On my day trip to the Oregon coast last week I stopped by the Tillamook Cheese Factory in the town of Tillamook. I love all the cheeses but always go straight to the sharp blocks of cheddar because this fantastic cheese is an ingredient in so many of my favorite recipes. The Tillamook creamery is in the heart of Oregon’s dairy country and, if you get off the main road and do a little driving you can see acre after acre of cattle and the beautiful old barns where they live. The area used to be dotted with small dairies and I can remember stopping off at different ones with my parents when they needed cheese. Now most of the farmers sell milk to the co-op, but you can still run across a small dairy here and there that make it’s own cheese. Local specialty cheeses have become hugely popular again and can be found at many farmer’s markets around the state. But you can’t beat Tillamook Cheese medium and sharp cheddar.
When I was first married years ago my mother-in-law often made this delicious open-faced sandwich . She was a vegetarian before it was popular and had some excellent, quick cheese based recipes we all loved. As always, the secret to the goodness is in the quality of the ingredients.
Broiled Tomato Cheddar Sammies
French bread slices
Fresh minced dill
Tillamook cheddar cheese
Arrange slices of French bread on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler and toast till lightly browned. Turn the bread over and spread on a layer of mayo, top with tomato slices, sprinkle on a little dill (I’ve used dried in a pinch and it works well), and top with a generous helping of grated cheese. Broil until bubbly and browned.
F.Y.I. My grandchildren gave me a box of the green bags you see on TV commercials for my birthday last month and, I have to tell you, they are great. They keep cilantro, parsley, sliced celery, lettuce and various other fruits and veggies fresh and appetizing for well over a week. This is quite a money saver and the bags are reusable. I highly recommend them.