I used to be a devoted follower of the NYT columnist, the Minimalist (Mark Bittman). But I've gotten out of the habit of reading him. Yet every January we seem to catch a new wave of enthusiasm for cooking, and for any enthusiastic home cook, Bittman is a must-read. This is one of those great general hints and tips columns he often does that I find among his very best. I'm definitely making a simple stock, which Significant Other has been threatening to do but which I have not been too enthusiastic for. The tipping point was Bittman's inclusion of celery in his stock, which I don't like to eat but is delicious in soup base. Time to boil some chicken bones. Maybe I'll make it into a spicy chicken soup.