Miriam Diamond got tired of shopping all over the city to find low-sodium products for her husband who has hypertension so she did something about it. She opened the Low Sodium Pantry at 4901 Auburn Ave. in Bethesda. The little shop makes it easier not only to cook with low-sodium foods but to travel with them. It offers many individually packed items such as salad dressing, catsup and pancake syrup.

Some items can be found in other stores in the city, but no other place offers such variety. Some of the outstanding low-sodium products include foods that are ordinarily so high in salt that it would seem impossible for them to taste good without it: Portuguese sardines, Brisling sardines in tomato sauce, sauerkraut, dill pickles. You'll also be able to find unsalted gefilte fish, canned tomatoes, condensed soups (which means they have no monosodium glutamate either), boned chicken, tuna.

One in five Washingtonians has high blood pressure, Diamond says, and must be on a salt-free diet. Elsewhere in the country it's one in six. Could it be our high-powered life?

For further information call the Low Sodium Pantry at 657-3033.

Cucumber soup, cold zucchini and buttermilk soup, salmon loaf, soybean casserole, fruit salad, whole wheat bread, frozen peach frappe. Not the stuff of which politcal lunches are made. Whatever happened to chicken a la king, peas and mashed potatoes?

Kathleen O'Reilly is running for Congress in the 2nd district in Michigan, where Ann Arbor meets Ypsilanti. When the press met with her earlier this year they were in for a surprise. For some it may have been a shock.

Not only did O'Reilly provide the meal, which began with cucumber or zucchini soup, she offered the recipes and a nutritional breakdown of each one. zO'Reilly comes by her unusual (at least for political candidates) predilections for food rightfully. Until she resigned to run for Congress she was executive director of Consumer Federation of America, the largest consumer organization in the country.

And even though O'Reilly is a lawyer, she's still willing to take her turn in the kitchen. According to the invitation, she prepared the meal herself.

Come Nov. 7, if you aren't stuffed with Greek tiropetas, moussaka and baklava from all their festivals, you will want to try the wonderful pelemeni, piroshki and kielbasi at St. Mark Orthodox Church in Bethesda. This Russian Orthodox church has been making pelemeni et al. bfor months now for people to eat there or carry out. You will also be able to sample complete Eastern European-Russian dinners the three days of the festival, from the 7th through the 9th. The bazaar is open on Friday the 7th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. on the grounds of the church, 7124 River Road. For Further information call 460-9286.

If your weekend excursion tastes run instead to apple picking, write for a copy of where, when and how to pick apples in Virginia. If you ask they will also send you a booklet on where and when to take tours of Virginia's vineyards. You may not realize it but there are eight vineyards in Virginia that are open to the public. You probably didn't even know there were eight vineyards in Virginia.

The booklets are available from: Va. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Markets, 203 N. Governor St., Richmond, Va. 23219.

Remember Gloria Pitzer and her recipes for recreating commercial foods at home? CrampBill's soups, Her Sheep's Chocolate Syrup, Betty Crocker potatoes au gratin. How could you forget!

Gloria is at it again. She's just published her fifth book of recipes, this one called "The Secrets of Homemade Groceries."

Gloria's branched out a little: In addition to the recipes, which mimic well-known products, she now has tips on fixing lamps, leaky faucets, canning, ect.

If you want a copy of the latest volume send $5 to: Gloria Pitzer, Box 152, St. Clair, Mich. 48079. Volumes 1-4 are also available, each for $5.

Closer to home, The Hospitality and Information Service (THIS) has put out its newest cookbook. THIS is a volunteer committee of local residents who help foreign embassy people become accustomed to Washington -- to find out how and where to shop, how to use American appliances, to learn English, to see the sights of the city, to cook with American ingredients.

Each month the cooking committee offers a demonstration of recipes and now they have enlarged and revised their first compilation of the most popular recipes which made an appearance 15 years ago. "Cooking by Committee" has a definite American slant -- from taco salad and cranberry catsup to creamed turkey over cornbread and a chocolate fondue from the White House.

Copies of the book are avaible by mail for $5.75 from: Cooking by Committee, THIS, Meridain House, 1630 Crescent Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20009.