Baked Stuffed Tomatoes

lessons (1)

This week, it seems that people’s gardens are bursting with ripe tomatoes! Gardeners are desperately trying to give away their produce because their vines can’t take anymore. You can imagine my excitement after finding a recipe that capitalizes on other gardeners’ hard work! Thanks again to Czech Village Antiques for another fabulous cookbook find!

This baked stuffed tomatoes recipe comes from the 1935 Magic Chef Cooking by Dorothy E. Shank, the former Instructor of Food Research, Household Arts Department, Teachers College, Columbia University. AKA, Home Ec Girl Boss.

In the midst of the Great Depression, homemakers were looking to the newly created Bureau of Home Economics for assistance in creating nutritionally sufficient recipes for their families with inexpensive ingredients and to find information on vitamins (mothers were warned by home economists that their children could end up with night blindness and bowlegs if they were struck with the “hidden hunger” of vitamin deficiency). On a side note, if anyone knows how I can get my hands on one these guides, I’d love to know!

Magic Chef Cooking was created by the American Stove Company out of St. Louis, Missouri. The aim of the book was to present sample recipes that could be used in one of their ovens. The company created the oven thermostat. The dial controlled the flow of gas into the oven automatically to regulate the temperature. This red regulator “Lorain” dial is depicted on the cover of the cookbook. I’d be a much crankier cook if I had to somehow regulate the gas flow into my oven. Or I’d blow up the house. Or both? The best thing I found while researching Magic Chef and the American Stove Company? YOU CAN TAKE TOURS OF THE MAGIC CHEF MANSION.




The American Stove Company was able to survive the Great Depression, and even claimed to be selling almost half of the gas ovens purchased in the US in 1939. Most of the recipes call for very few ingredients and simple preparation. The recipe below has more ingredients than most others in the book!



Baked Stuffed Tomatoes


  • 6 tomatoes
  • 2 cups of bread crumbs (homemade or store bought)
  • 12 stuffed olives (any filling will do, I personally chose garlic)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Wash very firm tomatoes and make a cavity in each
  3. Mix the crumbs, olives, and seasonings together
  4. Fill each tomato and put a pat of butter on the top of each. Put top of tomato back on for garnish

Bake in a glass baking dish for 20 minutes


For more information: Magic Chef Stove HistoryGreat Depression TimelineDepression Diets and Home Ec


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