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New Hampshire Fun Facts

New Hampshire is known as the Granite State because of its extensive granite formations and quarries.  It’s also known as the Mother of River, the White Mountain State, and the Switzerland of America.
New Hampshire has a long history and is proud of it.

Captain John Mason named New Hampshire after the town of Hampshire, England.

The first potato planted in the U.S. was at Londonderry common Field In 1719 by Scottish Irish immigrants.

The first free public library in the US was established in Peterborough in 1833.

NH was the first of the original thirteen colonies to declare its independence from England, six months before the Declaration of Independence was signed.

As leaders of the drive toward independence NH delegates deceived the honor of being the first to vote for the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776

New Hampshire became the 9th state on June 21, 1788.

New Hampshire’s state motto comes from a statement written by Revolutionary War General John Stark, hero of the Battle of Bennington.  When 1809, a group of Bennington veterans gathered to commemorate the battle. General Stark, then aged 81, was not well enough to travel, but he sent a letter to his comrades, which closed "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."

The motto “Live Free or Die” became the New Hampshire state motto in 1945 and attests to the independent spirit of the new Hampshire way of life.
(Tony Kefalas makes a word play on this motto in Sudden Death Sudoku)

Levi Hutchins of Concord invented the first “American” alarm clock in 1787. The alarm only sounded at 4:00 AM, good for farmers, but not for most everybody else.

New Hampshire’s present constitution was adopted in 1784.  It is the second oldest in the country.

New Hampshire’s State House is the oldest state capitol in which a legislature still meets in it’s original chambers.




Rayette's Recipes

Rayette's Apple Pandowdy

Pandowdy is only one of the names this dessert is known by.  In different parts of the country you might be served a cobbler, grunt, slump, or duff.  All have fruit and a biscuit like dough as common ingredients.

Rayette’s recipe for Pandowdy gives a special twist to this well-loved dessert.

Peel and slice apples and layer into a 9x9 baking dish, generously dotted with bits of butter, a sprinkle of sugar and a splash of maple syrup mixed with water

Ingredients for batter

  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tsp baking pwder
  • 1 cup flour
  • Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredietns until the consistency of cake batter.  Pour over the apples.  Bake at 350 degrees for forty-five minutes.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream lightly sweetened with maple syrup. 
It’s yummy.


Rayette’s Baked Oatmeal

Nothings’s better on a cold morning than a cup of Rayette’s home-brewed coffee or hot chocolate and a bowl of her Baked Oatmeal.


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs (the fresher the better)
  • ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 1 ½ baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups oatmeal

Grease a baking dish  (1 ½ quart type is best for keeping in the moisture)
Melt butter, then mix in brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla, salt and cinammon.  Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Add milk.  When fully mixed, add oats.  Continue to stir until consistency is even throughout.

Scrape mixture into baking dish.

Bake covered for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.  For an extra crunchy top, uncover for the last ten minutes of cooking.

This can be made the night before and reheated in the microwave or served hot from the oven.  (It’s even better the second day)

Spoon or slice into warmed bowls for serving.

You can also add raisins, apples, nuts, or dried fruit before baking.  But taking into account people’s tastes, Rayette bakes it plain and serves it with a tray of breakfast condiments.

Don’t forget the hot milk and maple syrup for sweeter fare.

And sit down for a yummy reakfast any time of day.

Rayette’s  Cheese scones
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ¾ stick butter
  • 1-1 ¼ cup milk, cream or half and half
  • 1-2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (for subtle or pronounced cheese taste)

Preheat oven to 425.

Sift dry ingredients into mixing bowl.
In separate bowl cut butter into small bits with a pastry blender.
Cut into dry mixture, then mix in cheese.

Add milk to form a soft but not sticky dough.  Do not over work or the dough becomes tough.  Quickly form into a ball and  turn it out onto a floured board.  Pat dough into a ¾ inch thick disc and cut into pie shapes or into circles with a biscuit cutter.

Place ½ inch apart on a lightly floured cookie sheet and brush tops with additional milk.  Bake 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. 

Do not over bake or scones will become hard and dry.

Serve with fresh butter or orange marmalade for a sweet/tart taste experience.

Great for tea in any season.


How To Make Homemade Yogurt

Making yogurt is easy but time consuming. “Real” yogurt makers don’t use those electric yogurt makers, so if you want to do it the purist way, be prepared to sit and wait.

First you must have starter yogurt, that’s yogurt with active Acidophilus and plain, not flavored yogurt please. Just look for a carton that says, made with live cultures. These are good for you. You can also save a cup of starter from your batch to use as starter for the next batch, but gradually the starter looses its potency and you’ll need to jump start your next effort with a new starter.

Next pour your milk, I use whole milk, into a large pot and heat to about 180 degrees, stirring so that it doesn’t burn or boil. (Or you can place the pot in a larger pot of water as if it were a double boiler, but you still must stir the milk frequently. Next you have to let the milk cool to about 110 degrees. If you place the pot in the sink of cold water, you can speed up the process. But don’t leave it, because it will cool fairly rapidly.

Let the yogurt starter sit at room temperature while your milk is cooling.

Once the milk has cooled, (any higher temperatures, will kill the yogurt culture. If it drops below 90 degrees, the yogurt won’t form.) You can add a cup of dry milk if you want a thicker yogurt, which isn’t really necessary if you’re using whole milk.

Add the yogurt starter, about two tablespoons for every quart. Pour the mixture into clean glass jars, and cover with a loose top or cheese cloth.

Now comes the hard part, incubating the yogurt. It takes from seven to twelve hours to properly form. The longer it sits, the thicker and tangier it will be. The trick is to keep the temperature even.

The easiest way to do this is to put the jars in a pan of water (two to three inches in a 9X13 inch cake pan) in the oven. Use a hanging oven thermometer to keep the interior at 100 degrees, give or take a degree or two.

If it gets too hot, open the door or add some cool water to the pan, but the knack is to disturb the yogurt as little as possible.

We used to make yogurt in the summer by putting the jar with the milk and yogurt mixture inside an iron stone jug and place it in the sun. Then we had to take turn moving it around as the sun changed to keep it warm. I do not suggest you take the time to do this, I ruined many yogurt attempts when I got interested in something else, or went of to the library and forgot about moving the yogurt. Very disappointing.

The oven method works best, and you don’t have to be so diligent about the temperature.

Once the yogurt is finished, pour into smaller containers, I use sterilized glass canning jars.
Cover tightly and put in the refrigerator. Let sit over night. In the morning you should have a delightful breakfast treat.

Welcome to the wonderful, wacky world of yogurt making.


Rayette’s Yogurt Bundt Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • I cup plain Yogurt (Preferably homemade, see how to make yogurt)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel, (optional)
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour bundt pan

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat sugar and butter together, add egg, egg whites, yogurt, and vanilla (also optional lemon zest if desired) until thoroughly mixed. While continuing to stir, slowly add dry ingredients until batter is smooth.

Pour mixture into greased bundt pan. Bake until a straw or toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Approximately one hour.

Gently loosen from pan and turn out onto a cooling rack.

When thoroughly cool, turn onto a cake plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with fresh blueberries or strawberry compote.




The process used to collect and make maple syrup is essentially the same one that Native Americans first used hundreds of years ago. They were the first to discover that sap could be processed into syrup.

Sap can be collected from five different species of maple, but the sugar maple produces the most flavorful syrup.

It take about 40 years for a tree to be old enough to tap, about ten inches in diameter.

“Tapping” does not hurt the tree if done correctly.

It takes about 10 gallons of sap to yield about 1 quart of syrup.
40 gallons to yield one gallon of syrup.

A gallon of maple syrup weighs eleven pounds.

Pure maple syrup is fat free.

There are 40 calories in one tablespoon of maple syrup.

Freezing nights and warm days with temperatures in the 40s are needed to get the sap flowing.

“Sugaring” time in New Hampshire lasts about 6 weeks from mid-February to mid-April.

During this time New Hampshire produces close to 90,00 gallons of maple syrup.


From Sap to Syrup

Maple “sugaring” takes place in New Hampshire from mid-February to mid April when winter beings to alternate between freezing and thawing. Freezing nights and sunny days create the pressure for sap to flow up the tree trunk.

Sap is collected by drilling one or more holes, called “tapholes,” into the trunk of the tree. The tapholes are small, usually about 5/16” in diameter and only about 2” deep and if done correctly don’t damage the tree. Each hole is fitted with a plastic or metal spout that conducts the clear sap into a bucket or into plastic tubing.

After it is collected, it is carried from the tree to the sugar house where it is boiled down in an evaporator over a hot fire. When the sap is the proper concentration, it is drawn from the evaporator, filtered, graded and bottled.

The amount of sap required to produce a gallon of maple syrup depends on its sugar concentration. Sap averages approximately 2 percent sugar. At this concentration, 43 gallons of sap are required to produce 1 gallon of syrup. If the sap contains a higher sugar concentration, less sap will be required.

Native American were the first people to discover sap could be made into syrup. They would slash the tree and collect the sap into hollowed out logs, then drop it onto hot stones where the liquid would evaporate, leaving a crystallized sugar. When the Europeans arrived they found syrup already being made. The settlers added their own techniques, some of which are still used today.




Coming Soon

Some Great Recipes from Rayette.

More Fun facts about New Hampshire and some famous people too.

And see Rayette’s recipes for instructions on How to make homemade yogurt