Ripe tomatoes must be kept in a cold, dry place and very carefully handled or they will spoil easily. They are best if eaten soon after being gathered. If tomatoes are gathered before they are quite ripe, they can be kept much longer. They should be handled carefully, kept perfectly dry, and placed in the sun to ripen just before being used. Because of their juicy, acid nature, tomatoes should be served with meat, fish or dried beans, and with a starchy vegetable such as potatoes.

Before serving, tomatoes should be washed carefully. They are nicest if the skins are removed. If tomatoes are well ripened the skin may be easily removed with the aid of a sharp paring knife. If the skins do not come off readily the tomatoes may be plunged for an instant in scalding hot water. All traces of core should be removed.

If tomatoes are to be served raw, they should be washed, skinned (preferably without scalding), carefully freed from the core, and chilled. They are attractive served whole, cut in quarters, or sliced. They are palatable served with salt; with salt and vinegar; with salt, vinegar, and salad oil; with cream and sugar; or with salad dressing. A few slices of cucumber may be served with the sliced tomatoes. The whole tomato may be slightly hollowed out and filled with salad dressing or with some salad preparation.

Fried Tomatoes

6 ripe tomatoes 2 eggs

2 cups dried bread crumbs Fat for frying

Select ripe tomatoes of uniform size. Wash thoroughly, cut in half-inch slices. Dip in dried crumbs, then in eggs, then in crumbs again. (Add 2 tablespoons water or tomato juice to the eggs and beat slightly.) Fry tomatoes until brown and tender. Serve hot with brown sauce. Serves 6 to 8.

Brown Sauce To Serve With Fried Tomatoes

2 tablespoons fat 2 tablespoons flour 1/4 teaspoon salt Pepper

1 cup hot stock or water 1 teaspoon Worcestershire or other meat sauce

Melt fat, add flour and seasonings, and cook until brown. Add hot stock slowly. When mixture thickens remove from fire and add the Worcestershire sauce. Serve hot. Serves 6 to 8.

Scalloped Tomatoes

1 can or

1 quart tomatoes, sliced

2 cups stale bread crumbs 1 tablespoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons butter or other fat

Melt the fat and add crumbs and seasonings.

Line the bottom of a well-greased baking dish with one-fourth the crumbs, then add half the tomatoes. Add another fourth of the crumbs and remainder of tomatoes. Cover with the remainder of the crumbs. Bake in a moderate oven 1 hour. Cover the first 30 minutes. Serves 6 or 8. (See scalloped dishes).

Stewed Tomatoes

1 pint tomatoes 1 onion 1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon butter, or other fat

Pour boiling water over tomatoes, drain and peel, cut into small pieces, add an onion and cook over moderate heat. A long, slow cooking improves the flavor. Just before removing from the stove add butter and seasoning (salt and pepper). Bread or cracker crumbs may be used for thickening, and sugar added if desired. Serves 6.

Stuffed Tomatoes

6 tomatoes 1 1/2 cups stale bread crumbs 3 tablespoons butter or other fat 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon chopped

parsley 1/2 teaspoon onion juice

Wipe tomatoes and remove a thin slice from stem end. Take from the center the seeds and pulp and sprinkle the cavity with salt. Melt the fat, add to bread crumbs, then add tomato pulp, parsley, onion juice, and seasonings. Fill the tomatoes with the mixture, place them in a shallow dish and bake 15 minutes in a hot oven. Serves 6.