What's Cooking in Region 1 - August 2006
by Marghretta McBean
The unbelievable heat wave that engulfed New York and most of the northeast has abated, hopefully for good. In my unairconditioned top-floor apartment, the temperature stayed above 95 degrees F. for over a week. Total meltdown.
It was cooler up in Maine when I visited our down east Mensans at the end of July. This was my only unvisited state in Region 1, and it was a pleasure to meet so many Maine members. Kevin Tremblay hosted a wonderful barbecue on his huge property and also gave an informative nature tour, pointing out the various plants he has nurtured. We were treated to a "Poetry Slam" from members of his talented writing group, many of whom expressed interest in joining Mensa.
A spirited discussion about the future of Mensans in Maine was held. While I had hoped to garner interest in reviving Maine Mensa, most of the members were understandably cautious about creating a group without a good cadre of strong leaders. What did emerge however, was a strong desire for a Maine identity,with more activities in the state. It was felt that appointing Area Coordinators could help immensely in this regard, and volunteers from the Portland/Casco Bay, Down East/Acadia, Kennebec/Moose River and Maine Highlands regions stepped forward.
I was very pleased to meet Scott Cayouette, who has worked tirelessly as the Proctor Coordinator in Maine. He has traveled throughout the state (and Maine is about 50% of New England size-wise!) testing prospects. I presented him with a Regional Service Award Certificate and pin in recognition of the fine work that he has done, not only for his group, but for Region 1 as a whole.
Claire Natola, who is currently the LocSec of New Hampshire Mensa, was also given a Regional Service Award Certificate and pin in recognition of her extraordinary work she has done for Mensa. From editing an award winning newsletter, to chairing a sensational RG, and all points in between, her bottomless energy and enthusiasm has contributed to the positive growth of her group, and also Region 1.
Summer usually means plenty of tomatoes this means time for Gazpacho. There are almost as many recipes as there are Spaniards. If you have watched any Pedro Almodavar films, usually one of the characters will make and/or drink this quintessential vegetable delight.
GAZPACHOA nice looking gazpacho should have a pretty orange-red colour. I use a ratio of about 2 lbs. tomatoes to ½ lb. each of peppers and cucumbers.
- Cut the vegetables in pieces that your blender can manage.
- Cut some bread and soak in water until softish. Add mixture to blender.
- Add the olive oil, salt, vinegar and water.
- Blend until well mixed. Take a spoonful and taste it. At this point you can decide what is missing, what is in excess, etc. Experiment with the recipe: some people like gazpacho very thick, so they add a lot of bread, while some others like it very liquidy, and they add more water or less bread.
- Some people get crazy adding garlic (like myself: 3-4 large cloves), while others are more restrained.
- Some prefer gazpacho at room temperature. However, as it is a typical summer dish, it is usually served cold. If you make it a day ahead, the flavours are more intense.