What's Cooking in Region 1

Happy 2004! Happy Year of the Monkey! May happiness, good health and fortune be with you and yours!

I haven't fully recovered from the grueling trip to New Orleans for the last American Mensa Committee (the AMC is the board of directors for American Mensa) meeting, December 11-14. Going down, rain delayed my flight two hours. Coming back, snow and then rain made the four-hour trip stretch to thirteen hours. I arrived home at 2 a.m. to 4 inches of water on my kitchen floor; water had collected on the roof, found a weak spot in my ceiling and poured through. The good news is that my ceiling is now freshly plastered, and I will be getting a new kitchen floor.

I did get a little time to walk around the French Quarter, which is as pretty and mysterious as the novels describe it. The AMC meeting spanned almost 12 hours. As they say in diplomatic circles, there were several frank exchanges of opinion. One item of immediate interest is the fact that American Mensa is suing Carlton Books Ltd. (publisher of those Mensa quiz books) for alleged trademark and license infringement. American Mensa believes that Carlton has been using the Mensa name in Great Britain without paying the appropriate fees. This suit will also impact the 2004-5 budget. I created an Adobe .pdf file of the court filing which can be seen (and downloaded) at http://region1.us.mensa.org/AMLvsCarltonBooksLtd.pdf


In addition to topics like "Getting involved at the regional or national level" and "From Agenda to Zany: Fast, Effective Business Meetings," Dr. Deborah, the National Gifted Children Coordinator, has graciously offered to lead a Gifted Children track. This will be of special interest not only to Gifted Children Coordinators, but the parents of gifted children and gifted children themselves. We will have another national luminary: Dr. Jean, the president of American Mensa, will also be presenting.


If you haven't yet voted, please do so. You can vote online at http://proxy.us.mensa.org.

Cold weather needs something hot to warm you up (it's 1 F. as I write this). Here are two spice mixtures from Africa that will give your meals some heat. Berbere is the national spice mix of Ethiopia. Like curry to Indians, there are many versions. Tabil is the national spice mix of Tunisia. It is especially nice on steamed vegetables.

1 Tbl. chili powder
2 Tbl. paprika
1 Tbl. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
tsp. ground ginger
tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. each (all ground): cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, allspice, cumin, fenugreek and turmeric.
Mix together and store in an airtight container.
1 Tbl. ground coriander seeds
1 tsp. ground caraway seeds
tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. chili powder
Use a coffee mill (or mortar and pestle) to grind the seeds. Mix ingredients and store in airtight container.