Life and Style
 

'Mindful eating' is gaining followers among those who want to give deeper thought to their food. Will guzzler Simon Usborne become a convert?

Album: Bobby Digital, Digi Snacks (Bodog)

Bobby Digital is the alter-ego of RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan. This guise has acted as a repository for his more idiosyncratic, left-field ideas, with often stunning results.

God's Own Country, By Ross Raisin

An unsettling rural tale that shows why townies fear the countryside

Words: shebang, n.

SOME NEW French movies tour the country and, if none recalls the Truffaut era, this human behaviour leavens the SFX fodder of the multiplexes - and has one boggling at the subtitlers' efforts.

Drink: For goodness sake

Anyone for liquid toast and marmalade? Get ready for the Jus Cafe, a whole new spin on the craze for fresh juice

Food: Freshen up

Annie Bell Fabulous fruit salads with pomegranates, persimmon, papaya and Christmas figs. Photograph by Patrice de Villiers

Food & drink: 101 uses for a dead turkey

Christmas dinner is a doddle. Michael Bateman suggests saving up inspiration for post-Boxing Day dinners, when an international selection of recipes can help you get through the turkey glut

The Knack: How to dress a Christmas tree

The first major Christmas tree I decorated was for Polo Ralph Lauren, at their flagship store in Bond Street. The tree was based on a large evergreen pine, with the most wonderful collection of preserved dried fruits, including oranges studded with aromatic cloves, and bundles of richly scented cinnamon sticks. I have also decorated a six-metre tall metal Christmas tree for the San Lorenzo restaurant in Beauchamp Place. Here, I covered the metal frame with lengths of blue pine run through with a mass of small white pea lights. The tree was then dressed with open wicker baskets, mounded high with herbs, spices and dried fruit.

KICK STARTS

Annabel Karmel suggests ways to steer your child away from sugary cereals; BREAKFASTS

Appeals: Care International

A photograph of members of the Killgallon family, of Pimlico, London, receiving a Care food parcel from the United States in August 1948. The charity Care at the time was in its infancy: it started in the United States in 1945 to assist post-war Europe by sending over food, tool kits, farming implements and other useful items. Americans were encouraged to make up and send packages to friends or needy people in Europe; a 22lb box would feed a family for several weeks. In 1947, Care sent pounds 100,000 worth of packages to Britain to mark Princess Elizabeth's wedding; by 1955, Care had delivered over 1.1 million packages to Britain alone.

Letter: The pudding test

Sir: To say (Gazette, 3 January) that Phineas Quimby was 'the teacher of Mary Baker Eddy' (the founder of Christian Science) is like saying that one raisin is the producer of the Christmas pudding. The raisin makes a contribution but in no way does it produce the pudding; in the same way Quimby contributed to Mrs Eddy's growing understanding but in no way was he her teacher.

Food and drink: A second bite at the cherry (and the prune): Pruneaux d'Agen: Joanna Blythman is just wild about the new dried cherry, and has always adored the best dried plums. So why are they so hard to find in Britain?

PRUNEAUX D'AGEN - the world's best dried plums - are known to consumers throughout Europe. French people who have never visited their point of origin (in the south-west around the towns of Agen and Villeneuve-sur-Lot), nevertheless know the name refers to something rather special . . . something that is top of its class. The same goes for the Germans, the Dutch, the Irish and the Italians, eager consumers of tonnes of pruneaux d'Agen, bought in lavishly decorated packets which explain and extol the pleasures of this most special fruit.

Food and drink: A second bite at the cherry (and the prune): Dried cherries: Joanna Blythman is just wild about the new dried cherry, and has always adored the best dried plums. So why are they so hard to find in Britain?

DRIED cherries? It sounded like a good idea - much better than most new foods, which seem to have been created in the sterile imagination of the marketing department. I had never heard of them, never mind eaten them. Allow me to let you into the secret.
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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

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Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

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Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

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What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

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How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

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Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital