What's Cooking in Region One

This has to be one of the most beautiful autumns I've seen in ages. The combination of heavy rainfalls and temperature fluctuations has made the leaves so vibrant that they shimmer in the dappled fall sunlight. Riding the train each day as I go to a consulting assignment in Stamford Connecticut is such a pleasure as I watch the beautiful foliage whiz by.

October started off with me wearing my SIGHT hat as I showed Peter Boswell and his new wife Terry some of New York City's sights. Peter is currently the Director of Development for Mensa International. Both he and his wife have held various positions in British Mensa. One of the things we talked about was the Music Weekend that British Mensa holds annually. Musicians and vocalists gather, usually at a school that has dormitory accommodations, to learn new works and/or rehearse specially selected pieces, which are presented in a Sunday afternoon concert. The cost to put one on is minimised because meals are not provided and the sleeping arrangements are not elaborate. Any interest?

I was on the receiving end of hospitality par excellence when I attended Connecticut and Western Massachusetts' Mensautumn RG. What a friendly group! From the hot tub to the elegant Hospitality Suite, the weekend was wonderful! (See some photos at Region 1's website: http//region1.us.mensa.org/) Special thanks goes to Mike Wilson who not only picked me up at (and brought me back to) the train station, but also gave me a mini tour of New Haven, with a side visit to a city-wide art exhibit.

The solicitation of proxies to amend Mensa's Certificate of Incorporation has now swung into full gear. If you have not yet submitted your proxy, please do so. It took me less than 30 seconds online at the special Mensa proxy site (http://proxy.us.mensa.org).

Good News from the Green Mountain State. Jeane Thompson of Vermont Mensa has been selected as Region 1's member to the Mensa Hall of Fame Committee. Jeane will help choose the 2004 inductee.

PRP Judges Needed - The 2004 Publications Recognition Program (PRP) is looking for judges. The PRP exists to confer awards upon local groups and members of American Mensa, Ltd. (AML) for their official print and electronic publications and contributions thereto. This year the program has been divided into three sections: Newsletters, Websites, and Contributions, and 8 to 10 judges are needed for each section. Anyone interested in judging should contact the PRP Chair, Marc Lederman <prp@us.mensa.org>. The PRP Guidelines can be found at https://secure.us.mensa.org/members/only/includes/prp/PRP2004Guidelines.pdf

When the temperature drops, it's nice to have a hot drink to take the chill off. This is not for the calorie-phobic, but it certainly makes you feel warm and cozy!

Spiced Hot Chocolate

8 oz. E. Guittard's Sur del Lago chocolate, finely chopped*
3 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons sugar
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
teaspoon salt

Place chocolate in medium bowl. Place all remaining ingredients in heavy saucepan; bring just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Strain before serving. (Hot chocolate can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Tip: *If you can't find Sur del Lago chocolate, use any good-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate.

6 servings. Per Serving: 545 calories, 42.5 g total fat (26 g saturated fat), 8 g protein, 41.5 g carbohydrate, 105 mg cholesterol, 190 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.