EAT YOUR VEGETABLES and win $50. Well, it's not quite that easy, but the Vegetarian Resource Group of Baltimore is sponsoring a student essay contest on any aspect of vegetarianism and the two winners (eighth grade and under; ninth grade to age 19) get $50 savings bonds.

Entries should be two or three pages and one need not be a vegetarian to enter. For information on the contest (entry deadline is May 15) and vegetarianism send a self-addressed envelope with two first-class stamps to the Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, Md. 21203.

WINE IMPORTERS get a break today as the Environmental Protection Agency proposes an interim tolerance for the fungicide procymidone on wine grapes.

Last February, the Food and Drug Administration found residues of the chemical, which alleviates grape fungus, in some European wines. Although the fungicide has been widely used in practically all of the world's major wine-making regions since 1978, and is approved in 26 countries, it has not been registered for use in the United States.

Alcoholic beverages are the European Community's largest agricultural export, and the U.S. is one of its most important customers. As of Dec. 31, the FDA had denied entry, because of procymidone residues, to 42 wines from France (primarily Beaujolais and Bordeaux), 13 from Italy and one from Spain.

Today's proposal in the Federal Register would permit importation of wines made before Jan. 1, 1990 if they contain residues of less than seven parts per million of the chemical. Wines made after that date that contained any residues would be denied entry. EPA said European vintners were concerned about aged wines already in the pipeline, and have curtailed use of the chemical since finding out about the residues. Since it is an interim notice, the policy will expire in four years. During that time, the manufacturer of the chemical, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. of Japan, will have to submit additional data for a permanent tolerance.

THE RED RIVER, for most of us buckaroos, brings to mind John Wayne, Montgomery Clift and the Chisholm Trail, but certainly not potatoes. So, when "The Red River Valley Guide to Potatoes" arrived in the mail we could only be intrigued.

It's a 17-by-22-inch poster that includes buying, storing and cooking hints -- a potato primer -- and several recipes that call, of course, for Red River Valley potatoes. It's an engaging promotion and worth the price -- free.

As it turns out, however, it's not even the same Red River we remember. Unlike the 1948 film classic "Red River," this Red River has nothing to do with cattle, cowboys or even Texas at all. But, if you'd still like the guide, write to Poster, Red River Valley Potato Growers Assn., Box 301, East Grand Forks, Minn. 56721 (Telephone: 218-773-3633).

Perhaps if John Wayne had had some good Red River hash browns he wouldn't have been so damn ornery to Montgomery Clift.


This recipe from the "Winter Harvest Cookbook" by Lane Morgan (Sasquatch Books, $14.95, 1990) makes a filling, wintertime supper with a minimum of effort.

4 tablespoons butter

1 small green cabbage, coarsely chopped

1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 small, tart apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 pound fettuccine

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet. Add the cabbage, onion and apples and stir well. Add salt and pepper and simmer about 20 minutes, or until the ingredients are soft. Add water if necessary to keep the mixture from burning.

Cook fettuccine until it is al dente and drain. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and coat noodles well. Add cabbage mixture to noodles and mix carefully. Stir in the poppy seeds and serve.

Per serving: 277 calories, 6 gm protein, 35 gm carbohydrates, 14 gm fat, 7 gm saturated fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium.

CHOCOLATE PA~TE' or a loaf of good bread could be the way to your sweetie's heart on Valentine's Day, and the purchase of one of these gifts will help hunger relief programs as well.

Proceeds from the pa~te', 2 1/2 pounds of bittersweet chocolate studded with roasted hazelnuts and meringue, or a gift basket of bread, pasta and salad ingredients from Marvelous Market will benefit Share Our Strength (SOS), a nonprofit organization that helps area charities such as the D.C. Central Kitchen, Food and Friends, and the Capital Area Community Food Bank.

Herb wreaths and flower arrangements are also for sale and will also benefit SOS. To order, or for information, call Cornucopia in Alexandria at 703-522-3480.

COOKBOOK COLLECTING can be serious business, and a new directory will help make the job easier.

"Just Cookbooks" by Mary-Margaret Barile (Heritage Publications, $10.95, 1990) is a guide to publishing houses, out-of-print cookbook dealers, food newsletters and catalogues, and the names and addresses of cookbook libraries and food information resources around the country.

Other helpful information includes estimates on how much your old books might sell for, instructions for caring for the ones you want to keep and even thumbnail biographies of some of the great cookbook authors, from Amelia Simmons (of 1796's "American Cookery") to Irma Rombauer ("The Joy of Cooking").

The directory is available from Heritage Publications, P.O. Box 335, Church Street, Arkville, N.Y. 12406. For information, call 914-586-3810.