What's Cooking in Region - May 2006
by Marghretta McBean
'Tis the Merrie Month of May! That Special Season of the Year - Taurus Time! to all of you, both April and May born, Best Wishes for a Happy Birthday! Special Felicitations are sent to Oleg Bayborodin and Lorenzo Perez (Boston Mensa); Jack Peregrim (Connecticut/Western Massachusetts Mensa); Traci Nagy, Salvatore Negri, Christopher Neylan, Fabian Binz-Scharf and Kevin Thompson (Greater New York Mensa); Marvin Murdock (New Hampshire & Maine Mensa); Harvey Nisselson and Alex Peters (Northern New Jersey Mensa); Jacques DuPuis (Vermont Mensa) all of whom were born on that Day of Days, May 7th. We are indeed Special People!
The AMC [American Mensa Committee] meeting (24-26 March) in Greenville SC was a pleasure to attend: the southern hospitality offered by the Carolinian Mensans was superb and once again Russ Bakke chaired a civil and productive board meeting. A motion to have secret ballots was defeated; I personally feel no need to hide my vote, on any matter. More time will be taken to (re)formulate the mission of the Local Group Charter Committee, which I chair. There were wide differences of opinion as to exactly what "clarification of the relationships between AML [American Mensa Ltd.] and its local groups" means.
There was a frank exchange of opinion among the attending RVCs [Regional Vice Chairs] as to how the RVC discretionary fund should be spent. Some RVCs spend little to none of their funds; others are broke before the fiscal year is over, like yours truly. Transportation expenses, RG registration fees, and hotel costs can quickly deplete an RVC allocation. I feel it is important to visit each of the groups in my region at least once; I was shocked to learn that many RVCs have never done so. With the news that the 2006-2007 budget has an estimated shortfall, there were enough RVCs who felt monies left in the discretionary fund should be rolled back into the general fund, rather than distributed to groups that had requested assistance from their RVCs. It is for that reason that no group in Region 1 received anything from me, unfortunately.
Several years ago, due to perceived member inactivity, Maine Mensa was dissolved and "rolled into" New Hampshire Mensa, with, as far as I can gather, no input from either group. While New Hampshire Mensa has done an admirable job of including Maine, I think that the 160 + Mainers should try to stand on their own again. Comments are more than welcome.
May 1st marks the beginning of spring for the Scandinavians, who spend Walpurgis Night (30 April) burning bonfires and singing songs welcoming spring. Beltane is the Celtic equivalent. Both groups have honey drinks as part of the festivities. Here is a wonderful recipe from an old Wiccan book of mine:
- Dissolve honey in water. Add hops, ginger and lemon rind.
- Boil for 45 minutes.
- Pour into a cask. When lukewarm add yeast.
- Leave to ferment (about a day) and when finished (bubbling stops), add isinglass.
- Bung cask tightly. Keep in cool dark area. Bottle after six months.
*Use unblended honey when making mead, and raw honey if at all possible.Unless you live near an apiary, the best place to get honey is at a health food store or roadside stand. If the honey has bits of wax or other particulate matter in it, that can be strained out before cooking.
**Isinglass consists of collagen, which, when heated with water, yields a pure form of gelatin. It is obtained from the swimming bladder ("sound") of certain fish. Its fibrous structure gives it the capability of clarifying liquids, including wines and beers.