ELVIS IS ALIVE and well and growing in Richard Tweddell's vegetable garden, according to Knight-Ridder. Tweddell, a Cincinnati "toy conceptualist," and owner of a company called Vegiforms, is selling plastic molds that clamp onto vegetables and force them to grow in peculiar shapes. Eggplant Elvis and pumpkin head Ronald Reagan haven't made it past Tweddell's garden since he can't afford celebrity licensing fees; so far, pickle puss faces and garden elves are about all he's selling. Tweddell's wife objected to produce in the likeness of Jesus, but it's unclear what she thinks of her husband's most expensive offering: For $2,500, you can get a made-to-order mold shaped like your head.
Two free tastings of organically grown food to help celebrate the second annual Organically Grown Week.
Saturday: Hugo's Market, 3817 Livingston St. NW, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 202-966-7551.
Thursday, Sept. 13, to Saturday, Sept. 15: Organic Farms, 10714 Hanna St., Beltsville, Md. Thursday, Sept. 13, from noon to 8 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 15, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 301-595-3868.
IF IT'S SAUCES you want, it's sauces you'll get from a new local mail-order company, Spectacular Sauces.
Created by two Virginia businessmen, Spectacular Sauces has compiled an interesting array of unique and hard-to-find sauces that will intrigue adventuresome palates. The challenge, however, will be in narrowing down the choices -- there are 12 kinds of barbecue sauces, 13 different mustards and 16 of the hottest hot sauces the businessmen could find. Then there's jams and jellies (14), chutneys (five), salsas (nine) and dessert toppings (eight).
The Orange and Hot! Mustard from Middlesex Farm in Connecticut is a delightfully sharp but sweet mixture not to be missed. And the rich and spicy Kicker Ketchup makes one realize that there is more to ketchup than Heinz. There is also a lot more to salad dressings, as is immediately clear from the citrus-laced Hibiscus Vinaigrette. Then there's the hot and tangy Aute'ntica Salsa Chipotle, with large chunks of tomatoes, fresh coriander and smoked chipotle peppers, of course. It's no wonder it's the company's best-selling salsa.
For a catalogue of the sauces, write P.O. Box 30010, Alexandria, Va. 22310, or call 703-550-7825 (1-800-999-4949 if outside the Washington metropolitan area).
SHRIMP WITH TOMATOES AND CORIANDER
These saute'ed shrimp are tossed with a fresh, cooling relish made from chopped tomatoes, onions, coriander and lime juice. Accompany this main course with a salad of sliced ripe avocados and radishes and a crisp loaf of bread.
3 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped jalapenåo pepper (or more to taste)
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, with the tails intact
For the relish, combine the tomatoes, onion, pepper, coriander and lime juice in a mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are no longer translucent and just cooked through. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Toss the shrimp with the tomato relish in a bowl. Turn out the shrimp onto a platter and garnish with sprigs of coriander and lime wedges, if you wish. Per serving: 250 calories, 25 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrates, 12 gm fat, 2 gm saturated fat, 173 mg cholesterol, 179 mg sodium.
-- Lisa Yockelson
FREEDOM FROM FAT came last week when the Eskimo Pie Corp. introduced Fat Freedom ice cream sandwiches, the first frozen novelty made with Simplesse, the fat substitute approved earlier this year by the Food and Drug Administration. The new ice cream sandwich contains 130 calories, a 28 percent reduction from Eskimo Pie's regular ice cream sandwich. It also contains no fat -- versus six grams for the real thing. The product won't be available in the Washington metropolitan area until the beginning of next year; in the meantime, you can fatten up on Snickers, now available with peanut butter.
AN INNOCENT BULB OF GARLIC is more than vampire resistant, according to researchers at the First World Congress on the Health Significance of Garlic and Garlic Constituents. The odorous vegetable may also help reduce cholesterol levels in the body, increase the number of immune cells and treat certain types of cancer, announced Robert I. Lin, who chaired the three-day conference held last week at the Willard Hotel. Since garlic juice was the substance used in most of the studies, maybe the new trend for health-conscious yuppies will be garlic spritzers.
Well, maybe not.
Correction A class in entertaining was inadvertently omitted from the Aug. 29 list of cooking classes published in the Food section:
15th year. Learn how to give a dinner party and take a nap before the guests arrive. Six two-hour lessons in a Northwest home. $150. January and spring sessions available. Margot Hahn, 202-363-4144.
The name of Joan Shih's Chinese cooking class company was incorrectly listed. The firm is called the Chinese Cookery Inc.