With single digit cold temperatures this week, the only proper food solution to get us through this cold snap is soup. Lots and lots of soup. Over the course of the year, every time I get a cut-up whole chicken from the butcher, he makes it a special point to separate the whole backbone of the chicken. I save these parts in a ziplock bag in the freezer all year long specifically to make an excellent chicken broth.

Most people toss the chicken’s backbone. My grandmother never did. She said it was the sweetest part of the bird. After all, she used to say, it’s the part of the chicken that goes over the fence last. That should give you an illuminating thought for the day.

I would slow boil the backbone for an hour before I would add in any veggies. This makes a very strong, vibrant and super tasty chicken broth.
I keep the backbone in the soup till the very end. Hubby likes to rake whatever meat he can get off this bone. I just prefer the clear broth. And the veggies (carrots, onions, celery and parsley).
In a separate pot, I either make brown rice or some pasta (1 cup) and add it to the finished soup. Top with grated cheese and you have a complete, HOT meal.
Then I have those days when I want a hot soup, nothing is in the fridge or the freezer. So, I reach for a ramen noodle pack. I only use half of the seasoning package (keeps down the sodium count) Sometimes I will add leftover cooked veggies, such as peas or pea pods. Either way, this soup makes you feel good on a cold winter’s day.
NO FOOD WASTE IDEA OF THE WEEK: I used (toasted) hamburger rolls to make breakfast egg sandwiches (with cheese). They were delish.
MORE NO FOOD WASTE IDEAS: I save the ends of our daily bread in a freezer bag. Whenever I need breadcrumbs, I just whirl them in a mini food processor and voila’: fresh, free bread crumbs that toast up deliciously.
Valentine’s Day Special Meal: based on an old Italian recipe, shared with me by my first mother-in-law, over forty-seven years ago, I had the urge to make these bad boys once again. They’re made with beef, veal and pork with white bread soaked in milk. I used beef only (I now make meatballs with chopped turkey) whole wheat bread and skim milk (gotta watch the weight no matter what!) They were spectacular, brought back old memories of the many loves we all share throughout our lives. Look for the good, people. There really is good out there.