Thursday, 28 May 2009

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

Friday, 15 May 2009

Elegant Survival's Source for Gloves

Ladies' Lambskin Gloves

Ladies’ Lambskin Gloves

I’ve advocated the wearing of gloves on Elegant Survival since its beginning in 2006 (see “The Merits of Wearing Gloves”, my old article). I’ve worn gloves for decades, whether or not they were in fashion. Now, there are even more reasons to wear them. Traditionally, it did not have to be cold outside, as it was on Inauguration Day outdoors in Washington, D.C., for ladies to wear gloves. Gloves will protect your hands from deadly germs and viruses, protect your jewelry from unwanted attention in-transit, and cushion your hands should you trip and fall on the pavement. For reasonable prices and a very extensive selection of glove styles, try

Inexpensive, Tough, Useful Leather Gloves: One of Many Styles at

Inexpensive, Tough, Useful Leather Gloves: Just One of Many Styles at

~~M-J de Mesterton, Copyright 2009

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

School Choice

School Vouchers are a result of poor educational standards, thanks to unions that hire teachers who didn't get more than a C average in school themselves, together with an institutional resistance to accountability and professional improvements. The existence of voucher systems provides competition to teachers' unions, and forces them to create and adhere to higher standards. School vouchers and charter schools were created by groups of parents who were fed-up with a deteriorating public school system that cared more about social engineering than academic achievement. The people at the Washington, D.C. rally feel that they should have the same school choice as President Obama's children, but he is curtailing the program henceforth, and has instructed it to not accept any new students. So, once more, the teachers' unions and the NEA will have a monopoly on public education, and the bar in Washington, D.C. will be forever lowered since they now have no competition.~~M-J

Source: Home of the Drew Carey Project and other libertarian videos.

Record of Plane Crashes for 2009

There have been at least two since this list was updated--in the U.S.A.--one was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (plane crashed into house), and another one was in southern Colorado.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

From M-J in January: Industry Not Supposed to Make Profit?

Excoriating EXXON-Mobil for "making a profit" is the trendy thing to do this week. All industries must profit. That's how they stay in business. That is how they are able to provide jobs. The oil that is needed to run commerce and the general economy--and which many citizens use to heat their homes or drive cars--is produced because the oil company makes a profit. Does the nonsensical blather in the news today herald the end of civilization?

Hugo Chavez, dictator of Venezuela and Big Oil chief, is poised to become Pres. Obama's good buddy. I wonder when the Exxon-Mobil haters are going to start bashing him for making huge oil profits? When Hell freezes over.
They would rather stay dependent upon the worst regimes in the world in order to run their Hollywood mansions, limousines and Hummers, while conveniently ignoring the truth. Exxon-Mobil pays taxes that enable lots of the little people they "care about" to get benefits and welfare. The dumbing-down of America has manifested itself in a leadership that knows nothing about economics. America's chickens are indeed coming home to roost. The coterie of clowns who mindlessly follow fashion are oblivious to the fact that while Wall Street salaries and corporate bonuses are high, and their favorite president will communistically "cap" them, the dizzying heights to which Hollywood salaries and bonuses have soared and remained will continue. How's that for hypocrisy? With the New Age Head-in-the-Sand Syndrome at its most virulent,the lop-sided double-standard they promote will go unacknowledged.

Copyright M-J

Friday, 1 May 2009

Justice for the Loyal Gurkha Regiment

Getty Photo: British Actress Joanna Lumley with Heroic Royal Gurkha Regiment Veterans

Getty Photo: British Actress Joanna Lumley with Heroic Royal Gurkha Regiment Veterans

Breaking News

A motion calling for the Government to withdraw the new Gurkha settlement guidelines immediately and bring forward revised proposals that extend an equal right of residence to all Gurkhas has been passed in the House of Commons by 267 to 246. The motion was proposed by the Liberal Democrats, but supported by MPs from all Parties, and we are grateful to all of them.

Thank you to everyone who has lobbied their MP, signed petitions, joined rallies and sent messages of support for the Gurkhas. Without your support, we would never have got this far.

We are waiting to hear the Government’s response to the vote. They must respect the wishes of Parliament to grant citizenship rights to all Gurkhas, and do so quickly.

You can see reaction to today’s historic vote at BBC News online.

The Gurkha Justice Campaign

Gurkhas are fighting for Justice. They want the same terms and conditions as their UK and Commonwealth counterparts.

Britain has had no greater friends than the Gurkhas. They have served all across the world in the defence of our Country for nearly 200 years. Over 45,000 died in the two World Wars as part of the British Army. They are still fighting in the British Army today.

You may have seen in the media that the Gurkhas have been fighting in Parliament and the Courts. Step by step, things are getting better - but there is a long way to go.

The Government decision of 25th April 2009 on Gurkha settlement rights is yet another huge betrayal of the Gurkhas who have served our country.

Only a tiny fraction of the Gurkhas who retired before 1997 will win settlement rights under the new policy. A Gurkha will have to have served 20 years or more or won one of a handful of medals: the big majority of Gurkhas served for 15 years under standard army policy.

You can read the full details of the Government’s decision in this Home Office PDF.

The campaign for full Gurkha Justice will now be taken back into Parliament and the courts. The Government needs to know they will have a huge campaign against them who will commit to righting this wrong.

Please sign up to the campaign below. We will keep in touch with you about how you can help: there is now much that needs to be done.

Join me in the campaign: together, we can finally right this wrong.

~~Joanna Lumley

Official Webpage: Gurkha Justice Campaign U.K.

Article in the Telegraph; Video with Joanna Lumley