BITES : A Ticket Just Waiting to Happen

The Oscar Mayer company is retiring its 7-year-old Wienermobile for a new model. The "leaner, keener wiener," as they're calling it, is two tons heavier than the '88 model, but to be fair, that's because it's four feet longer. Maybe they should have called it leaner, keener and even more of a pain to parallel-park.

Drink Deep

Catechin has been shown to inhibit the oxidation of cholesterol. The compound, found in grape skins, apparently dissolves durbing fermentation, which possibly explains the apparent beneficial effect of red wine on the heart.

But hey, that's not the only reason to love catechin. It has many industrial uses in tanning and printing on textiles.

Elegant Contest

Vanity Fair Napkins is sponsoring an Everyday Elegance Contest. You send them your idea on casual elegance in either cookery, table settings, interior design or entertaining by May 31; the best ideas win prizes up to $25,000. For contest information and rules, write to Vanity Fair Everyday Elegance Contest, P.O. Box 7165, Clinton, Iowa 52736-7165. A free booklet of the winning ideas will be available in August from the same address.

'Bu Book

Many a cookbook has been published after a natural disaster, but not many in a disaster area as classy as Malibu. But here's "Malibu's Cooking Again" (Image Maker Pub.; 128 pp.), the proceeds of which will benefit victims of those November '93 firestorms, which burned down nearly 400 homes.

Malibu is significant restaurant territory, and the book features recipes from local stars like Granita, Bambu, Saddle Peak Lodge, Geoffrey's, Marmalade and Beau Rivage, to say nothing of the contributions from Valentino, Lula, Drago, Michael's, Primi and other restaurants in nearby communities. There are also recipes from residents (including the mother of the original Gidget and actor Burgess Meredith--well, his contribution is actually a poem about Beaujolais) and Fire Station 88. The cover art is by the well-known Los Angeles artists Laddie John Dill.

In bookstores (suggested retail price $19.95), or send $24.60 to cover tax and postage to Mailbu's Cooking Again, 23715 W. Malibu Road, No. 184, Malibu, Calif. 90265.

Darling! It's a Prime Filet!

Ultrasound--the same technique used to give a glimpse of unborn children--is also being tested to grade beef.

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