TURNER – “It’s always a good day for cooking,” Lise Morin stresses. “I can be happy, and I’ll cook. It can be raining, and it’s a great day to cook. It doesn’t really matter.”

Morin grew up in St. Georges, Quebec, where she started cooking “by the time she was tall enough to reach the top of the table.” Even as a child, she was able to master one of the trickiest recipes: pie crust. “I’ve been making pies since I was very small. Pie crusts are something that I’m very good at making.”

Another of the Turner woman’s specialties is soup. “In Canada, everyone made and had soup. It was something that saved on the meat. You add potatoes and vegetables, and it was a meal. Today, though, soups are more of a thing on the side.”

Morin moved to the United States in 1962, six days after she married her husband, Mark. She learned English after arriving in Maine, where she worked first in a shoe shop and then as a cook at Eli’s. “I found a job that I loved to do and I got paid for it.”

Today, Morin is happy to be retired and cook for her two grandsons, 9-year-old Levi and 7-year-old Chad. “Their favorite of mine is my homemade sausage,” she says.

While Morin used to enjoy intricate meals, her motto now is simple and healthy. “I look at a recipe and if it takes more than 20 minutes, I turn the page. I like to eat well, and healthy and quick.” She has been collecting cookbooks for years, but believes that it’s necessary to have only a couple of recipes at hand. “A few basic recipes, and I add on to them. Nothing is written in stone. If you like one thing and not another, then simply take out one thing and add the other.”

Not all recipes are alike, though. “You need to be careful when baking,” Morin notes. “Measuring is very important and being creative isn’t so easy.” The one item that still challenges her is making bread. “Anything with yeast, really. I tried it once, but never again after that.”

Morin also likes to keep things simple with her kitchen implements. “I’m not the type of person to run out there and buy things. I love my stainless steel mixing bowls. A good set of knives is important, too. I have a small food processor, and I like to use my pressure cooker. Other than that, I’m set.”

Lise and Mark have been married for 43 years. She enjoys walking, whether it’s outside or on her treadmill. She tries to get in three miles a day. She also enjoys flowers and gardening, which she describes as “a great outdoor activity.”

Pineapple coconut pie
1 9-inch pie crust, cooked and cooled

1 18-ounce can of crushed pineapple

2 small packages of coconut instant pudding

1 16-ounce carton of sour cream
Whipped cream

Mix pineapple, coconut pudding and sour cream, and spread in pie crust. Decorate by adding a dollop of whipped cream. Delicious!

Lise’s note: I drain part of the pineapple juice to make sure it is not too soupy. Add juice as necessary.
Pasta with shrimp
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes

½ cup white wine

1 medium onion, sliced

1 tablespoon basil

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons parsley

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small zucchini, julienne-sliced

1 small summer squash, julienne-sliced

½ pound shrimp, cooked
12 ounces fettuccine or linguine, cooked according to package directions

In a heavy kettle or pot, mix tomatoes, wine, onion, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, oil, parsley, zucchini and squash. Cook five minutes. Add cooked shrimp. Serve over well-drained pasta.

Potato leek soup
¼ cup butter

6 large leeks, chopped, white part only

1 onion, chopped

5 cups chicken broth

2 large potatoes, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup light cream

¼ cup white wine

Fresh parsley
Pinch of basil (if desired/to taste)

In a large kettle or pot, melt butter. Cook leeks and onions in melted butter on low heat until soft. Add broth and potatoes. Cook 20 minutes.

Cool slightly, then reduce to puree in food processor. Put back in kettle. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add wine and cream. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve in soup bowl. Add sprig of parsley.

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