The Latest Elegant Survival Posts

Potage Printanier aux Petits Pois: M-J’s Spring Pea Soup
28 03 2009
Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008
One 16-ounce bag of frozen petits pois, or tiny green peas (be sure to use the frozen variety for their intense colour)
Three cups of hot water
Herbs: savoury or herbes de Provence
1/3 Cup of sour cream or crême fraîche
Salt to taste
In a blender, mix together the hot water and frozen small peas until they are like soup. Pour the
mixture into a pot and heat it to simmering. Add a half-teaspoon of savoury or herbes de Provence, and a third-cup of crème fraîche or sour cream. Stir with a wire-whisk until the bits of cream are fully incorporated into the green soup. Heat again till just boiling, and serve. This recipe will make four bowls ofPotage Printanier aux Petits Pois. Double the recipe by repeating the first step and adding the results to the pot, while repeating the other ingredients as well. Add salt to your own preference. I use Himalayan salt. This soup may be served either hot or chilled. A small spoonful of sour cream or crême fraîche in the center of each bowlful will act as a garnish.

M-J’s Still Life with Fruit Smoothie
27 03 2009
M-J de Mesterton Still Life with Fruit Smoothie, Copyright 2009
M-J de Mesterton Still Life with Fruit Smoothie, Copyright 2009
Ginger, Chilean black grapes, plain yoghurt, bananas, apples, oranges, frozen blueberries, strawberries and a bit of honey are blended in an Osterizer for a health-enhancing morning drink.

Elegant but Rustic Decorating
27 03 2009
Bright Colors Enhance a White Room
Colors in the general space reflect those in the artwork.
Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton
The Poster, Produced by the Aberbach Gallery in 1979, Commemorates
Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton
Photos Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Inexpensive Hair-Care, a Reprint from Elegant Survival Summer 2008

22 03 2009
Elegant Survival Hair-Care
Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008
It’s been many years since I visited a beauty salon to get my hair done, or for any other purpose. There are several reasons for this, foremost among them is that the hair stylists I had, no matter how much money I paid, paid no attention to what they were doing. They were more interested in operating an inquisition into my private life than in the usual beauty operator’s line–cutting my hair in a straight line. Going to Bergdorf Goodman’s salon didn’t make a whit of difference in the quality of my final result. Hair dressers blow-dry and style cut hair with a curling brush in order to conceal the bad job they’ve done. Once you wash the hair, the signs of neglect and poor craftsmanship appear.
My husband enjoys cutting my hair. He uses some very good scissors from France. And he doesn’t spend his energy asking about my private life–he is my private life! Train your husband, wife, or trusted friend to cut your hair, and return the favor. Remember, the higher the quality of your scissors or shears, the better the haircut.
There are many brands of hair color on the market. Target and Wal-Mart carry Revlon Colorsilk, usually for three dollars a box. It is just as good as the more expensive brands. If your hair has already started to turn gray or, as in my case, white, choose lighter colors. I remember bumping into Tony Bennett back in 1980s Manhattan. He was dying his hair black then to look younger, but the effect was reminiscent of a wax museum replica. Now that he has let his hair go naturally white, he looks so much more healthy and attractive. The same is true for ladies. If you are fortunate enough to go white instead of gray, it gives a platinum blond look. White hair is usually much more delicate than gray, and thus is easier to color. Hair that hasn’t yet turned, but is mixed in with white hair, will also dye or lighten more easily. If you have naturally black hair, lightening will be difficult. In your case, blending gray and dark hair with a shade just a bit lighter than your original one will be better than going to the lightest shade, because attempting to bleach black hair usually produces an orange result. What you ought not to do is try to dye your hair as black as it was when you were young. Nothing is more difficult to keep up than dark hair with white or gray roots. Black hair that is graying can sometimes be successfully enhanced with a natural dark henna. Slightly lighter colors of hair dye will blend with the new growth of hair and give you an evenly pigmented coiffure. At three dollars a box, it is wise to stock up on your shade, because at times they are sold-out, and you don’t want to be caught dead with the wrong color on your head!
Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

Classic, Elegant Shoes with the English Gentleman in Mind at Pediwear

18 03 2009
Beautifully Made English Shoes at an Accessible Price
Beautifully Made English Shoes at an Accessible Price

English Shoes for Men, Available On-Line at Pediwear

The Sonya Apple, an Elegant Survival Favorite

7 03 2009
Sonya, Elegant Survival's Ideal Apple (photo copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008)
Sonya, Elegant Survival's Ideal Apple (photo copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008)
The Sonya apple originated in New Zealand, and has been internationally available since 2002. Its unique flavor is owed to its two parent-apples, the Red Delicious and the Gala.
The Sonya apple is pleasantly sweet and crisp, with an intense, fresh apple-juice flavor. Sonya apples are perfect for snacks, and the ones available now are small and perfectly shaped for packing in lunches. In my recent experience with Fuji apples, Elegant Survival’s former favorite for pie-making as well as eating, they have become less crisp, juicy and flavorful. Though that anomaly may be only temporary, I intend to make pies with Sonya apples henceforth. M-J’s Fuji Salad will now be called “Sonya Salad”–stay tuned for the recipe.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, March 2009