All you need is three bowls of filling, plus husks, for cheese-jalapeno tamales
I signed up for the tamale-making class as the perfect excuse to get myself over to the Good December event sponsored by Good magazine. Although the workshop was a one-off, you should check out the space anyway, especially Sunday (Dec. 7) for the second day of the Local World's Fair. There's some very cool handmade stuff to buy, free Intelligentsia coffee, and other serendipitous things like the raw almond-butter workshop that started up while I was there. Silver Lake Farms, Full Circle Gardening, Evan Kleiman and others will be there Sunday, and there are other events revolving around sustainability, local activism and such every day for the next two weeks. And free Ben & Jerry's ice cream much of the time too.
Before the tamale workshop, sponsored by LA Commons and Mama's Hot Tamales, we feasted on tamales with mole and chile verde while we heard the inspiring story of Sandi "Mama" Romero and how she was instrumental in cleaning up MacArthur Park and helping sidewalk vendors go legal, as well as starting a business incubator program. One of her protegees, Ariceli from Mama's International Tamales, provided masa (made with vegetable oil instead of lard), jalapenos in tomato sauce, cheese and corn husks and showed us how to spread the masa (left), fold the husks, and then wrap it all in paper just like you swaddle a newborn. Mine were a little messy, but I'm sure after steaming for 45 minutes or so, they should be just right.
I like Good's mission "to push the world forward" targeted to "people who give a damn." Plus, they've figured out that the progressive messages go down easier with ice cream, coffee, tamales and lots of groovy people wandering around.