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From the kitchen: Bed sheets might be protecting tomato crops

This week's recipes focus on using tomatoes from the garden to make several tasty dishes.
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

As the threat of frost looms, gardeners are either prepared to cover their tomato plants with bed sheets or are harvesting the tomatoes to ripen indoors.

Whatever the situation, home-grown tomatoes could be highlighted in toasted tomato and bacon sandwiches, featured in stews and soups frozen for winter use, or added to other vegetables in a salad.

This week’s recipes offer some ideas with tomatoes as the star attraction.

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Tomato Stew

8 cups chopped and skinned ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tsps. salt
2 tsps. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Cover and cook on medium for 10-15 minutes. 

Spoon hot mixture into sterilized jars. Cap and seal. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes for pints or 20 minutes for quart jars. Alternately, place hot mixture into freezer containers. Cool then label and freeze.

Note: microwave peppers and onion with a tablespoon of water for 3-4 minutes or until soft before adding to tomatoes.

The tomato mixture may be used as a base for hamburger soup, beef stew or eaten as is either hot or cold.

• • •

Green Tomato and Pepper Skillet

1 large onion, chopped into small pieces
2 red and green peppers, chopped into small pieces
1 large green tomato, skinned and chopped into small pieces
1 cup thick whipping cream
2/3 cup catsup

Fry onion in a large skillet in a generous amount of butter until soft but not brown.

Add peppers and tomato. Add more butter as necessary so vegetables don’t stick. Simmer until cooked down and soft.

Stir in cream and catsup. Simmer until sauce thickens.

Serve with rice or noodles or as a side dish with beef, chicken or pork.

• • •

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

4 medium red tomatoes, sliced
1 thinly sliced, peeled cucumber
1 1/2 tbsps. chopped green onion
1/3 cup French dressing
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. chopped parsley, optional

Combine tomatoes and cucumbers in a serving dish. Sprinkle with the green onions.

Mix dressing, salt and parsley and pour over the vegetables. Cover and place in refrigerator to marinate for at least one hour. Stir gently before serving.

Joyce Walter can be reached at