A TRIBUTE TO ACTOR RICHARD DEACON
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
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:
Average Customer Review:
little outdated but still a good reference tool,
February 18, 2003
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
(Baltimore, MD USA)
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.