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Articles from 2004

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

It's Summertime and the livin' doesn't seem quite as easy as it was when Gershwin wrote the tune. More and more people I meet have (or have just) been laid off. The separation packages are getting more and more meagre. However, the tourists are back with a vengeance here in New York City and judging by their numbers and sizes, there are folks who are doing quite well economically. We've had so much rain that tomato plants are full of leaf rot (being watered at night is literally death to pommes d'amour). And the Republicans ( and armed troops, surveillance helicopters, and "frozen zones") are coming to New York City.

On a happier note, I had a lovely visit to Syracuse, and met the charming members of Central New York Mensa. Paul Baxter (President) and his lovely wife Victoria Monroe (Vice President) were the epitome of hospitality. As the featured speaker at their meeting, I got a chance to answer questions about the structure of the AMC (American Mensa Committee), the future of SIGs (Special Interest Groups), and a host of others. A new member remarked that she found it difficult to understand the acronyms in Mensa publications (like RVC, AMC, AG, etc.), with another new member concurring. It's always important for any group to remember that not everyone is an "oldie", so including the full name of something as well as its abbreviation can go a long way in help the newcomers feel like welcome.

I got a chance to visit the Jerry Rescue Monument on Victoria's mini tour of Syracuse. It movingly commemorates the rescue of an imprisoned fugitive slave, William "Jerry" Henry. On the first of October, 1851, Syracusans stormed his jail cell and help him to escape to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Syracuse was unique for its strong leadership against slavery and the stands that many of its citizens took in helping runaways escape to freedom. Its Syracuse Vigilance Committee was formed in 1850. The Wesleyan Methodist Church was a stop on the Underground Railroad and the Plymouth Congregational Church was the site of the first anti-slavery convention, at which Frederick Douglass, among other noted abolitionists, spoke.

Having received requests from two young Mensans to spread information about their groups, here are the details:

  1. Lauren M. Rahn, the Editrix, of The Oracle (Orange County [CA] Mensa), is asking Mensans born between 1976 and 1984, to get in touch with her, via email or by visiting her GenYM website at
  2. Marie Routhier, a member of Mensa Toronto, in Canada, is an active member of SAGE, a local young-adult M group, and will be starting THYME (, a sister group to SAGE. SAGE has a brand new message board for young Mensans, located at , and it is open to young Ms around the world.


Here's a spicy and cooling dessert for the dog days of summer:

Ginger-Mint Gel
Ginger Mint Gel

  • 2 large bunches mint
  • 1 5-inch piece ginger root, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 envelopes (2 Tbl.) unflavoured gelatin
    1. Place mint, ginger, 4 ½ cups water, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and set aside to steep until cool
    2. Strain liquid into a large bowl, and discard mint and ginger. (Actually it's good to eat. Waste not, want not...) Measure 1 cup of the infused liquid into a bowl and sprinkle with gelatin. Set aside.
    3. Bring 3 cups of reserved liquid to a boil; add to gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin dissolves. Pour into a 13- x 9-inch pan. Cover and refrigerate until set.
    4. Unmould by dipping the bottom of the pan into hot water, and cut into cubes. Serve with Ginger Cream (below) and fresh berries.

    Ginger Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbl. confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2 2-inch pieces candied (crystallised) ginger, chopped fine
    1. Whip cream with sugar until it holds medium-soft peaks. Fold in ginger.

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