HYACINTH BUCKET’S BOOK OF BETTER-CLASS BRITISH COOKERY was first published in December 2000 on Brian Sturges’ “Keeping Up Appearances” website. When the KUA site disappeared, the book would have been lost, had not Tiina Agur published a portion of it on her website, which I happened to find one night. When I contacted her and introduced myself as the author, she very kindly offered to publish the book in its entirety. Not only has she done that, but she re-designed the book ‘up to and beyond Bucket standards,’ including many pictures from the popular British comedy as well as pictures of Hyacinth’s haute cuisine cookery. Not only has she rescued HYACINTH BUCKET’S BOOK OF BETTER-CLASS BRITISH COOKERY, but she has turned it into a work of art. I am forever grateful to Tiina Agur.
The book was originally written as an extension of “Aunt Hyacinth’s Etiquette Column,” in response to questions from readers who wanted to know how to reproduce a ‘Hyacinth Bucket Moment’ on their very own dining room tables. They asked, particularly, for recipes. Brian Sturges, a native of Reading, England, and a chef by trade (Hyacinth would be thrilled to know he once worked aboard the QE2!) and I decided to collaborate on a Cookery Book. I went through the tapes of “KUA” and listed every food and ‘stylish entertainment’ shown or mentioned in the 44 episodes. Brian developed many of the recipes and Sharon Kay Doty, a frequent commentator on the “KUA” site, also contributed many recipes, as well as her tireless enthusiasm for the project.
Three good friends – all good cooks (which I am not) – read portions of the manuscript and ‘beta tested’ the recipes. I am forever grateful to Ruth Vinton Walters, Nancy Caperton, and Ray Skelly.
The greatest gratitude goes to my dear husband Jim, who encouraged me daily from the start; who lived with me as I turned into ‘Hyacinth’ during the year it took to write this book; and who, like ‘Richard,’ often lay awake far into the night, listening to all of my (or are they Hyacinth’s?) grandiose ideas.
The acknowledgements are not complete without thanking Roy Clarke, the writer of “Keeping Up Appearances” and the creator of the effervescent Hyacinth Bucket. Also, Patricia Routledge for her superb portrayal of that character and to all the cast of KUA: in particular, Clive Swift as Richard; Judy Cornwell as Daisy; Josephine Tewson as Elizabeth; David Griffin as Emmet; the late Mary Millar as our Rose; and the late Geoffrey Hughes, the one and only Onslow.
--Carole Jackson, Oxford (North Carolina, USA), December 2012