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Articles from June 2005

What's Cooking in Region 1 - June 2005
by Marghretta McBean

I can't believe that it was just two years ago that I learned I had won the election for Vice Chair of Region 1. These have been "interesting times", to paraphrase the Chinese proverb. The positives have by far outweighed the negatives. My admiration for the devotion, resourcefulness and just plain true grit that local group officers (and members!) have is immeasurable. Here's to all you - you are all truly Number One in Region 1!

Donning my Geekette hat, I would like to note the recent death of George Dantzig, the famous mathematician who created the linear programming algorithm and the Simplex method. Portfolio selection, employee scheduling, optimal diet components: these are just some of the tasks that have Dantzig's brilliance to thank for ease in execution. His research in the related areas of nonlinear optimisation, decomposition theory, sensitivity analysis, and complementary pivot methods, to name just a few, revolutionised the mathematical and computer worlds. His optimal solutions will live forever.

I had the pleasure of meeting one of Region 1's younger members at the Greater New York Mensa Members' Art Show in May. Sabrina DeSouza-Fennelly, eight years old, took top prize with her intrically carved edible marzipan sculptures. Fruit, animals, a perfect replica of a Godiva box of candy - all fashioned, she told me, with kitchen utensils. Her creations have won blue ribbons at the Otsego County Fair. She has already given workshops at the Children's Museum of Manhattan.

Congratulations and best wishes are due to Christian Burns, 14 years old, (Connecticut & Western Massachusetts Mensa) who graduated from Tunxis Community College. Starting this fall, he will be attending Cornell University where he hopes to get a doctorate in zoology.

It's not too early to start planning for Rhode Island Mensa's WaterFire event,tentatively scheduled for Saturday August 20th. WaterFire is Providence's spectacular summer festival - on many weekends bonfires,in floating braziers, are lit on the river at sunset. Street performers, music, food, and a carnival atmosphere make for a truly magical experience. Last year about 35 of us had a wonderful time - consider joining the fun! Visit http://www.rhodeisland.us.mensa.org for info.

One of the best end of summer traditions is Mid-Hudson Mensa's Autumn in New York RG. This year's (9-11 September) is entitled "Eat Your Way Through the Catskills" (the chef is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America); the bucolic camp-style setting is sure to please any nature lover. Contact Bill Zigo for details.

June is the month of roses and so we journey to India, where rose water is an important ingredient in many dishes. Kulfi is the traditional Indian ice-cream. Traditionally it is made it by slowly cooking a large amount of milk and reducing it to a small amount of condensed milk. This is a quickie version.:

Kulfi
Kulfi

  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1.25 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • drop of red food colouring, if desired
    1. Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods and grind using a pestle and mortar.
    2. Combine the ground seeds, milks, sugar, cream and rosewater, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
    3. Pour into individual moulds, or use a quart container, and freeze.

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