For Those With a Sense of Adventure

The Food section's nomination for the worst recipe of the month hails from the newsletter "Gourmet News," which recently published directions for "S'ghetti No-Bake Fudge Patties," a snack made with "vegetable spaghetti," milk, cocoa, margarine, oatmeal, peanut butter and vanilla. Despite our inherent culinary curiosity, this is one recipe none of us was willing to attempt. For Those With a Holiday Sweet Tooth

Visions of sugar plums might be dancing in our heads, but how many of us actually get around to making them during the holidays? Eileen Carlson, the Vista International Hotel's award-winning executive pastry chef, won't either, but what she will be baking is an impressive array of some of our favorite holiday treats: stollen, fruitcake, apple, pecan, mincemeat and apple butter pumpkin pies, marzipan Christmas figures, lollipops and four flavors of buche de noel.

Her seasonal confections (including complete gingerbread houses) will be available in the hotel's recently opened holiday bake shop, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and noon to 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays. If this current venture proves successful, notes the Vista, we can expect the bake shop to remain open throughout the year. Special orders may be called in 48 hours in advance to 429-8837. For Those Who Love Cookbooks

M.F.K. Fisher and Michael Field are to serious cooks what Dr. Spock is to parents and Emily Post is to the conscientious host. And for those literary gastronomes on your holiday gift list, Calliope Bookshop at 3424 Connecticut Ave., is offering a mail-order catalog featuring a plethora of culinary tomes, old and new, including "Eating in America: A History" by Waverly Root and Richard de Rochemont, "American Food: The Gastronomic Story" by Evan Jones, "Chez Panisse Desserts," by Lindsey Shere and the works of Elizabeth David, James Beard, Edna Lewis and Paula Wolfert among others.

To launch the catalog, Calliope Bookshop is holding a wine-and-cheese party, Dec. 14, 1-6 p.m., to which the public is invited to "talk shop" with three local chefs -- Loic Jaffres from Maison Blanche, Ruth Pollack from Suzanne's and Betsy Wallwork from Washington Connection. You might just walk away with a Christmas bonus: The book shop is planning to raffle "a baker's dozen" of new cookbooks the same afternoon. For Those With Diplomatic Tastes

Call it a food and beverage summit: Open University is offering two classes -- one on cheeses (two-class sessions beginning Wednesday and Jan. 7), the other on vodka connoisseurship, Russian style (Dec. 13 and Jan. 17). The cheese tasting (a sampling of 40 cheeses, "from gruye re to goat" notes a press release) will be conducted by Sutton Place Gourmet's Dale Lukenbach and Michael Miyazaki of Larimer's. The cost is $49; the vodka course, with authentic zakuski (appetizers), will be taught by Leningrad-born Ilya Levin. The cost is $30. For registration information, call 966-9606. -- T.S.