LINKS IN THE FOOD CHAIN 

If technology is to become inextricably linked with dinner — and it doesn't look as if there's any stopping it — certainly one of the most innocuous incarnations of the union is the plethora of foodie sites on the Web. Though I don't necessarily advocate Web-surfing as a substitute for reading cookbooks in bed with a plate of Oreos (it is time-consuming, and the crumbs gunk up your keyboard), the practice offers opportunities for culinary enlightenment that aren't covered in Escoffier.

Were you, for instance, aware that Goths can cook? www.goth-bliss.com suggests that it is so. This site provides recipes for Crap Rangoons, Bread Cheesy Ball Thingys and Fettucine All-Fraid-O. A particular eccentricity of Goth cooking is its heavy reliance on the "tube of crescent rolls."

Devotees of the lyric qualities of Spam will find a zillion bytes on the subject. At www.pemtropics.mit.edu/~jcho/spam is the Spam Haiku Archive, where you may survey 13,000 examples of "Spam-ku" (each worse than the last), as well as some jolly sonnets.

Brush up on your Japanese table manners at www.students.uiuc.edu, which cautions the Westerner never to eat rice and drink sake at the same time — although, apparently, the point is moot, because "most Japanese drink whiskey instead of sake, anyway."

For advice on nuking lemons, turn to www.messygourmet.com. This site also features tips on cleanup ("Think of bread as the edible wheat sponge"), photos of kitchen disasters ("What caused this Mystery Mess?") and instructions for using your washing machine as a salad spinner.

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