January 2nd 2017
I sometimes suffer from random insomnia, I will go to sleep at a reasonable hour but wake up at 3am and be flooded by memories from my life. This happened to me recently and I decided then I would need to blog this “recipe”, not because it is difficult, fancy, or exciting, but because it was there as a comfort in a formative period in my life.
It was that strange period in life between high school, and deciding what you want to be for the rest of your life, a really odd concept if you think about it, the average 18 year old is still pretty clueless, at least I was. At this point in my life I was living with my folks, prep cooking (glorified dishwashing) at the same place my mom, and sister worked. When I wasn’t up to my elbows in hot wing laden dish water, I was taking classes at the local university and trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life. I was close with a few female friends at this point. This recipe is one I remember from my friend Shannah’s dad “Big Rog”. It was something they ate often and she taught me the way her dad made it. Rog was tall, blonde, and a bit intimidating to me. He didn’t talk much, but when he did you listened. Rog always seemed like he had big things on his mind, I imagined him leading a Norsk viking ship to war clad in animal skins, different from his usual baseball cap and jeans.
I spent a lot of time at their house, and as I did Shannah, and I would make spaghetti or chili for the family and we would make this bread to go with it. Rog got used to me hanging out, drinking all his coffee, I owe him at least two large cans of Maxwell house, and actually seemed to like me a little. I even went on the yearly camping trip to rural Utah with the family, there were four of us in the old pickup truck, duct tape used to keep the window closed, After a few hours of listening to us yap about what girls our age yapped about, I remember Rog plugged in a cassette and exclaimed “Best goddamned rock band ever!” as with most times that Rog exclaimed something I listened….that band was “Whitesnake” and to this day “Here I go” is still my go to karaoke number. It’s always strange to me how my brain stores these bits of information, and I didn’t realize at the time what an impact a little bit of kindness from this family did for me. This is one tiny piece of probably a novel I could right about one of my O-town connections…..several years later I made Shannah’s wedding cake, and Rog smiled,said thank you and gave me a big hug, we seemed to bond over carbohydrates.
You will need:
A loaf of french bread, the fluffy kind from the grocery store is what we used, but use your favorite. Great use for day old bread. Cut down the middle.
4 T. softened butter, I think we may have used some country crock back in the day...LOL...use what you like.
1 tsp. Garlic salt, the one with the green lid.
2 cups of shredded cheese, we usually used cheddar off the big block. I used some sharp cheddar and provolone for the one pictured.
Pre-heat the oven to 400, spread butter evenly on each side of the bread, sprinkle on garlic salt, top with cheese and cook for 7-10 minutes. For extra color you can broil the top for a while.
Cut and eat, and never underestimate the power of cheesy bread and Whitesnake.
I will end with some advice from David Coverdale of Whitesnake: “I think we have two very important missions in life. One is to find out who we really are and the other one is to taste as much of life and experience as much of life as we can.”