What's Cooking in Region 1 - February 2005
by Marghretta McBean
Prejudice: an adverse judgement or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts. I was first appalled, then angry, and finally saddened by the vitriol, rudeness and outright hatred displayed by some Mensans as evidenced by their letters to the Bulletin editor regarding Michelle Wojtaszek's cover picture on the December 2004 issue. That supposedly intelligent people could "know" someone's sexual, religious, moral and personal history based solely on a photograph is not only ludicrous but speaks volumes about some segments of our Mensan society.
For years, many of the Blacks in Mensa have been pooh-poohed when they spoke of racial slurs or slights encountered at some Mensan events. Well, it's unfortunate that it took an attractive white woman with tattoos to bring to light what has been, to my mind, a dirty little secret: there are quite a few Mensans who do not like people who do not look like them, and they are not in the least bit hesitant in making their feelings known.
When I attend AMC (American Mensa Committee - Mensa's board of directors) meetings and discussion turns to recruiting new members and retaining them, I repeat again and again, most people want to feel welcome if they are to join any group. If they look around and don't see folks like themselves, a subtle message is being sent. It takes a great deal of confidence and inner strength to be the only "different" one in a group.
Would I ever get tattooed? No, because I've never seen any design I would like to wear for the rest of my life. (I do have a large collection of temporary tattoos, though). Would I ever get pierced? No, I'm chicken and it's just not moi. But I will defend to the end anyone's desire to tattoo, pierce and otherwise adorn their bodies. I may not always find the results attractive, but hey, it's their body. All I ask is that all protruding metal be removed prior to our (ahem) socialising.
I'm proud that Michelle is a member of our region and think she deserves praise for the graciousness with which she has handled this controversy.
We are half way through winter, so keeping warm is still essential. The Mexicans got it right: chocolate and chile peppers, a sublime combination :
- Remove seeds and veins from chiles. Roast chiles in 350° F. oven for 10-15 minutes or until dry and crumbly, set aside.
- In a small sauté pan, toast peanuts, sesame seeds and almonds until sesame seeds are just toasted, set aside.
- Over open fire on gas range toast tortilla until slightly charred, set aside.
- In a spice blender/coffee grinder add cloves, pepper corns, cinnamon stick, oregano, and bay leaf and blend until smooth.
- In a food processor add all ingredients and pulse until mixture resembles a smooth paste, adding stock/broth if needed. This paste keeps well refrigerated or frozen. For sauce, mix 3 cups boiling stock/broth with ½ cup paste.