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."

Career Services

Day In a Page

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
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?