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Articles from July 2006

What's Cooking in Region 1 - July 2006
by Marghretta McBean

Our region is still reeling from the torrential rains and subsequent flooding that have deluged it. Twelve New York counties have been declared federal disaster areas; more should have been, but I have never figured out who decides how disastrous is a disaster. Many of Binghamton's residents spent the 4th of July helping their neighbours clean out from under the soggy debris. Parts of Maine and Massachusetts, which had in May been declared disaster areas, were soaked again. Parts of New Hampshire and Vermont, while not formally declared disasters, suffered from flooding and unfortunately some deaths. Here in New York City the 150 year-old water and sewer system was straining. I hope none of you have not been directly affected by Mother Nature, and if possible, help those who have been.

Italy's winning of another World Cup is being celebrated here con molto giubilo. While New York has a large number of french speakers, most of them are from former French colonies with understandably conflicting feelings about France.

Because of the longer than usual time between meetings, the AMC (American Mensa Committee) met via teleoconference at the end of June. The most discussed item was an AMC sense motion stating that access to the AML Forums does not entitle members to unlimited choice of expression. In some of Mensa's online Forums (Fora, for we Latin purists), a small but vocal number of Mensans feel that they are entitled to post anything, using any language, without censure. Attempts by our dedicated and hardworking Communications Officer, Robin Crawford, to establish linguistic boundaries were not taken well and some have vented their anger on her. As one of the minority who did not vote in favour of the motion, I feel that there is no need to reassert a position that has already been taken. It sets a poor precedent, I think, if the AMC feels it must formally defend an already stated policy position in reaction to member hostility. By appointing Robin, the AMC placed its full faith in her abilities to formulate its policies regarding print, online and other forms of member communications. She has done an admirable job in an area where it is almost impossible to please everyone.

It's getting to be really hot and no one wants to spend time in a hot kitchen. My summer staple is cold noodles which have been bathed in a spicy paste. These travel well and other than the half hour or so to boil water and cook pasta, it's a cool dish to prepare. I usually make 3 pounds at a time; the recipe is easily doubled or trebled.

Cold Sesame Noodles
(enough for 1 lb. pasta: spaghetti, spaghettini, soba (buckwheat) noodles, etc.
Cold Sesame Noodles

  • 3 Tbl. sesame oil
  • 5 Tbl. soy sauce (I prefer low salt)
  • 3 Tbl. rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbl. rice vinegar
  • 4 ½ tsp. sugar or honey
  • 3 Tbl. sesame paste (tahini)
  • 3 Tbl. dry sherry, sake or dry vermouth
  • 5 tsp. hot pepper oil
  • 1 tsp. hoisin sauce
  • 1 ½ - 3 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • Garnishes [optional]: slivered scallion (green onion) greens; toasted sesame seeds; roasted peanut pieces; slightly steamed carrot slivers
    1. Using a whisk, mix ingredients together thoroughly in large bowl. Dump hot drained (but not rinsed) pasta into bowl and stir well to coat.
    2. Serve cold or at room temperature, with garnishes if desired.

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