He made us laugh. He was brilliant.
Richard, we miss your sarcastic wit!

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In 1977, "Richard Deacon's Microwave Cookery" was co-published by HP Books and Thermador. (An earlier version called "Richard Deacon's Microwave Oven Cookbook" was published in 1974.) The book is a guide to help people use their microwave oven more in cooking. Thermador was a highline microwave oven manufacturer. If you will recall, microwaves were new in the 1970's.


The biography of Deacon in the book contains interesting information I have not seen anywhere else. It was probably written by him. Check it out:


MAN OF MANY TALENTS  Richard Deacon was born in Philadelphia and moved at an early age to Binghamton, New York. He attended Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, trying to decide between acting and medicine.

  He later served as Actor in Residence on the staff of Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont; as Professional Actor in Residence with three different community theaters; and as a director at a community theater in Tulare, California. During this time he also worked as a medical lab technician. He still confesses a deep interest in medicine.

  Today, Richard Deacon is well-known as a comedian and dramatic actor. He has appeared on the New York stage, on television and radio and in motion pictures. He is perhaps best known for the part of Mel Cooley in the popular Dick Van Dyke Show. He was also featured in the television comedy series, The Mothers-in-Law, and the long-running Leave It To Beaver series.

  But more and more people are beginning to know Richard Deacon the Serious Cook. He is a student of modern cooking technology and an expert microwave cook. Because of his knowledge and skill, he serves as spokesman for the Thermador Company, one of the world's foremost makers of microwave ovens.

  Richard loves to entertain - and does it very well. He is devoted to microwave cooking and prepares elegant meals in advance, reheating them for serving, or putting together a prime-rib dinner with all the trimmings in less than an hour. If you are a guest in Richard's home, you can count on a tour of the kitchen highlighted by two microwave ovens - and an enthusiastic testimonial on the advantages of microwave cooking!


Here is a customer review of the book on Amazon:


Customer Reviews (FROM AMAZON.COM)
Average Customer Review:
a little outdated but still a good reference tool, February 18, 2003
Reviewer: Patricia R.  "bookworm" (Baltimore, MD USA)
I know, microwaves are fairly common, you've had one forever and why would you need a cookbook? Because, more than likely, you're not using your microwave to its full capacity - you're just nuking tv dinners or making popcorn without realizing there's so much more you can be using it for - such as bread pudding. Yes, you can make yummy bread pudding in your microwave and have it anytime you want, or even fix it for a special someone.

Or how about Chicken Divan? or Veal Chop Suey? Mr. Deacon takes you through a 5 day microwave cooking course, originally designed to make fools feel more comfortable with their microwaves. Now his instructions show you how to broaden your view and your usage of a microwave oven. There's even a test to tell if your microwave is properly calibrated so you'll be able to cook more efficiently. There's even a "calorie counters" section.

I recommend this book to all of you who just use the microwave to make popcorn or heat up water - find out how time saving and efficient a microwave can be by using this book.

Six people were credited with developing and testing the recipes, Deacon being one of them. Only one recipe contains his name. I reproduce it below:


Deacon's Hot Curried-Chicken Salad
Popular demand will have you serving this often.

1 barbecued chicken, skinned and diced               1-1/4 cups mayonnaise
1-1/4 cups chopped celery                                1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small jar chopped pimientos                             1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 small green pepper, chopped                           1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 small onion, chopped                                      Curry powder to taste                        
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped                            4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup cashew nuts, coarsely chopped               1 cup chopped Cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups crushed potato chips

In 7-1/2" x 12" utility dish, mix all the ingredients together, except the Cheddar cheese and potato chips. Raise shelf. Cook on High for 3 minutes. Stir. Cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese. Cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle with potato chips. Brown 4 to 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings.


You can purchase a used hardcover copy of Deacon's book for no more than $10 on Ebay, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.


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