Carol Sarler: There's far more to happy families than two parents, two children and a jam sandwich

The traditional model may be evolving but our kith and kin are special beyond words

Politicians and garden experts back <i>IoS</i> campaign to get pupils planting

Children will be more adventurous over what they eat if they've helped to produce it, writes Paul Bignell

Terroirs, 5 William IV Street, London WC2

The flow of press releases announcing new restaurant openings has slowed to a trickle. Planned launches have been aborted before take-off, and roll-outs hastily rolled back in. As the recession bites, restaurants around Britain are closing their doors – around 100 in January alone, according to a recent report in The Independent – taking with them the pension plans of well-known figures such as Antony Worrall Thompson and Jean-Christophe Novelli. Even for an industry with a perennially high churn rate, these are turbulent times.

Aprons on &ndash; it's time to make lunch and save some money

Saving money is not just about targeting the biggest expenses in your life. Taking one fewer holiday or getting rid of your cable TV could put hundreds of pounds back into your pocket each year. However, meaningful savings can also be made by targeting the small items – such as takeaway coffees and sandwiches – which over a year can cost you much more than you might think.

Scare as top chef recommends hallucinogenic weed

The celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson has apologised after he mistakenly suggested using a poisonous plant in recipes.

Tipping: top chefs turn up the heat

Ex-minister 'regrets' tips loophole in minimum wage deal

Mark Hix: 'Why I've joined The Independent's campaign for fairer tipping'

After working at the top of the restaurant industry for almost two decades, I know that this business as a whole is not without its scams and tricks. But I must say that even I'm surprised – and disappointed – by some of the practices that The Independent's Fair Tips, Fair Pay campaign has exposed. Some of the tipping policies out there are shocking, especially where the management takes more of the service charges than the staff – that's exactly what restaurants should not be doing.

Chefs at boiling point after Martha Stewart is barred from UK

The decision to refuse the American domestic guru Martha Stewart entry to the UK has been branded "an enormous joke" and "a blow to British business" by one of Britain's leading chefs.

Things to do around the UK this weekend

1. Alresford in Hampshire hosts its annual Watercress Festival today, kicking off a week of bicentenary celebrations of the plant industry (watercress.co.uk). Antony Worrall Thompson demonstrates new dishes and steam train rides will take place on the Watercress Line.

The return of the turkey king

After the Twizzler fiasco, Bernard Matthews is back with a new 'healthy' children's range

Food Of The Week: Cumbria

Cumbria's scenery is matched by its gourmet offerings, says Andy Lynes

Abuse stigma puts men off child care

Just three per cent of Britain's nannies are male. Now a new campaign is aiming to increase their number

Chargrilled squid with red pepper salsa and crispy bacon

Main course: Serves 4
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment