Arts and Entertainment

The province of Lopburi, 150km north-east of Bangkok, is famous for the hundreds of crab-eating macaques that overrun its Old Town – including the 13th-century temple of Phra Prang Sam Yot.

Matthew Norman: While Brown sinks, Mandelson rides the crest of a wave

The First Secretary of State is teasing us about his indestructibility

Discovered! Why a cooked lobster turns orange

Scientists have discovered why prawns, crabs and lobsters turn orange when cooked.

A taste of summer: In the first part of a seasonal celebration, Mark Hix serves up delicious starters and salads

Recently I was lucky enough to win a Guild of Food Writers Award for my book, British Seasonal Food, and this week and next we are celebrating by publishing some of the recipes here.

Spider crab on toast

Serves 4 as a snack

Hit & Run: Keep it in the family

If you were shocked by this week's pictures of Katie Price cavorting in Ibiza while her newly-estranged husband Peter Andre was left looking after their children, you ain't seen nothing yet. American reality television show Jon & Kate Plus 8 goes one better: take a couple, struggling to bring up a set of twins and sextuplets, throw alleged infidelity into the mix and a high profile separation, and you've got enough schadenfreude to fill gossip magazines for months.

Will we soon be tucking into mitten crabs fresh from the Thames?

Chinese mitten crabs are infesting Britain's waterways – yet in south-east Asia, they're a delicacy. So shouldn't we be eating them? Richard Sharp goes fishing

So why don't MPs claim for lunch?

From 13p staple removers to £500 mock-antique dressers, there are few items that cannot be found among the thousands of claims made by Britain's MPs over the past five years. But one item remains oddly absent: few ever seem to have paid for dinner.

Kuniyoshi, Royal Academy of Arts, London

Kuniyoshi's highly stylised prints capture Japan's changes during a tumultuous period in its history

Crab curry

Serves 2-4

Net profits: Mark Hix's sensational fish main courses

When we eat fish, we tend not to like messing about with bones and shells and bits. But a whole grilled or baked fish is an absolute joy to tuck into; most fish benefit from being cooked on the bone, especially when they are stuffed with fresh herbs. Fishmongers do a lot more filleting than is necessary.

Bibendum retains the quality, discretion and eye-watering prices it had when it opened in 1987

Bibendum, Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3, tel: 020 7581 5817

Chicken tikka lasagne: Fusion or bizarre?

Brazilian sushi? Italian black pudding? Melding cuisines is tricky – and the results aren't always in the best possible taste, says John Walsh

New Year's toast: Mark Hix celebrates Hogmanay with delicious, easy-to-prepare canapés

It's always a scramble to get everyone fed on New Year's Eve as well as having a good night yourself. I cooked a dinner for friends at their top-floor apartment next to the Tate Modern for the millennium celebrations. Mark Edwards and I created a luxury dinner with several courses, from white truffle risotto to baked sturgeon. We tried to pace ourselves, but our culinary skills deteriorated as the evening progressed. It's far easier to make some substantial snacks beforehand. Canapés don't have to be tricky and most would be happy with sausages dunked into mustard mash or homemade fish fingers and tartare sauce.

Crab thermidor tarts

Serves 10
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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there