New Hampshire
Inspirations by Colleen


MacKenzie - Childs


Colleen's Old Fashioned New England Recipes, Wit & Wisdom!

Colleen's Pie Crust: 3 Cups Flours, 11/4Cups Shortening,2Tsp. Salt,1Tbsp.Sugar,1/4 Baking Powder,



3 Cups of All-Purpose Flour

11/4 Cups Shortening

1Tbsp. Sugar

1Tsp. Salt

1/4Tsp. Baking Powder

3/4-1 Cup of Cold Water

Mix all ingredients Except Water with a hand held Kitchen-Aid or other electric mixer on medium speed in a stainles steel bowl swiftly until crumbly-coarse mixture. Then add cold water. Dough should leave the sides of the bowl. Not too wet and not too dry.



5-6 Cups Sliced Apples ( I often used mixed varieties for more flavor)

11/14-12/3 Cups of sugar

2Tsp. Strawberry Jello (that's right)

11/2Tbs. Flour

1Tsp. scant of Cinnamon

Dash of Nutmeg

Mix these ingredients well in a bowl

4 reasonable size slices of cold Buuter on the top of apple mixer once its in the plate. Brush top crust with evaporated milk. Bake 350 degree oven about 1 hour or golden brown.


Colleen's New England Kitchen home cooking recipes

Just a Little New England Humor by; Colleen Bruce

Roller Used to Pack Snow

"Ever Heard of Putting Running Shoes On a Work Horse"

Most of their lives my grandmother and great-grandmother, "worked around home," as they called it. They also made saves, butter and took in other people's laundry to make ends meet. Being raised by my grandmother I was working hard and at a young age. I was always plainly dressed, usually wearing an apron and sneakers or flat shoes, and worked at the local general store from about 14 - 19 years old. One day I decided I wanted a job in the city, it was about 30 minutes away and by todays standards it would be as small as a town. 

On my first day on way out of town, I decided to stop by the villgae store, get a coffee and yes, show off my fancy wears and high-heeled shoes. The local road crew from both the NH and Maine sides of the border was in the little lunch room having their usual mid morning break and chewing the fat. All the men were cranning their necks to see me, so I thought I go say hi. As I went to step down into the area where they were sitting, my ankle rolled right over and I landed backwards in the Road Commissioners lap. Then as the room broke out into laughter, Guerdon, the Road Commissioner, grabbed me on both sides of my waist and in a strong Maine accent said; "What's a matter girl, don't you know that you can't put running shoes on a work horse!" 

Nana Morrill's Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees / 325 in convection oven.

In a bowl combine the following and mix well w/ electric mixer:

6 medium - large Bananas mashed well with a fork.

4 Eggs  - 1 cup of soild Shortening or Butter combination

21/2 Cups of Sugar

1 Teasponn of Salt

1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder

1 Slightly Rounded Teaspoon of Nutmeg  - 1 teasppon lemon extract ( optional) 

1/2 Cup of Milk

Then add:

4 1/2 Cups of Flour

1 Cup Chopped walnuts (optional)

Bake 1 hour or until toothe pick comes out clean from the center.

Aunt Dodies Chocolate Cake

Prehart oven to 350 degrees / 325 convection

All at once put into a bowl:

2 Cups of sugar - 3/4 Cup of Oil

2 cups of Cold Water

3 cups of Flour 

6 Tablespoons of Cocoa

2 Teaspoons of Vanilla  1 tsp. salt

2 Teaspoons of baking Soda 

3 Tablespoons of Vinegar (cider if you have it).

Beat until very well blended. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan or regular sized tube pan. bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Until toothe pick comes out clean from the center. 

My Aunt Dodie was one of the best cooks and most hospitable people I ever had the blessing of knowing. When I was a little girl after my mother died, my grandmother had to work so I'd go over to maine, as we called it and stay with her. I can see my Aunt like it was yesterday, wearing a pair of polyester shorts with a sleeveless top, and pink hairdressing tape acrossed her bangs. She'd take me by the hand with an empty butter box in my other and a pail in hers, we'd go pick wild strawberries in the field across the street from their farm. 

i'd often cry for my grandmother and my mother, but, she would always find a way to distract me, either in the garden or cooking. We lost her in the 80's, she was in her mid-fifties to cancer. but, my heart and life will be forever richer for having known her and her love.

Colleen's Maple Bread-Butter Pickles

Put in the liner of a roaster oven or big kettle:

18 Cups of wahed / unpeeled / firm and not over grown, Cucumbers sliced thin but not too thin.

12 medium thin sliced Onions

Cover with:

2/3 Cup of Salt (canning if you have it) and

About 12-14 Cups of Ice

Cover and let set for about 4 Hours.

Then drain off water and salt mixer.

Get at least 14-18 Pint sized jars  washed and in a canning kettle with water on a low boil with the lid on. With the lids and rims in another smaller kettle on a low boil with the lid on.


2 Cups of Maple syrup

4 lbs. Dark Brown sugar (8 cups)

1 Tbsp. Maple Flavoring

1 Tbsp. Tumeric

3 Tbsp. Mustard Seed

2 Tsp. Celery Seed

3 Cups of Cider Vinegar

Bring to a boil slowly. Gently occasionally turning mixture over, try not to break up cucumber slices too much. 

Once they come to a boil, cook about 3-5 minutes. Using a funnel tightly pack hot jars, cover with brine, making sure edge of jar is wiped clean and not sticky. With tongs put on lid & rim. Screw on fairly tight and put on kitchen board or table clothe, I cover the jars as I go along with old, but, clean table clothes or bed sheets folded over to keep the heat in and seal the jars well. This way you don't have to do an extra boiling in a water bath which in my experience takes the crisy crunch out of the pickles. Whe your finished let them stay covered like that for 12 - 24 hours. Wipe any sticky off jars, albel and enjoy or give away for gifts. 

Ephraim.. by; Charlie Churchill

This is my dear friend and mentor Charlie Churchill author of this poem..

He came alone one May and took the house, And land that Loise left when Loise left to find another life. A drafty place with pump and stove and sagging cot, it gave him shelter from the sun and rain and little else....

Before that summer passed, we think he must have known why Louis left. With land so scant and soil so close to ledge; He couldn't grow enough to keep him through the winter months...

We saw him straining in his field and talked among ourselves, as neighbors often do; And one of us with larger house and work for all, took Ephraim in and kept him on to work his way - a Christain board and room...

The mother of the house, as ever mother to them all, would view him later as she would a father grown too old to keep his home. But having hands to help her fold her clothes or hold her skein when she was balling yarn...

When even that was more than he could do, there came a dream that had no end. They gave him space within their family lot and chiseled; "Father Ephriam" on his stone and nothing more...

Sweet Treats to Tickle Your Fancy

Colleen's Fool Proof Peanut Butter Fudge

Spray the bottom medium sauce pan with cooking spray - then add:

4 Cups of sugar

1 Cup of Evaporated Milk

1/2 Tsp. Vanilla - pinch of Salt

Bring this mixture slowly to a rolling boil stirring occasionally so it won't stick. Boil EXACTLY 4 minutes - At 2 minute point add 1 Heaping cup of minature marsmellows (don't stir again and turn heat off). After the remaining 2 minutes on the burner, remove from stove. 


2 Cups of Creamy or Crunchy Peanut-Butter. 

Mix well while hot and ickly pour into a wax paper lined 9x13 pan. Cool at room temp. Cut into squares size of your choice. You can double this recipe, just add 1 minute onto cooking time and add marshmellows at 3 minute point. 

It's All About You Baby!

Sibbling Love

A New Bundle Comes Home

My grandmother used to say; "Babies need to be kept quiet and settled when they are brand-new. Don't let everyone handle your new baby. They need to bond with their parents." Get them use to the noises of the house, but, not loud noises, you don't want them stimulated all the time; because they also need to sleep when it's stone quiet.

 Keep one thin layer more over them than yourself so they won't be cold. Bath them and cream them just before bed so they will be realxed and you can stimulate them in the morning so as to get them on your schedule. Talk to them like they understand in a calm assuring tone and they will understand much sooner than later. 

Home-Made Baby Formula


12 once can of Evaporated 

19 ounces of boiled and cooled Water

2 Tbsp.Karo Syrup

Place mixture in sterilized bottles and keep refrigerated up to 48 hours.

A Comfort Zone

A happy life life is one that has healthy boundaries and personal space. As soon as possible familiarize your baby with a play (aka pack-n-play), while they are infants. Sit their baby carrier/seat right inside the play pen to get them used to seeing the closed surroundings as part of their natural habitat. They'll learn to be content in their littel area and be safe when you need to get a few chores down or take a shower etc. This is one of the first healthy boundaries for them and you to learn. We need time, space and limits in order to understand where we end and someone else begins. It will pay off in spades down the road with al whole lot less resentment on the parents end and a whole lot more peace and contentment for your child.

Schedule - Schedule - Schedule

There is a safe and secure feeling in knowing what's expected of us and what's happening next. "Children don't function well with hickle-dee-pickle-dee  schedules!" Consistancy is huge when it comes to a childs stability. Whether it's with boundaries, bedtime, meal time or disipline, within reason and with a few exceptions. These things will give a child a cared for feeling that he or she may not identify with until later in life, but, it will pay dividends in the long run. 


The best rewards are the ones that money can't buy and even death can't take away. There is no materially or worldly reward that can ever replace verbal  praise, qaulity time. Quality time meaning; Reading a book, playing a game, cooking together, going for a picnic somewhere instaed of buying lunch out. Show them their value as just themselves and that you want to spen time with them and enjoy their company. Give them an allowance that's equal to their committment to the tasks they perform. And expect a certain amount of participation around the house because you all live there, and it's everyone's home. This is where the seeds of Respect, identity, Self-esteem and Worth planted. Till your soil gently and tend to it consistantly, for the harvest season will surely come.
blog home cooking recipes helpful hints

<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script>


  (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({

    google_ad_client: "ca-pub-2883999575658660",

    enable_page_level_ads: true



Humility & Fair Play

It takes plenty of humilty as it should to raise little human - beings into teenage then adult - beings! We don't want our children to ever become victims, but, to br capable of forgiveness. As well as to have the ability to endure loss at times. Remember the goal in life to be fair kind, and strong. The only way they will learn that is if we can be transparent and be willing to be accountable to them for our actions and words. To ask their forgiveness when we hurt them. To forgive them when they are genuinely sorry. We are the first example of "fair-play" in their lives. In doing these things we teach them to have strength enough to expect and even demand fair treatment, but, not to the neglect of giving it. And remember, if you are never wrong, when will they ever have the chance to be right. Don't let your pride make it beneath you to be sorry. We're all sorry for something at least part of the time.One of my customers who has passed away now, Blanche, used to say; "I told my son when he left for college to remember one thing, "Your not any better than anyone else, but, remember your just as good!"