i Robert Burns, 1759 to 1796. Scottish Poet

Ah, Scotland’s favourite son.

Sausage binge prompted Ricky Gervais to shed weight

Ricky Gervais has revealed he was moved to lose weight after gorging himself on 11 sausages in one sitting.

Minor British Institutions: Toad in the hole

No one knows why toad in the hole is so-called, though it sounds suitably archaic, English and bucolic. Perhaps. A Captain Francis Grose wrote his A Provincial Glossary in 1787 and this appears to be the first mention, though tantalisingly without explanation.

Apricot butter

250g/8oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g/7oz plump dried apricots (or any other dried fruit such as figs or prunes or a combination)
1 tbsp icing sugar

Guy Adams: Here's one US symbol not worth saving

LA Notebook

'Ambient' sausage rolls 'an error'

The Co-op said it was correcting an "error" which led to "ambient sausage rolls" going on sale after a group which campaigns against gobbledegook complained that the description took the linguistic biscuit.

270 jobs at new sausage plant

A pork and bacon producer announced 270 new jobs today with the creation of a state-of-the-art sausage manufacturing plant.

A porcine adventure: Award-winning food writer Lori De Mori embarks on a 'Pig Weekend' in the Auvergne

One bleak morning in the dead heart of a winter that was beginning to feel interminable, an invitation intriguingly entitled "Pig Weekend" landed in my inbox. It had been sent from the Auberge de Chassignolles, an eight-room country inn in the Auvergne, and it proposed a three-day workshop: "The weekend will begin with the butchery of a whole pig and conclude with the taking home of a range of charcuterie products that participants have made themselves. Potted meats –brawn, terrine and rillettes – will be jarred and can be taken immediately. Saucissons will be prepared for curing, labelled and hung to dry here in Chassignolles. These will be forwarded by post two to three months later."

M&S adverts help drive sales at Waitrose

Waitrose cheekily "thanked" its up-market food rival Marks & Spencer yesterday for an advertising campaign that helped it post its best weekly sales since 2006.

A new house of horrors that shocked America

The gruesome details of the Sowell case have plumbed new depths in criminal depravity. But the revelations of skulls and smells have also put the authorities in the spotlight

Haggis baked potatoes

Serves 4

Cole hungry for a place at the heart of Chelsea and England

With Ancelotti playing no wide men, the returning midfielder could claim dream role tucking into the hole behind strikers – or the 'sausage roll', as he has it

My Edinburgh: Lucy Porter, Comedian

I guarantee that if you follow my Edinburgh festival diet and exercise plan you will lose at least half a stone.*

Business Diary: 11/07/2009

John Lewis lobs sun & strokes into excuse mix

There's a new excuse for corporate PRs to gloss over bad news. Had a slump in sales? Ratings down? Here's your communications solution: Blame the hot weather, right, and tennis ... as if either has ever ground the UK to a halt before.

Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons, By Matthew Fort

In 1973, Fort ate a plate of sausages in Sicily. There were only two, but "they tasted more of sausage than any sausage I have ever eaten, firm, juicy, salty and sweet."

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