You’re doing that all wrong. Yes you are, but Glynn Christian has decades of cooking experience to put you right.

Those of us of a certain age will remember a time when there were only a handful of cooking shows on TV,  and one of the biggest stars in this small firmament was Glynn Christian.

A genial presence, not at all ‘cheffy’, his natural charm and New Zealand accent made him very popular. However as food TV began to eat itself, he largely disappeared. Well he went to QVC and latterly The Craft Channel, which is perhaps much the same thing.

He’s written a lot of books but he doesn’t do recipes. He’s more interested in cooking by touch and feel and knowing the ingredients.

A previous book of his was in fact called  How To Cook Without Recipes and it’s a very well- thumbed book in my house.

This new book does what it says on the tin. Some of the hacks ( not a word I would have thought Christian would have approved of) are perhaps known, but the other 300 plus are all gems.

There are 20 chapters, nearly all with titles of such horrible pun-iness that even Ainsley Harriot would blush to use them, but they make it easy to find what you want. In fact though just browsing is fun and will drive your partner mad as you constantly say ,’Well I never, did you know that….?’

Here are a few tips:

Don’t put boiling water onto ground coffee, it destroys the fragrant oils. Pour it at less than boiling and from a height to cool it a bit and aerate it as well.

Use frozen olives to keep a straight-up martini ice-cold.

Cut a bap for an egg or bacon roll at an angle not horizontally. Nothing gets squashed and it looks more generous.

Pour wok ingredients down the side of the wok so they arrive at the food hot.

Microwaves are good. Yes, they are and I am glad Mr Christian (he is descended from mutineer Fletcher Christian) agrees with me. Micro-roast cumin seeds, heat curry powders and masalas with no added oil for cleaner flavours. Make mash without soggy potatoes.

Oh and de-fat a homemade stock by putting in an ice cube while it’s still warm – the fat will stick to the cube which can be lifted out.

Every page reveals so many novel hacks you’ll be impressing  people all over town with your wisdom and soon become noted as some kind of cooking genius.

Just don’t tell them how you came to know so much.

Published by Grub Street