While I was looking for a recipe for Christmas pudding, I took down from the shelf this book:

Bournemouth Echo: Len Deighton's Action cookbook

... which could be the greatest cookbook ever.

Not because the recipes are extra special, although some of them are. But it just oozes coolness.

Listen to this.

Refrigeration doesn't destroy bacteria. A refrigerator from which cold air escapes when the door is opened subjects the contents to a fluctuating temperature - one of the quickest ways to turn food bad. The greatest benefit a refrigerator can bestow is a supply of ice...

That's Len on fridges. Here's his recipe for Christmas pudding:

Bournemouth Echo: Christmas pudding, Len Deighton style

His "buy these items every week" list includes bacon, cooking fat, suet, mutton (to hang at home), sterilized milk, and garlic.

His "have these in your larder" list includes rollmop herrings, canned nuts, tinned meat and veg, tapioca, marmite and cake decorations.

He's got what wines to drink with veal or goose, which wines to serve if you're having roast chicken or if your chicken is with rice.

The comic strip illustrations are brilliant, and you'll learn lots you never knew about cuts of meat and cooking techniques.

Len is a genius. Seriously. If you don't have this book, stick it on your Christmas list. It's AWESOME.

Bournemouth Echo: Len Deighton's action cookbook, the cheese page