Life and Style
As supermarkets sell bangers by the million, Christopher Hirst discovers how to avoid the perils and become king of the grill

Charles Campion: Courgette set

Every gardener will tell you that there is nothing quite so intimidating and unstoppable as that flush of courgettes that arrives like a tidal wave, usually during the fortnight when you are away on holiday. For the home cook, courgettes are an interesting ingredient in that they present different opportunities, depending on which stage you pick them. The first stage in the life cycle is very small courgettes – pencil thin and satisfyingly crunchy, what they lack in flavour is made up in texture and steamed whole they make a good counterpoint to grilled and poached fish.

Charles Campion: Real food

Like so many things, it all rather depends on your viewpoint; if you're looking forward to tucking into a roast grouse, then the Glorious Twelfth of August may indeed be glorious, but if on the other hand you're a grouse ... The red grouse, Lagopus lagopus scoticus, is a magnificent creature, and so far it has resisted all of our attempts at domestication. It won't breed to order. It doesn't like living in cages.

Alex James: The Great Escape

We were hosts to the British Cheese Awards on Friday. And so it was that 910 different varieties of cheese arrived at the farm on Thursday. It doesn't sound that bewildering, but a good delicatessen probably only carries a couple of dozen varieties. Mayhem, it was. A cavalcade of cars and couriers; crates of the stuff pouring up the drive. From every corner of the kingdom they came, from Cornish Yarg to Orkney Cheddar, Lincolnshire Poacher to a highly prized Swiss-style cheese called Desmond from West Cork.

Past perfect: Hix's retro recipes

Get into the Seventies groove, says Mark Hix –whoever said that chicken Kiev has had its day?

Dr Jeremy Swan

Co-inventor of the Swan-Ganz heart catheter

Greek classics; eating in

As Theodore Kyriakou's new restaurant proves, real Greek food bears no resemblance to the tasteless taramasalata and kebabs of tourist menus. Michael Bateman reports

Travel: Rough Guide - What's on the menu in the capital tonight?

It's a dirty job but someone has to do it, says Charles Campion, author of `The Rough Guide to London Restaurants'

Book'n' Cooks

Alastair Little

The plaices to be

When it comes to fish, we are getting hooked, according to Simon Bradley, head chef at Fishnets, one of more than a dozen new fish restaurants to open in the capital this year.

The way we live: Carnivores celebrate a bloody good thing

They eat as much red meat as they can lay their hands on, they drink to excess and most of them smoke. Steve Boggan spent a night with the Carnivores' Club as researchers at Cambridge University rubbished government claims that red meat is bad for you
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas