New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for May/June 2006

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment


by Anne Osteen Stringer

We have a full calendar of events this month and even some new ones. More and more NOMs are returning to the city and it’s good to see old friends again and do things that were familiar before the storm. Everybody has a story to tell. Thanks to those of you who have written me about your Katrina experiences. I think it’s interesting to see how smart people handle a disaster–actually we seem to have come out OK. I’ll be writing something about this in a future issue, so if you haven’t sent in your story, do it now.

The last two NOM Nights were spectacular. Everyone enjoyed Pat Brauen’s tea, shortbread, and lemon curd, so we are including the recipes, so all can enjoy. The selection at Patti’s book sale was great. I lost so many books in the flood, that I thoroughly enjoyed being able to buy a whole bag without worrying where I was going to put them.

Cover art is another beautiful watercolor by Pat DiGeorge. Her attention to detail in the flowers and birds that she paints is amazing. There are so many talented NOMs!

Loc Sec's News

Gerry Ward

Our March NOM night meeting was held at the home of P, an English friend of Mensa. She taught us how to brew the perfect pot of tea and we feasted on delicious home made scones with lemon curd and shortbread. Recipes are included on the following page.

In April we met at the home of P who hosted the Annual Book Sale. There was quite a variety of books; and your Loc.Sec. bought 6 mysteries. The books ranged from Russian history to modern novels to how to books, and even a set of tapes on How to Speak Italian. There was something for everyone. Hardbacks were $0.50 and softcovers were $0.25. Don’t miss it next year.

I’m starting a new SIG–the Eclectic SIG. This SIG will attend some of the many cultural, intellectual, or musical events that happen in New Orleans so frequently. Some events will be serious and thought provoking and some will be just plain fun. I’m not defining what makes an Eclectic SIG event, so if you have ideas for future events, give me a call.

For May, we will attend the Tea on Tuesday at Longue Vue Gardens for an elegant tea and a discussion of art framing and conservation. In June, we will have a Pizza Night. Bring the kiddies to this one if you want and our juvenile members are invited. See the Calendar for details on both of these events.

I am in the process of updating our membership email list and there are some addresses that keep bouncing back.

We have a member who is interested in starting a GenX SIG.


Pat Brauen

How to Make a Perfect Pot of Tea

Heat water in a kettle to a full boil. Pour a little of the boiling water into the pot to warm the pot. Then add tea bags or loose tea (one tea bag or 1 teaspoon of loose tea per person). Pour in boiling water and let the tea brew for 3 to 4 minutes. If using loose tea, you will need to strain it. Enjoy!

Tea in England is usually served with milk, but in the U.S., most people seem to prefer lemon. To serve with your tea, try scones with lemon curd and shortbread is always a favorite.

Lemon Curd

juice of 4 lemons
4 eggs
6 oz. sugar
4 oz. butter (1 stick)
Squeeze lemons. Whisk eggs with a fork and put all ingredients in a pyrex bowl. Microwave for 1 minute and then whisk. Microwave for another minute and whisk again. Then microwave for 30 seconds and whisk again. Repeat until mixture thickens. Pour into clean jars and cool. Use in tarts or on toast or with scones.


6 oz. all purpose flour
4 ox. butter (softened)
2 oz. sugar
Mix all ingredients together with a fork and then with hands until it is like bread crumbs. Then press together into a ball and roll out on waxed paper until 1/8 inch thick. Cut with cutters and prick with fork before baking. Bake @ 350° for 10 to 15 minutes. Leave cookies to cool before removing from baking tray. Cookies will keep in a tin for at least a week.

Region 6 News

Ray O'Connor

During the month of June, American Mensa is offering 2-for-1 testing, so prospects may bring a friend with them when they test. (The fee is usually $30.) This will be a great time to encourage friends to take the challenge. For any test given between June 1 and June 30, we'll administer another test (given at the same session) at no charge. Local groups will receive regular funding for both tests. For more information, visit the American Mensa Web site

Congratulations to Baton Rough and Lone Star Mensa. As of March 31, Baton Rouge leads the small groups with 26% member growth since June 2006. Lone Star Mensa leads the large groups with 25% member growth. The region average is 15%. Each group will receive a $50 award.

Are you thinking about coming to the World Gathering? Jean M. Auel, author of the Clan of the Cave Bear series, will be speaking. I gave my daughter my autographed copy of Clan of the Cave Bear, so I intend to get another (just for me).

Gatherings Calendar:
SynRG May 26 to May 29; come join Gulf Coast Mensans celebrate Memorial Day with Metamorphosis. Join us for English afternoon tea both Saturday and Sunday. Speakers, games, dance, casino, Meals included in Hospitality, and so much more... Registration $65 (Children’s Discount 18 and under). CC (V MC). Checks payable to Gulf Coast Mensa RG. Hilton Houston Westchase, 9999 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77042; 713/974-1000; Airport Shuttle $25, Contact Liz Meadows, Registrar, Gulf Coast Mensa, Inc., P.O. Box 25267, Houston, TX 77265.

National News

Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers is a two time winner of the prestigious Independent Press Award for Best Personal Life coverage. This quarterly publication is funny, poignant, smart and advice-free. For a limited time, Mensans can get a year’s subscription for $16–a 30% discount. Use code ABAM35 online at or call 888 304-6667.

Inquiries up due to “Apprentice” Since American Mensan Tarek Saab first appeared as a contestant on Donald Trump’s reality show, membership inquiries have doubled. That’s almost 2,600 prospective members in the month of March.

Website Enhancements
A lot of new games have been added to the national Mensa website. The newly expanded Games Room can be found at In addition to old favorites like Malarky, Buzzword and Word Play, you'll find these new games with daily and weekly updated content:

It's the latest craze that has that special Mensan appeal. Progress through the week with easy puzzles on Monday and Tuesday, Medium on Wednesday and Thursday, Hard on Friday and Saturday, and our special Mensan level on Sundays.

Play one of the nation's premiere newspaper crosswords with a ten day archive in case you miss a day.

Test your knowledge in these five fun categories: General Knowledge, Sports,TV & Movies, Anything Goes and Music.

Beat the sheep! Play this secondary school favorite, and save your farm from the Bolsheepvik by building fence posts, capturing sections of your farm before the sheep do.

Need a diversion with visual twist? Play our daily jigsaw and learn a little along the way.

Solve each daily phrase by guessing the letters of each word. Every correct word pardons your hangman.

Scrabble with a twist! You can only trade five tiles, and you must work quickly to build words before your letters begin to self destruct!

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