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Articles from February 2007

What's Cooking in Region 1 - February 2007
by Marghretta McBean

Winter's sting is back: as I write this it is 11 degrees F with a minus 8 F wind-chill. The second queen bee froze, and hopefully the other bees will be able to survive the frigid temperatures. The groundhog was wrong, very wrong this year.

The January American Mensa Committee (AMC - Mensa's national board of directors of which I am one) meeting in Birmingham Alabama was lively, with a great deal of attention paid to the Local Group Charter Committee's proposal. As Chair, the committee and I have received input, often conflicting, from lawyers, auditors, and our members. The decision to postpone a vote until a more simplified, understandable document is created was taken by the committee as a strong signal that sometimes less can indeed be more. What had started out as a one page "clarification of the relationship between American Mensa and its local groups" blossomed into a twelve page affair full of legalese. Legal opinions should be respected, but often they can contain an element of overkill. I feel confident that the next AMC meeting in Chicago will see a kinder, gentler Local Group Charter.

The city of Birmingham has lots of steep hills which make for an energetic running experience. I was able to visit the Civil Rights Museum which offered a moving historical perspective on segregation and the civil rights movement which moved into national awareness during the 1954 Birmingham bus strike initiated by Rosa Parks. If you are planning to attend the Annual Gathering, this would be an excellent visit destination, as well as the Birmingham Museum of Art which has one of the best collections of Wedgewood in the world.

As a twenty-two year volunteer reader for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (http://www.rfbd.org) , I am happy to report that this worthy organisation will be the national Make-A-Difference Day (27 October) project for American Mensa, as approved at the AMC meeting. There are studios in many parts of the country, and five in Region 1: New Haven, CT; Lenox, Williamstown, and Cambridge, MA; and New York City. I would urge all of you to consider volunteering!

If you haven't done so already, please renew your membership by 31 March! Besides enjoying another year (or better yet, *years* - consider a multi-year or life membership) of Mensa, it will guarantee that you will be eligible to vote in the upcoming national elections this spring. As many of you know, I am running for Chair, so I do have a personal stake in voter turnout.

"Irish" and "potatoes" are almost synonymous, so Boxty is a great addition to your St. Patrick's Day menu. These pancakes are similar to the latkes served at Hannukah.

Boxty (Irish Potato Pancakes)
Boxty

  • 1 lb. (450 g.) potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 6 oz. (170 g.) flour
  • ½ tsp. (2 g.) baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. (3 g.) salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 oz. (125 ml.) milk
    1. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix with potatoes.
    2. Add the egg and enough milk to make a thick batter.
    3. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter into a hot greased frying pan. Cook each side 3-4 minutes or until brown.
    4. Serve hot with butter and, if you like, condiments: sauteed onions, chutney, etc.

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