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Articles from March 2004

What's Cooking in Region 1 - March 2004
by Marghretta McBean

In Mensa-land, March is the last month of the year. Our fiscal and membership year begin on 1 April. Now is the time to renew your membership and for me to settle my RVC accounts. Each RVC gets a budget based on the number of members and number of groups in her/his region. Budgeted monies must be spent by 31 March, or they are forfeited. In the next few weeks I will be looking at local groups to see if there are any small projects that could benefit from my remaining funds.

Vermont Mensa has been getting a lot of attention from me lately. Its acting Chair stepped down as of 1 March and under Mensa's Bylaws, I have assumed temporary administration, pending appointment of a pro tem Chair and eventual elections. While small, the Vermont group has some very vibrant and involved members, and I am hoping that soon the chapter will be in good health.

I spent a really wonderful day with Northern New Jersey Mensa, at their Mid-Winter Blahs Party. They had originally planned a mini-RG, and when that proved unfeasible, made it a day-long free party. Speakers, a Google marathon, and plenty of refreshments kept everyone in high spirits.

This group is also the second in our region to "go digital" using the Post Office as both printer and mailer for their newsletter IMprint. After they assemble their articles and pictures, a digital file is uploaded to a secure US Postal Service (USPS) website, along with a member file. It is printed and mailed within 24 hours. No more "Fold Spindle and Mutilate" monthly gatherings! Northern New Jersey joins Rhode Island Mensa (newsletter M'Ocean) in Region 1's digital USPS revolution.

By the time most of you read this, I will be at (or back from) the American Mensa Committee meeting in Charlottesville Virginia. Items on the agenda include adoption of a new budget, using outside arbitrators at hearings, and appointment of a Nominating Committee, which will be selecting candidates for next year's elections.

Here's a bit of green for St. Patrick's Day and/or the spring equinox. The word 'colcannon' is from the Gaelic cál ceannann which literally means ‘white-headed cabbage'. However, the 'cannon' part of the name might be a derivative of the old Irish cainnenn, translated variously as garlic, onion, or leek. It can be suggested that in its earliest form colcannon may have been a simple mixture of some brassica [cabbage, kale, collard greens, etc.] and allium [onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, etc.]

COLCANNON
Colcannon

  • 4 pounds new gold potatoes [these mash very nicely], cut into small cubes - do *not* peel!
  • 1 pound chopped mustard greens [or try kale, collard or turnip greens]; frozen will do nicely
  • 8 large scallions
  • about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • white pepper
  • kosher salt
    1. Chop the green parts of the scallions into small pieces. place in large mixing bowl with the oil and about 1 teaspoon white pepper.
    2. Steam the potatoes with about 1 teaspoon salt.
    3. Remove the potatoes from the steam pot and use the potato water to steam the greens. Frozen greens will take about 5 minutes to steam.
    4. Adding about 2 cups at a time, mash the hot potatoes in the olive oil mixture. add a little more oil if potatoes don't look fluffy.
    5. When potatoes are all mashed, stir in the greens.
    6. Pack colcannon into a large glass, stainless steel or non-stick pan which has been greased with olive oil. Cover top with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight for flavours to develop.

    In addition to eating at room temperature, colcannon can be eaten hot. You can also pan fry your cold leftovers.

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