» Archive for November, 2009

Volunteer Spotlight: Brenda

Friday, November 6th, 2009 by Marie

Brenda volunteered at the Bosque for a little over 3 months.  She has a degree in graphic design and is a freelance photographer and graphic artist.  At the Bosque she contributed to a wide variety of projects, from a mosaic countertop to creating the new Bosque logo.  Brenda is an incredibly responsible and very intelligent person, and was a pleasure to be around.  She was very patient with our Spanish and helped us improve by giving us some lessons.  She also handled a juggling act of working on about 50 projects at a time, which drives some volunteers nuts.

Brenda’s projects at the Bosque included leading cob (natural building with formed adobe), painting a tarot board, creating a logo, working on developing our Spanish language program, creating a nice editable version of our map, repairing and making a mosaic on the Casita countertop with Trevor, and designing and making our new schedule board.  In her free time Brenda worked on photography, clay, making jewelry, and doing yoga.  She happened to be here during a particularly stressful time for Brian and I, and was always a nice, calm presence in the midst of our frustrations.

Brenda is an extremely talented artist.  You can see some of her photography here.
Thanks Brenda!  You’re welcome back anytime!

Working on the Casita countertop with Trevor:

Working on the schedule board:

Her logo in use for the schedule board:

With MaryFer, Shalanda and Becky during the Virgo birthday party she helped organize:

Recipe: Vegetable Broth

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 by Marie

In nearly every savory recipe which calls for adding water, adding a broth instead will enhance the flavor of your dish significantly.  Since we eat soup every night at the Bosque, having fresh vegetable broth is essential.  We also cook beans and rice in vegetable broth to give them more flavor.

If you cook at home and find yourself regularly chopping vegetables, chances are you have all the ingredients you need for a nice vegetable broth.  You can probably find them in your compost bin.

The tops and bottoms of onion, celery, and carrots become the base for our vegetable broth.  Next come some spices, and depending on what we’ve been cooking we might add some leek, garlic, herbs or tomato.  But the basic stock recipe stays the same, and is adaptable depending on what scraps are on hand and what we’re having for dinner.

If you have a freezer you can start saving up your veggie scraps until you want to make a big batch of yummy broth.  Because we don’t use a freezer or refrigeration and we cook for large groups, I usually make this recipe about every other day.

The steps:

1.  Put scrap onion skins, carrot tops and bottoms, and celery leaves and leftover stalks into a pot with a few bay leaves, 3-5 peppercorns, and a clove.

2.  Add water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10-20 minutes.

3.  Strain your awesome broth.  Ready to add to soup or whatever recipe calls for vegetable broth!

We have an endless need for vegetable broth.  If you don’t use broth every day, you can always add more vegetables and less water to have a condensed broth that you can freeze, ready to thaw as needed.

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