According to the book Fashionable Foods, the food "item" of the 1930s was...marshmallows! Marshmallows and a 1920s favorite, Jello, were incorporated into everything, including dinner menus. Perhaps this then, was why Jeff said the Tomato Surprise was mystifying...
Cut out stem of medium-size tomato, cut a small hole in top and scoop out the seeds with a melon baller. Finely chop four to five full sized marshmallows. Cut cherry-flavored Jello into small cubes. Mix Jello and marshmallows, stuff tomato with mixture. Surprise!
Okay, here's a more legit recipe...
Select medium-sized, smooth tomatoes. Scald and remove the skins. Chill. Carefully scoop the inside out of the tomatoes. Remove the seeds from the pulp. Chill all ingredients, and when ready to serve, mix the chicken, cucumber, tomato pulp, and nuts with the mayonnaise dressing. Add more salt if needed. Fill the tomatoes. Arrange on lettuce leaves. Garnish with mayonnaise and decorate each tomato top with a slice of truffle or with halves of shelled nuts.
Some like 'em hot.
Wash the tomatoes and cut a thin slice from the blossom end of each. Scoop out the pulp from the centers and set aside for other use. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Drop a raw egg into each tomato. Heat the oil or butter and cook the onion and parsley for 5 minutes. Cover the eggs with a little of the cooked mixture and top with a piece of bacon. Arrange in a baking dish and bake in a moderate oven (375°F) about 20 minutes. Serves 6.
Select potatoes of uniform size; small will cook more quickly. Wash, pare and drop at once into cold water toprevent discoloration; soak one half-hour in the fall and one to two hours in the winter or spring. Cook in boiling salted water until soft, which is easily determined by piercing with a skewer. For seven potatoes allow one tablespoon salt, and boiling water to cover. Drain from water and keep uncovered in warm place until serving time.
Very entertaining when prepared by radio divas.
½ cup cider vinegar
Heat the vinegar and water to boiling. Add the mustard, salt, and sugar. Blend until mixed, and let boil again; then pour over the combined celery seed, beets, and onion. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight or longer. Serve cold.
Much loved by radio engineers.
1 lb (4 cups) cranberries
Pick over and wash cranberries in colander; drain. Boil cranberries and water about 20 minutes, or until skins are broken; force through sieve. Bring pulp to a boil, add sugar and boil 3 to 5 minutes, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Skim and pour into one large or several small molds, or pour into jelly glasses; to keep jelly for some time, seal jars with paraffin. Makes 1 large mold or approximately 4 8-ounce glasses.
Do not invite British Intelligence operatives to join you.
¼ cup ham or bacon drippings
Heat the fat in a skillet until golden brown. Add the sauerkraut and the seasoning. Mix well with a fork, separating the kraut. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 6.
To be eaten with the Hilary Booth salad: "Cracked crab on an unmade bed of olive pits, sour grapes, and nuts."
1 tsp salt
Combine all the ingredients and beat thoroughly, Serve cold over salad, or over cold meat.
Chances are folks like Betty ate a lot of these during the Depression (as opposed to oysters with the correct oyster fork). This was a classic food stretcher back then and was also used during World War IIplus it's something to do with Gertie's potatoes!
2 cups hot riced potatoes
Mix ingredients in order given and beat thoroughly. Shape, dip into bread crumbs, egg, and crumbs again, fry one minute in deep fat and drain on brown paper. Croquettes are shaped in a variety of forms. The most common way is to first form a smooth ball by rolling one rounded tablespoon of mixture between hands. Then roll on a board until of desired length and flatten ends.
¼ cup cider or wine vinegar
Combine the vinegar, mustard, salt, sugar, and pepper in a ½-pint jar with a tight-fitting lid; cover and shake. Add the oil; cover and shake well. For different flavoring, add 3 tablespoons of any of the following—pickle relish, horseradish, honey, tomato juice—and shake until combined.