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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow Cream and Southern Snow Thoughts

No snow available here
Yes, I love snow cream. You say the snow is dirty? So what? It has never killed me yet. You must never scoop yellow snow or snow that has the residue of a footprint of a cat or dog or human. Never scoop all the way until you touch grass, the sidewalk, or the car. Scoop carefully, skimming the surface. Of course, a foot of snow would make the scooping easier. But, we never get a foot of snow down here in the South. I live halfway between Birmingham, Alabama and Huntsville, Alabama.

In Memphis, TN, in 1963, on the 23rd of December, if I remember correctly, we had 23 inches of snow. Up until that time in my life I guarantee you I had not seen 22 inches of snow in all the years put together that I had seen snow. I was sixteen, so this was a really big deal--snow! For seven years of my life, we lived in Jackson, Mississippi. You can see we did not live in areas likely to get any appreciable, measurable amount of snow.

It was so glorious. We had snow ice cream often each day. Mama would mix the milk, sugar, and vanilla. We kids would scoop great bowls and soup pots of snow. Of course, with five children and two adults, lots of snow was needed to produce enough snow ice cream.

Someone from the North commented that he thought we used the snow in an ice cream freezer like we used ice. He was horrified to know we would eat snow. S.N.O.W. Yesiree we did. We worked on strengthening our immune system. Parts of our home never did get warm in frigid weather, but we could eat ice cream in the warm dining room, kitchen or living room.

huge snow melt

Snow supplies
Tonight, I went to get the proverbial milk and bread to tide me over since I heard the "s" word. (Seriously, I really did need milk.) Only, I had bought six loaves of bread last Friday and only needed milk to hold me over during the predicted 3-5 inches of snow. Aha! The milk left in the gallon jug is just enough enough to make snow cream.

In the South we strip the shelves of milk, bread, eggs (my hens supply those for me), cookies, bologna, and Pop Tarts. It's not that Southerners think pop tarts and bologna are survival food. Okay, huge steaks and most mixes of any kind are gone. People are preparing to stay in for days or to cook out on the grill. It's really hard to say.

School's out
Most of the schools close for an inch of snow. With kids home from school, someone is going to be hungry all day long. I suppose the thinking behind Pop Tart purchases is that if the electricity goes off, a rare occurrence where I live, then everyone can stuff pop tarts and bologna sandwiches in their mouths. This will silence the kids and fill their stomachs. Actually, there is never much of anything left in the stores just before a snow or rumors of snow. Lucky people and early birds get the PopTarts and bologna.

If I were planning on losing electricity for a week, I would not get pop tarts and bologna and bread to survive. What would I get? I usually don't want to run out of milk, Cokes, or bananas. If I have those, I can survive anything because whatever else I have to eat will be just fine. If the electricity is off, my milk will survive in some of the unheated rooms in my house. Right! They will all be unheated! Cokes will be so cold they won't need any ice.

Peanut butter sandwiches, tuna, turnips straight from the can, bananas, apples, prunes, oranges, pecans, and raisins would fill my stomach. Sure, I would be frozen like a popsicle, but I would not be hungry. And, I do like Pop Tarts and bologna sandwiches.

As you can see from the pictures, there is not enough snow, smooth snow, left for snow ice cream. Dimpled snow is a sure sign of danger from animals walking, birds pooping. This snow is all dimpled, so there will be no eating snow cream. After I wrote the snow meander last night, another good inch fell. At 8:00 a.m. the scenes above faced me.

I am so sad! There is a quart of very, very sweet milk, laced with vanilla, sickenly sweet, just sitting in the refrigerator with no snow expectations for a week....sigh.

1 qt milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 or more gallons of snow, maybe Varies.

Heat half the milk to dissolve the sugar. Stir. Don't scorch the milk. Add vanilla and the other half of the milk. Cool. Put the cream mixture in a large bowl. Dump in some snow, stir, dump more. You may not need all the snow; you may need more. Stir quickly and completely. Eat while still firm.

The mixture before the snow will be very sweet and strong. Snow dilutes sickeningly sweet taste.

Your turn
Do you eat snow? Do you ever make snow cream?


  1. wow, I've never before seen a recipe for snow cream! we always just added milk, vanilla and sugar without cooking first. bet your version is much better! (oh, and these days they say not to eat the first snowfall of the season because 2nd snow will have less pollutants. not sure if that's true!)

  2. Mama made the milk, sugar, vanilla part while we collected snow. I hate the crunch and sweetness of granular sugar, so I started cooking it ONLY to dissolve the sugar. Actually, one cup of the milk with all the sugar in it will work in the microwave. Then, the milk will cool it fast so you can get on with making snow cream. I never heard the pollutant thing. hmmmm

  3. I have never heard of snow cream, yet imagine it quite tasty and fun to make.

  4. Try it; you will like it. Thanks.


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