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September 16, 1998|RUSS PARSONS

A Not So Good Thing

You knew there had to be a food angle: Friday, the day America was getting its first look at the Kenneth Starr report on the Internet, Martha Stewart postponed the airing of an episode of her television show. Why? The special guest was Bill Clinton.

"After reflection on subsequent events and information and feedback from our audiences, we feel that airing the program would be inappropriate at this time," show spokeswoman Allyn Magrino said.

At least we think the president, Hillary and Chelsea got to keep the monogrammed buckwheat bedroom pillows Stewart made just for them. For those obsessed by Clinton-ania, the menu was salmon, baby artichokes and berry shortcakes. There has been no decision on when--or even whether--the episode will be broadcast.

Rocky Mountain High

On Thursday the little Montana town of Clinton--which has nothing to do with the doings in Washington--celebrates its 16th annual . . . well, we can't really tell you the name of its festival. Let's just say it rhymes with festival and celebrates the eating of Rocky Mountain oysters. Festival organizer Rod Lincoln says that by the time the five-day fe^te is done, he'll have breaded and fried more than 2 1/2 tons of them to feed more than 15,000 guests. The theme song is "Ode to the T------- Festival." Why does everything these days lead us back to Washington?

7-Year Glitch

Last week, after seven years of debate, the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service decided that eggs need to be refrigerated. It will say so on every carton. Of course, allowing for the usual period for public comment, etc., that won't happen for another year.

What was the holdup? For one thing, food safety groups opposed the ruling on the grounds that it did not go far enough. Even the inspection service admitted as much. "Although this final rule may bring about a small reduction in salmonella enteritidis risk, it does not address many of the underlying food safety problems posed by eggs," the agency said.

Getting in Touch With Your Inner Spam-iness

Richard Mikesell, a Van Nuys attorney, is California's new King of Spam. His "Spamigo" won first prize in the Los Angeles County Fair's Best Spam Recipe contest. That was good enough for $100 and an apron and, even better, automatic entry in the national contest.

"It happened on a dare when a friend won a ribbon at the fair for something else," Mikesell says. "I decided on Spam. I was trying to aim for a field where maybe mediocrity would be outstanding."

And what is Spamigo? It's a green chile stew containing tomatillos, chiles and canned corn as well as, of course, Spam. "One of the different things about my dish," Mikesell says, "is you can't see the Spam; I blend it into the chile."

Second prize went to Pasadena's Chris Howes for a deviled ham souffle and third prize went to Rancho Cucamonga's Dan Fitzgerald for his Spicy Spam Thai Salad.

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