Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Olive Cheese Bread and a Dilapidated Rural West Community Center




The ghost of a great community hall stands watch over the nearly deserted town of Leland, Idaho. I felt it towering over me as I explored what’s left of little Leland and found myself driving up the steep path for a peek before I could stop myself.

The building must have been the life of the town once and still makes beautiful pictures. A theater room sits open to the elements at the south end with faded fabric seats. At the front door perched over a sharp cliff there's a strange kiosk filled with old plastic cups with cheap Japanese sliverware and an empty birds nest. Owls frequent the place now, explaining the now empty nest and scattering of large owl pellets. The one in the photograph has feet sticking out.

I’ll let you enjoy these images of a forgotten time in the rural west. Perhaps Leland died the way the rest of our struggling towns did. The real kiss of death was when the railroad missed your town. Survival was bleak, but at least Leland has a small piece left. Inside the hall sits an upright piano and a few dusty old trophies. I wasn’t comfortable breaking into the building but took a couple shots through the old glass door. A ghost-like effect mirrored the feeling of the place.

The only life left; the owls, the bees and me with my favorite little point and shoot camera out exploring in the sun.

Olive Cheese Bread Printer Version
This recipe doesn’t belong to me, but to the great Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond. I found it in her book, but she also has it on her blog. The only thing I’d do differently is cut the topping in half, but I’ll leave that up to you.

1 loaf French bread
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
½ cup mayonnaise, not low fat
¾ pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 (6 ounce) can black olives, chopped
1 (6 ounce) jar pimiento stuffed green olives, chopped (I used chopped mixed olives I had on hand.)
2 to 3 green onions, chopped
A dash of salt & pepper


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and mayonnaise. Stir in the Monterey Jack, olives, green onions and salt and pepper.

3. Slice the bread into two long pieces. Top with cheese mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted.

Recipe by Ree Drummond. Visit her blog The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Pictures by Laura Flowers.


22 comments:

Jennifurla said...

This looks so wonderful, lovely pics

Sarah said...

Great photos, I love opportunities like these. To view the past, tell a story and get some great photos.

Memória said...

Oh, Laura!! These photos are gorgeous and exude comfort, especially the photo of the house and the bread. Lovely.

Cyndy said...

That bread looks so luscious with all those olives and cheese. Love PW's blog too.

Nice photo's. There's a story in those photo's. Makes you wonder who visited and wandered the same grounds you walked on and what they wore and what they were like...

KAREN said...

oh...I've made this bread on a couple of different occasions and it always goes over good!

Thanks for sharing.. :)

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Wow it must have felt quite strange to explore such a place. There's a strange sort of beauty to it, and I would love to check it out myself. The bread looks delicious, as usual :).

Livia said...

Beautiful pictures, sad also. Brave people put so much heart and work into small abandoned places in the west, only to be defeated.

The olive cheese bread looks super tasty.

The Southern Cookbook said...

Oh, Laura! I don't blame you at all, I would of done the same thing and explored and took photos. Wow, I love doing things like this. Oh, the olive cheese bread looks fantastic as well.

Dawn said...

Gorgeous photos Laura, as usual! and I think I've died and gone to heaven just looking at the olive cheese bread!!!

Cristie said...

Oh, the story of the west and how important the traffic patterns were! The train stops were everything in the beginning for certain. Beautiful, beautiful pictures. Always love Ree's cook'in.

Check out my give-a-way if you have a minute. It's a beautiful cookbook with whimsical illustrations of a mother and daugher.

Sue said...

Laura, That "sandwich" looks delicious! Nice and hearty after your meanderings...

Looks like fun to explore that "ghost town." Wouldn't you love that piano? I wonder if it's a player piano? :)

Mari said...

I love the simple beauty of a life that seems long gone and far away. Very cool and as usual, great eye for appealing to our souls.

Veronica said...

That old place makes me kinda sad, as if it were a person that had died. :( And I don't know how you managed to put a picture of owl poop with feet sticking out next to a picture of cheesey bread without lessening my appetite for the bread, but you did so give yourself a pat on the back! LOL! This is the bread I've been dying to make: http://noblepig.com/2010/07/25/monterey-ranch-bread.aspx Damn you food bloggers with excellent photography skillz that make me crave ooey gooey cheesey bread!!!!

shaz said...

Heh, the owl pellet is so fascinating! Poignant photos, thank you for sharing them with us.

Oh, and the bread looks fab too.

John K. said...

The bread look incredible. And those photographs of the old building are fantastic. I love the look you capture in your photography. I aspire to do the same.

Also -- a very well written post -- your description of the building/town was moving. Very fitting with the photos.

Anonymous said...

Mmm, I want a bite of that tasty-looking cheese bread.

~Lisa~ said...

Beautiful photos and the Olive cheese bread looks so delicious! I also love your writing (=

Sook said...

The bread looks incredible! So yummy and beautiful!

dibear said...

Your photography is fabulous! I've been making this wonderful bread for over 25 years. :)

Chef Fresco said...

The cheese bread looks amazing. I love your pics of the community center and surrounding land - reminds me of my grandma's small town.

Elizabeth said...

What a beautiful building...lovely photos. As for the bread, I've eyed it in my PW Cookbook but have yet to make it. Looks like a meal in itself though! Yum!

Jessica said...

Beautiful pictures,Laura. Delicious looking bread as well. Thanks for sharing your day with us.

jessyburke88@gmail.com

Related Posts with Thumbnails