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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee