cotton. Beware, though--like 90% of Cabela's slacks and skirts, they are low-rise, meaning they land below the navel.

I can see this rugged yet elegant jacket combined with a long, cotton or denim skirt, and a white, ruffled blouse.


Elegant, Rugged Cotton Jacket for Women

Shapely Cotton Jacket for Women from Cabela's
Friday, Aug 15, 2008

The Topanga Jacket, $39.95

They offer "Topanga" trousers made from the same herringbone-weave cotton. Beware, though--like 90% of Cabela's slacks and skirts, they are low-rise, meaning they land below the navel.

I can see this rugged yet elegant jacket combined with a long, cotton or denim skirt, and a white, ruffled blouse.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How an Elegant Woman Dresses at Ascot in the Autumn


One may be able to get through the gate at Ascot while not observing traditional rules, but if a woman wishes to look proper and elegant, she will follow them. A knee-length, or mid-calf fitted dress or suit with long sleeves and modest decolletage, stockings or tights, closed pumps, and a hat that covers the crown of the head will ensure a warm reception. Gloves are optional. Wearing a mini-skirt, jump-suit, slack-suit, sun-dress or spaghetti-strap cocktail dress may inspire derision, together with unflattering class-identification.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

How an Elegant Woman Dresses at Ascot in the Autumn


One may be able to get through the gate at Ascot while not observing traditional rules, but if a woman wishes to look proper and elegant, she will follow them. A knee-length, or mid-calf fitted dress or suit with long sleeves and modest decolletage, stockings or tights, closed pumps, and a hat that covers the crown of the head will ensure a warm reception. Gloves are optional. Wearing a mini-skirt, jump-suit, slack-suit, sun-dress or spaghetti-strap cocktail dress may inspire derision, together with unflattering class-identification.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

Le Boulevardier, Exclusively at Elegant Survival

Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton
A New Article by Le Boulevardier:
The Gentleman's Ten Essentials

Le Boulevardier, Exclusively at Elegant Survival

Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton
A New Article by Le Boulevardier:
The Gentleman's Ten Essentials

Leipäjuusto: Make Your Own Finnish Cheese

Click Image to Enlarge Recipe

My mother gave me a booklet in 1985, when it was published: Kitsi Finnish Foodways, a publication of Suomi College (now called Finlandia University) for FinnFest 1985. My copy of Kitsi is yellowed. Mother never made squeaky cheese, but she did draw the illustrations on Kitsi's cover. Leipäjuusto is an unusual creation that I really like with rye bread, when in Finland. Here is the recipe for making your own Finnish Squeaky Cheese.

Update: I've just found my mother's friend, Beatrice Ojakangas' blog, where she hosts a richer recipe for leipäjuusto.


Leipäjuusto: Make Your Own Finnish Cheese

Click Image to Enlarge Recipe

My mother gave me a booklet in 1985, when it was published: Kitsi Finnish Foodways, a publication of Suomi College (now called Finlandia University) for FinnFest 1985. My copy of Kitsi is yellowed. Mother never made squeaky cheese, but she did draw the illustrations on Kitsi's cover. Leipäjuusto is an unusual creation that I really like with rye bread, when in Finland. Here is the recipe for making your own Finnish Squeaky Cheese.

Update: I've just found my mother's friend, Beatrice Ojakangas' blog, where she hosts a richer recipe for leipäjuusto.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

MSN's Faulty Fashion Advice

From their page, Swimsuits You'll Want to Be Seen In
see this. Why couldn't they put a model in this one? Because no one wants to be seen in it!

And, from their page lauding jeans as a classic: they finally mention something I have been writing about for three years, the muffin-top look, but get it wrong. Just because women have been willing fashion-victims for the past ten years and worn slacks, jeans, pants, trousers and skirts that are hip-huggers without actual waists, it doesn't mean that the reappearance of an actual waist constitutes "high waisted" items. I wish these brainwashed fashion reporters would use the correct nomenclature. Clothing that is suppressed at the natural waist is NOT "high-waisted". This idiocy has been reported here on Elegant Survival more than once in the past few months.

High waists are Empire-style, just below the breast, and do just as much to create a big-bellied look as the hip-hugging biker-jeans and "drop-waists" have been doing throughout recent memory. Empire waists create a bulge underneath them, as hip-belted clothing creates a huge belly above it. Want a false pregnancy? Get an Empire-waisted dress or blouse. Then you can pretend that you have an illicit bun-in-the-oven, and are awaiting a Victorian-style punishment. Fashion-victims are masochists, are they not?

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

MSN's Faulty Fashion Advice

From their page, Swimsuits You'll Want to Be Seen In
see this. Why couldn't they put a model in this one? Because no one wants to be seen in it!

And, from their page lauding jeans as a classic: they finally mention something I have been writing about for three years, the muffin-top look, but get it wrong. Just because women have been willing fashion-victims for the past ten years and worn slacks, jeans, pants, trousers and skirts that are hip-huggers without actual waists, it doesn't mean that the reappearance of an actual waist constitutes "high waisted" items. I wish these brainwashed fashion reporters would use the correct nomenclature. Clothing that is suppressed at the natural waist is NOT "high-waisted". This idiocy has been reported here on Elegant Survival more than once in the past few months.

High waists are Empire-style, just below the breast, and do just as much to create a big-bellied look as the hip-hugging biker-jeans and "drop-waists" have been doing throughout recent memory. Empire waists create a bulge underneath them, as hip-belted clothing creates a huge belly above it. Want a false pregnancy? Get an Empire-waisted dress or blouse. Then you can pretend that you have an illicit bun-in-the-oven, and are awaiting a Victorian-style punishment. Fashion-victims are masochists, are they not?

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

Elegant Survival Non-Electric Tools

eat, 
In the event of a power-outage, or complete disaster, you will need certain non-electric kitchen tools. Let's say that you've successfully put away a stock of wheat. You will need to grind it for flour, or crush it for salads and pilafs. The traditional heavy metal meat and vegetable grinder, which attaches by vise to a table or counter-top, is necessary. If you have stored-up a load of coffee beans (whole coffee beans, like wheat "berries", have a much longer shelf-life than their ground forms), you will need a high-quality, hand-operated coffee grinder. See my Survival Tools link-list on the right side of this page for sources.
Hand-Operated Meat and Wheat Grinder

Here is a photo of my sprouted grains and seeds, showing my hand-operated coffee-grinder.
Click on photo to enlarge Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

Emergency Foods

A great way to always have some form of cheese, without refrigeration, is to buy economy-sized containers of grated Parmesan cheese--the kind which comes in the plastic cylinders. Kraft has a nice product; check its packaging for shelf-life prospectus. As in my previous posts about dehydrated foods, et cetera, I'm not posting this information for food-snobs, but for people who wish to be prepared for disaster!


You would do well to lay in a supply of pasta and powdered eggs, as well as olive oil and nuts. It may not be the most nutritious food, but there's a lot you can do with pasta. A recipe I devised years ago is this: sauté some walnuts and chopped garlic in olive oil until they are brown. Add it to your cooked pasta, together with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese. Eggs, of course, are nature's perfect food, in my opinion. Adding Parmesan cheese to an omelette yields a delicious dish, especially when it also contains tomatoes, sun-dried or fresh. Both pasta and egg dishes are enhanced by dried parsley and chives--two other items to have on hand when it seems that the end is at hand!

~~M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Survival Non-Electric Tools

eat, 
In the event of a power-outage, or complete disaster, you will need certain non-electric kitchen tools. Let's say that you've successfully put away a stock of wheat. You will need to grind it for flour, or crush it for salads and pilafs. The traditional heavy metal meat and vegetable grinder, which attaches by vise to a table or counter-top, is necessary. If you have stored-up a load of coffee beans (whole coffee beans, like wheat "berries", have a much longer shelf-life than their ground forms), you will need a high-quality, hand-operated coffee grinder. See my Survival Tools link-list on the right side of this page for sources.
Hand-Operated Meat and Wheat Grinder

Here is a photo of my sprouted grains and seeds, showing my hand-operated coffee-grinder.
Click on photo to enlarge Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

Emergency Foods

A great way to always have some form of cheese, without refrigeration, is to buy economy-sized containers of grated Parmesan cheese--the kind which comes in the plastic cylinders. Kraft has a nice product; check its packaging for shelf-life prospectus. As in my previous posts about dehydrated foods, et cetera, I'm not posting this information for food-snobs, but for people who wish to be prepared for disaster!


You would do well to lay in a supply of pasta and powdered eggs, as well as olive oil and nuts. It may not be the most nutritious food, but there's a lot you can do with pasta. A recipe I devised years ago is this: sauté some walnuts and chopped garlic in olive oil until they are brown. Add it to your cooked pasta, together with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese. Eggs, of course, are nature's perfect food, in my opinion. Adding Parmesan cheese to an omelette yields a delicious dish, especially when it also contains tomatoes, sun-dried or fresh. Both pasta and egg dishes are enhanced by dried parsley and chives--two other items to have on hand when it seems that the end is at hand!

~~M-J de Mesterton

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