Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Stock Time

by M. J. Joachim

I’m a big fan of keeping stock on hand, the kind you eat, not the kind you lose in the stock market.

My basic vegetarian recipe includes carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, (onions, which are optional, depending on my mood) and lots of water.  I also add salt and pepper to taste. I boil everything for a couple of hours, strain it and use it through the week. Sometimes I drink it as a snack. Often, I will can a few jars to keep on hand.

For chicken stock, I add a whole washed and skinned chicken to the pot. For beef stock, I add beef, sometimes a really tough piece I got on sale. It’s the broth I’m after, and beef flavors it whether it’s tough or not. Sometimes making beef broth with tough meat is enough to make the beef suitable to cut and shred for other meals.

When I can my stock I like to add crushed Vitamin C tablets, 1,000 mg p/pint. This raises the acid level a bit. I also process it for at least 3 hours. Sometimes I’ll add a bottle of red wine to my beef stock. It also raises the acid levels, but more importantly it gives beef broth a hearty flavor that is perfect for stews and stroganoff.

Chicken broth is always refrigerated before canning. So is beef broth sometimes, depending on the fat amount. This way, the fat solidifies at the top, and I remove as much as I possibly can. I’m not real big into adding unnecessary fat into my meals or diet.

One of the reasons I don’t always add onion to broth is because I’ve heard onion is bad for dogs. Sometimes when they’re being picky eaters or just not feeling well, I put a little broth on their food to keep them happy, but I won’t do this if my broth has onion in it.

So there you have it, a few recipes for making stock - veggie, chicken and beef. Bindu asked me for a few more canning recipes, and since I’m making veggie stock later today, I thought this would be apropos.

Thanks again for stopping by. Blogging is so much more fun when you have company!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: broth, mariuszjbie, GNU Free Documentation License

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Should Luna be an Elephant for Halloween? Your Vote Counts!

by M. J. Joachim

I’m Not Sure Luna Wants to be an Elephant for Halloween This Year…

If you think Luna should be an elephant this year, pin it, tweet it, give it a Google+, share it on Facebook or vote yes in the comments. If she reaches 500 yes votes by Friday, we’ll call her Ellie and she’ll be an elephant for Halloween this year.

Happy Tuesday to you!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: M. J. Joachim ©2014 All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 27, 2014

Random Monday Thoughts

by M. J. Joachim

If this is how the day is starting, I might as well go back to bed.

I wonder if my special pickle recipe will turn out better than those ones we buy at the store.

Rushing without energy is a sure way to get nothing done fast.

Must be poop scoop day by the looks of the yard. Do you think I’m feeding them too much or something?

Worked so hard, got up excited to see my progress…wouldn’t ya know, it was negative this morning.

Shadow and Luna feeding frenzy - now there’s a story waiting to be told!

How is it that one solitary post, a really good one that tastes delicious, doesn’t get even a single page view at all, not one, zero, nada, none? Doesn’t anyone like beans anymore?

On that note, I guess I better get to work now.

Thanks for stopping by,

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Random 4,Tatyana Zatanova, Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0 International

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Canning Bug Bites!

by M. J. Joachim

It’s been a few weeks now since I discovered how much I enjoy canning. Well, in those few weeks, I’ve managed to make quite a stockpile of home canned goods in my pantry. I’ve made everything from fruits to sauces, broths to main course meals. I even canned six jars of my husband’s homemade chili. It’s super good, but man does he make a ton of it when he gets bit by the cooking bug!

A little trick I learned in my research is to add Vitamin C to the mix when you’re canning meat and veggies. I grind up 1,000 mg per pint and add it to the recipe pot, before processing the jars in the  hot water bath. You can’t taste it, and it brings up the acid levels for an added layer of food preservation safety in the kitchen. I don’t do this when I’m pickling things though. Then I simply follow the recipe.

Anyway, today my daughter got that funny look on her face. She’d been in and out of the pantry, looking at me sort of sideways in the kitchen as I stirred my next kettle of vittles, and moved jars back and forth for canning. I made 18 jars of goodies from 3 recipes today. The pantry has been rearranged a few times in recent days to make room for everything. My poor daughter looked at me and said, “We’re running out of room for food, Mom. You aren’t planning to quit going grocery shopping anytime soon, are you?”

I looked at her and said, “There’s plenty of fresh produce in the fridge. Have a salad or an apple if you’re hungry.”

I remember when they thought they were going to have to pry the crochet hook from my hands. Now I’m already planning to teach my granddaughter to crochet, and she’s only a few weeks old.

Best of the day to you all! Thanks for stopping by,

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: 4-H Club Member Storing Food Grown in Her Garden,
Rockbridge County Virginia, Public Domain, US Dept. of Agriculture Extension Service

Gluten Free Whiskey

by M. J. Joachim

I went gluten free a little over a year ago for health reasons. There’s a long and detailed family history about all the trouble some of my siblings have gone through because of gluten; I was having similar symptoms that were wreaking havoc with my health, so I went gluten free of my own volition. It worked, and many of my health problems dramatically improved or cleared up altogether.

Whiskey has always been my hard liquor of choice, but as many of you know, whiskey is made from grain. I was reading enough labels and didn’t want to mess with booze, so I opted to switch to Bacardi Superior Rum and coke when I wanted to have a mixed drink. It was an easy button, I admit, but it worked for well over a year.

Recently I really started missing my whiskey/coke, and being a “pro” on the gluten free food front, I decided to research and find out if there were any whiskey distilleries that make gluten free whiskey. I certainly was not disappointed when I found out that Maker’s Mark is made from corn - no gluten grains in it at all!

My husband was doing his own bit of research. He brought home a bottle of Tullamore Dew - one of my absolute favorites! Turns out Tullamore Dew is triple distilled, removing the gluten threat in the process. Okay, I was a little nervous about drinking it at first, but once I had a small glass and didn’t have any reaction, I knew it was okay for me to drink on those rare occasions, when I want to have a straight shot. My grandma taught me to drink it straight - Straight Shot Grandma Smith, we used to call her. She wasn’t a drunk, she simply didn’t like mixing flavors with her whiskey.

Maker’s Mark is made from corn, so it’s a safe and sure bet for those with gluten problems.

Tullamore Dew is triple distilled and doesn’t bother me at all. 

I’ve only accidentally had gluten once since going gluten free, and within 20 minutes, I was positively beside myself in pain and didn’t recover until several hours into the next day. I don’t know anyone else’s sensitivities to gluten, so you’ll have to decide for yourself to see if you want to drink Tullamore Dew too. I’m not trying to get anyone sick by putting this out there, and advise drinking it at your own risk. All necessary disclaimers apply here, because I know what it’s like to get sick from gluten and wouldn’t wish that on anyone!


M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Various Whiskies, Chris Huh, GNU Free Documentation License

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Home Canned Very Veggie Bean Soup

by M. J. Joachim

Here's the deal. I kind of made it up as I went along, and I was canning, but I also wrote it as I went along, so I'm not sure how to decrease it for you. Bottom line, my family says it’s one of the best bean soup recipes I’ve ever made, and they’ve always raved about how good my beans are.

2 pounds great northern white beans
3 large red peppers
2 med yellow onions
1 whole garlic bulb - not cloves, the whole thing
Less than 1/4 cup salt
1 whole celery stalk - again, not individual stalks, the whole thing
1 bunch parsley
Lots of freshly ground pepper

Step 1: Wash beans and put in large pot with enough water to double their height in pot.

Step 2: Clean all veggies and chop coarsly in food processor, adding each in turn to the pot.

Step 3: Add more water to pot as beans become soft and soak up water. Be careful not to add so much water that soup becomes watery and stays too thin.

Step 4: Add fresh ground pepper.

Step 5: Let beans and veggies boiling high for 10 - 20 min. Lower heat to low/med. cover and summer until beans are soft and plump. Eat some and can the rest. I made 8 pint jars and dinner for 4 with this recipe.

Step 6: Process in hot water bath - 60 minutes for pints, 75 minutes for quarts

Thanks for stopping by FlashTyme today. I really do appreciate it!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: M. J. Joachim, Very Veggie Bean Soup, ©2014 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Only a few more weeks until we vote…

by M. J. Joachim

The only problem is, if you listen to all those ads, there’s not a candidate worth voting for. I mean, who wants a money laundering, thieving, murderous villain, who hates illegal immigrants, refuses to protect the border from terrorists, cheats on his/her spouse, is a total racist, steals from the poor to line his/her own pockets, takes away healthcare in the name of giving healthcare benefits, has no interest in educating our children, etc. etc. etc.

(I think I got just about everybody in there…)

Personally, I think all these ads might be a very creative political ploy to keep Americans from going to the polls!

Please, hit the mute button already and do your own research before you vote. You know you want to anyway!

Thanks for stopping by today,

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved No part of this blog may be copied in any way, shape or form without direct, written consent from the author. Thank you.

Photo credit: Schurz & German Vote, Thomas Nast (1840 - 1902), PD-US

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Um, No!

by M. J. Joachim

Thought for the day…

Blindly asking for someone’s phone # on Google +! Seriously! Some people really need to do a reality check, either that or hit the censor button on their keyboards!

…and then life goes on…

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved No part of this blog may be copied in any way, shape or form without direct, written consent from the author. Thank you. 
Photo credit: Rejected, Nicolas Espinosa, GNU Free Documentation License

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wash, Rinse, Rinse Again!

by M. J. Joachim

I’m a double rinser, and I’ll tell you why. I’m a little paranoid about all those chemicals and detergents remaining in my clothes and on my dishes. So, when I wash clothes I click the extra rinse/spin button, and when I wash dishes I hit the sani-rinse button on the dishwasher.

It’s not like I’m doing any extra work or anything…hitting a button on the machines. I’m simply making sure no soap residue remains in my clothes to make me itch, or on my dishes to be ingested with my food.

Plus, I don’t have to wash the soap residue off my dishes periodically when they start to get cloudy like my mom always used to do. A friend of hers gave her a tip for making glasses super shiny - rinsing them in toilet bowl cleaner! Yea, I don’t want to ingest that with my drinks either!

So there you have it. I’m a double rinser and things are a whole lot softer and shinier around here, without the added hassle of cleaning them twice to remove unnecessary build up.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting FlashTyme! This is M. J. wishing you a marvelous day!

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Marlon Felippe, Drops Impact, GNU Free Documentation License

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Breakfast is Served!

by M. J. Joachim

Gluten Free Pancakes with Home Canned Blueberry Sauce and bacon…oh, yea!

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

M. J. 
©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: M. J. Joachim, ©2014 All Rights Reserved

Home Canned Blueberry Sauce

by M. J. Joachim

8 - 10 Cups fresh blueberries
2 1/2 - 3 Cups sugar
1/4 Cup cornstarch mixed with 1/4 Cup flour (I use gluten free flour)
1 large bulb fresh, finely grated ginger
2 Cups water

Step 1: Mix all ingredients together in large pot and cook on medium heat on stove, until liquid starts to become clear and glossy

Step 2: Add a splash of cranberry juice, stirring berries frequently, but not constantly

Step 3: Lower heat to a low simmer, until berries are cooked well and flavors blend together. Sauce should be glossy and start to thicken a little bit.

Step 4: Add 3 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice and mix well

Step 5: Pour into prepared, pint size canning jars and process in hot water bath for 30 minutes

This sauce is simply delicious! It comes out thin, so you can use it on pancakes or pour over the top of cheesecake and biscuits. You can also pour it into a pot on the stove, thicken it up and use it as blueberry pie filling or in jam thumbprint cookies.

You know, when I saw all those beautifully fresh blueberries at the Farmer's Market last week, I just knew I had to share something really delicious with you! Thanks for stopping by!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved, photo credit: M. J. Joachim ©2014 All Rights Reserved

Did Someone Say Pancakes? Gluten Free too!

by M. J. Joachim

My all time favorite pancake recipe…

1 egg
1 Cup flour
3/4 Cup milk
1 Tbls sugar
2 Tbls oil or bacon grease
3 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together with beaters until smooth. Butter grill and cook @ 375 - 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

I use a gluten free Artisan flour blend. The batter comes out thicker, and depending on my mood, I leave it thick or thin it out as desired, by adding more milk. I also use my flipper to flatten my pancakes when I flip them. Mmmm, mmmmmm, mmmm - they are so good too!

Thanks for stopping by and getting your flash fix today!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved, Photo credit: M. J. Joachim ©2014 All Rights Reserved

Morning Loves with Shadow and Luna

by M. J. Joachim


Every morning, it’s the same routine. Shadow wakes up, checks on Luna and strolls out into the yard, taking his time to waddle out the door. Then he saunters back into the house, takes a sip of water, surveys the couches in the family room, crouches back deep onto his buttocks and makes a short jump to one of his three favorite spots, huffing at me as if to say, “Another morning, huh? And I still have to wait for my breakfast.”

About an hour or so later, Luna makes her way out to the kitchen, stretching and energizing as she comes. She makes the rounds, first finding me and sitting at my feet, waiting to be picked up like a baby. It doesn’t matter if I’m sitting or standing, she reaches up her two front paws, stretching her hind legs as far as they will go, hopping and doing little jumps until I pick her up so she can give me my morning hugs and kisses.

Once I put her down, she goes and finds Shadow to kiss him good morning. Tough guy that he is, he obliges her with a high wagging tail and together they race outside to the far end of the yard. Less than a minute goes by before they race back inside, jump on “my” couch, and wait patiently for me to sit down in my spot where they both tackle me with hugs and kisses, while I lavishly pet them, rub their ears and wish them a very good morning and day in turn.

They’re dogs, folks. And I’ve learned to leave my coffee on the kitchen table, because when tails wag and butts wiggle with that much excitement to see me, I’m not about to turn them down!

Thanks for visiting FlashTyme today. I’m so glad you stopped in for a visit!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: M. J. Joachim, Shadow and Luna, ©2014 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Adding Preservatives to Home Canned Food

by M. J. Joachim

So when I decided to really learn how to can food, I visited loads of websites and watched dozens of videos to learn how to do it right.

Something that struck me kind of oddly is that several of the more “professional” sites and videos seem to have a catch. They try to make canning more complicated - I mean, sell worthy. In other words, they get all scientific on us and try to sell us products to help preserve the food.

Maybe it’s just me, but canning has been around for centuries, and to the best of my knowledge, its purpose is to preserve food. Way back when, food was much more seasonal. Winters could be long and hard, and food might be scarce. If you didn’t can it when it was available, you wouldn’t have it at all.

Which is why I’m making my recipes - good old family favorites and some delightfully delicious new ones. I’m still following necessary guidelines, because no one needs to get sick or anything, but I’m also canning to preserve the food, without adding extra preservatives. After all, that’s one of the biggest reasons I started canning in the first place.

Thanks for stopping by today,

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved No part of this blog may be copied in any way, shape or form without direct, written consent from the author. Thank you. Photo credit: Finished Product, Leslie Seaton, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Power of Now

by M. J. Joachim

Yesterday I went and sat on a swing. I was the only one at the park, save for a mother on a picnic blanket and her two young boys. There’s something cathartic about swinging to & fro.

As the memories flashed through my mind, not all of them pleasant, I realized nothing really matters except this moment in time, because if I let go I surely will fall and get hurt.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting FlashTyme today!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved No part of this blog may be copied in any way, shape or form without direct, written consent from the author. Thank you.
Photo credit: Michael Rivera, Cumbee Park Swings, Irwin County Georgia, Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Canners Do It to Keep It Pure!

This is why I've decided 
to can my own food!

©2014 All Rights Reserved No part of this blog may be copied in any way, shape or form without direct, written consent from the author. Thank you.
Photo credit:  M. J. Joachim, ©2014 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Weight of Bras

by M. J. Joachim

I hate bras! Not a good thing at all when you’re as busty as I am! Which brings me to one of the many reasons why I hate bras…

I mean, think of it! All those metal and plastic hooks, eyes and adjusters, all in the name of providing extra support!

Hellllloooo!!!! Gravity!!! What do they think is going to happen when weight and sagginess start taking their toll? That’s right! Shoulders, necks and backs will pay the price, as all those little tiny “things” dig deep into our skin!

No worries though. For a wee small fee, we can buy extra pads to put underneath the gizmos. Some of us might even be able to compete with professional football players!

Thank God those bra designers and manufacturers are in our corner, just so no one ever has to look at our wrinkly, saggy boobs again!

Just a few more thoughts flashing through my brain. Thanks for stopping by today!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved No part of this blog may be copied in any way, shape or form without direct, written consent from the author. Thank you.

Photo credits: Brassiere 032, Creative Commons - Share Alike; Bra Fence, lldefonse, Public Domain

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Super Easy Hot Wing Recipe and It’s Gluten Free Too!

by M. J. Joachim

Step 1: Clean as many chicken wings as you’d like or need

Step 2: Spread some parchment paper on a cookie sheet

Step 3: Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Step 4: Put wings on cookie sheet

Step 5: Sprinkle wings with lemon pepper

Step 6: Sprinkle wings with favorite hot sauce

Step 7: Bake until they are golden and crispy (apprx. 30 - 40 minutes)

Step 8:  (optional) Sprinkle lightly with salt when you take them out of the oven.

These wings are so easy to make, tastes great, are the perfect football food and make great leftovers too! Oh, and they’re family approved. Mine positively loves them!

I use Lawry’s lemon pepper and Tapatio hot sauce, because both are gluten free.

It’s all just a flash in time here at FlashTyme!

Thanks for stopping by,

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved No part of this blog may be copied in any way, shape or form without direct, written consent from the author. Thank you.

Photo credit: M. J. Joachim, ©2014 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Angels in the Hammock

by M. J. Joachim

It’s barely 6 o’clock in the morning. I’m sitting here drinking my coffee, staring out the window at the hammock.

Suddenly it starts swaying in the light October breeze, but this doesn’t appear to be random, light-hearted swinging. It seems so deliberate and intentional.

I rush for my phone to take a picture. “Angels in the hammock,” I say to no one in particular. “Thanks for watching over me Dad and Mom.” Both of my parents are gone now, but I always know they’re still close by, especially in moments like this.

©2014 All Rights Reserved No part of this blog may be copied in any way, shape or form without direct, written consent from the author. Thank you.
Photo credit: M. J. Joachim, ©2014 All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 13, 2014

FlashTyme Revitalized

by M. J. Joachim

I’ve was sleeping, dreaming, and for months mulling over what to do with this blog. I didn’t want it to be that hard. I mean, press the easy button already! Blogging is supposed to be fun. But when you’ve started as many blogs as I have, and your brain is usually going in more than a few directions all at once, sometimes you need to simplify using what you have in stock.

I’m a writer! Heck, I love to write, and flash fiction is one of my favorite things to write. But in between all those brilliant story ideas and eye popping endings, life happens, and there are plenty of things I would have shared, if not for limiting myself to writing only flash fiction on this blog.

So pass the tissue already. It’s time to think outside of this box and take to heart something I saw on Facebook the other day and remember that, “There is no box.” Duh, and yes, I shared it there.

I hope you'll follow me, and enjoy the new and exciting changes I’m making here. There will still be plenty of stories, but there will also be random thoughts, recipes, home and garden tips, pet scoops and more.

Until next time then, this is M. J. wishing you a very wonderful day!

©2014 All Rights Reserved No part of this blog may be copied in any way, shape or form without direct, written consent from the author. Thank you.

Photo credit: Writing Box, Eight Bridges, Ogata Korin, Public Domain according to old copyright law of Japan, Masterpieces of Japan Arts 1953