Some people partied hearty New Year’s Eve and went to bed in the wee hours. Others decided to end 2013 and start 2014 by learning something new.
And when doing that while raising money for a good cause, they also entered the new year with a credit in the karma department.
Erin White Sinberg and Susan Atkinson partnered to offer a Tamale Making Class & Salsa Dance Party early New Year’s Eve.
Sinberg, the owner of Salsera Blanca, kicked the evening off with a dancing lesson. (What, you thought the salsa was a hot sauce?) Salsa is fast, a little tricky and a lot of fun. For those folks who had their first lesson that night, it will take some practice, but Sinberg’s demonstration partner, Ed Ferrigan, had his first lesson in April and has already mastered it enough to help teach it.
Atkinson, who is a yoga teacher for her day job, taught the tamale part of the class. She got her own lesson from a woman in Ignacio who taught a group using her mother’s recipe.
One of the class members had heard making tamales was difficult. Atkinson said they probably are if one person is standing in the kitchen alone, but they’re best when a group prepares them assembly-line style, especially because most people don’t make just 10, they make 10 dozen.
It’s meant to be fun, an affair for the whole family or a good reason to invite friends over. And they make great gifts.
Atkinson, who has revised the recipe to make tamales without lard so they’ll be healthier, showed the group of 42 how to make two different kinds. The meat version was pulled chicken with red chili sauce, and the vegetarian style featured black beans, corn, green chile sauce, zucchini and sautéed onions.
Atkinson had premade tamales to serve, so guests took home the ones they had made.
This seemed like an unusual yet cool way to spend a New Year’s Eve. Atkinson said that because tamales are often served during the holidays, it seemed like a good time for this kind of evening. I think she was right.
The evening was a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club, which allows Atkinson to rent space mornings for yoga lessons before the place is swarming with kids. The club charges only $15 per child per year in membership fees, and it costs about $800 per child to provide the many services the club offers, so fundraising is crucial to its success.
The evening led to a cool $400 donation.
Atkinson said it’s important for folks to know that the Boys & Girls Club doesn’t just provide babysitting or a safe place to go. While the latter is certainly important, it’s the tutors, art and computer lessons, instruction in leadership and other life skills, games and sports that make it a place where young people can’t wait to go. The club is a vital part of the community.
For more information on Salsera Blanca, visit www.salserablanca.com.
To learn more about the Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County, visit www.bgclaplata.org.
Happy Capricorn birthday greetings go to Tami Bradshaw, Garrett Moore, Paige Moore, Wyatt Moore, Mark Ugai, Chelsea Wendland, Isabelle Washburn, Terry Clark, Johan Kleva, Marissa Campano, Joan Duncan, John Ugai, Melissa Cooksey, Erick Schadt, Caleb Anderson, Jim Ruetschle, Mason Stetler, Joe Tuminello, Robb Bourdon, Zane Bourdon, Jasmine McCoy, Sydney McCoy, Ben Root, Ken Marshall, Jennifer Schadt, Ruth Shock, Stephanie Bowles, Dottie Johnson, Jamie Pratt, Shari Jennings, Paul Pane, Anne Rudolph, Alfred Rudolph, Carol Warren, Art Chase, Suzanne Chiarito, Charlie Milliet, Sharon Donahue, Richard Biegel, Todd Youngblood, Al Spungen, Lou Falkenstein, Sonja Bayley, Sandy Campbell, Gay Kiene, Ilamae Waters and Michael Davidson.
Special greetings go to one of my favorite people, K Redford, who celebrated a big one on Sunday.
As January, one of the quietest times of the year, unfolds, it’s time to reflect on the month of gaiety that is December. That’s a complicated way of saying that I’m still catching up on the wide variety of activities that took place last month.
Coldwell Banker Heritage House Realtors held its annual holiday party Dec. 13 at the Main Mall. Each year, Coldwell Banker designates a nonprofit it will support as a business – the many real estate agents and brokers support a plethora of causes on their own.
For 2013, that cause was the Women’s Resource Center, which received a check for $3,500 after the party where everyone glittered. (Attendees are asked to make a donation at the door.)
Norton’s Catering prepared a cornucopia of delights, including an artichoke-green chile, spicy clam and spinach-sour cream dips; a large marinated grilled vegetable platter with asparagus, zucchini, squash, peppers, onions and eggplant; bruschetta topped with roasted red bell peppers and artichokes; fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato skewers; grilled assorted sausages with caramelized onions and brown mustard; meatball skewers with barbecue sauce or marinara sauce; a carving station with pepper-crusted roast beef, herb-crusted turkey and smoked herb-crusted pork loin and fancy condiments; all kinds of dessert squares and cookies; and Norton’s signature bread pudding.
Hermesman Family Partners donated the use of the space, which was great, because it was large enough for the crowd that attended, making it a crush only in the best sense of the word.
Many people think of the American Association of University Women as providing networking opportunities for professional women, but it is so much more than that.
One of the many ways it assists women to grow and learn is by partnering with institutions of higher learning to offer everything from grants and fellowships to leadership conferences and workshops.
Amy Blackwell, who sits on the Executive Board of the National AAUW, will talk about those offerings at 5 p.m. today at the Vallecito Room in the Student Union at Fort Lewis College. FLC is a partner with the Durango Branch of AAUW.
I’m particularly interested in the $tart$mart workshops she is certified to facilitate. They are designed to help young women who are entering the workforce to learn the art of negotiating salaries.
Research has shown that much of the difference in the lifetime of earnings between men and women is that young women tend not to negotiate for that first job out of the gate. That makes it difficult to ever catch up, because every raise and most new job salaries are based on the current salary.
Of course, AAUW has a number of other missions, including policy and legal advocating for women’s rights in higher education and the workplace, sponsoring interest groups such as the Camerata, dedicated to every aspect of the arts, and the Edouard Book Group, and offering local scholarships.
It seems to me that every female college student and the parents or grandparents of female college students should be interested in learning more about what AAUW has to offer.
To learn more about AAUW, visit http://durango-co.aauw.net
Here are my New Year’s resolutions for Neighbors. I vow:
To try to cover the width and breadth of the interesting people and activities of La Plata County and beyond.
To help ensure that our most fragile neighbors receive the attention and assistance they need to survive and thrive.
To tell the stories of the countless (really, no one has a true count) nonprofits that help make this a great place to live.
To remind us all that we are in this together as a community, and working together is how we build community.
And, most importantly, to have fun while doing it.
Happy New Year!
Marking another year on the calendar and another year of marriage are Charlie and Martha Diehl, David and Jessica Keitz, Warren and Marilyn Holland, Coy and Niki Bryant, Bob Vialpondo and Dian Jenkins, Bill and Carol Thurman, Ron and Sharon Wiebel and Jon Powell and Linda Arndt.
Here’s how to reach me: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 375-4584; mail items to the Herald; or drop them off at the front desk. Please include contact names and phone numbers for all items. I am happy to consider photos for Neighbors, but they must be high-quality, high-resolution photos (at least 1 MB of memory) and include no more than three to five people. I need to know who’s who, left to right, and who to credit with the photo. Candid photos are better than posed, and photos should be submitted as .jpg or .tif attachments.