Kirksville, MO - the weather armpit of the Midwest - that was probably sometime around Sept 1.) It snowed often - and a lot - when I was in college at Northeast Missouri State (now Truman State University), so I desperately wanted to make snow cream. Unfortunately, this was pre-internet/pre-Google (yes, I'm that old) and the idea never occured until late in the evening... and after a few drinks... so it was always to late to call and ask my parents how to make it.
I've mentioned it a few times to various people since college and not one single person knew about Snow Cream. So it faded into the dusty corners of my memory, along with the lyrics to Whitesnake's "Is This Love?", the Law of Constant Composition and the names of all of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Mostly because we went through a really long stretch here in the St. Louis area without a prolonged snowfall accumulation!
That all officially ended on Christmas Eve this year. J and I packed up the car and headed up to Mom and Dad's after work on the evening of December 23. When we woke up the morning of Christmas Eve it had already snowed enough to cover the ground. It snowed all day and all night - it was beautiful (as long as you weren't trying to get anywhere). Christmas Eve is usually just the four of us (Mom, Dad, J and I) and involves lots of lounging around, eating, drinking (yay Bourbon Slush!!!) and playing games. I love it.
This year (after a Bourbon Slush or two) Dad said the magic words, "Want to make some snow cream?", and it all came rushing back to me. Is this love that I'm feeling... Is this the love that I've been searching for... Is this love or am I dreaming... No, no, no - not the lyrics to "Is This Love", snow cream! J looked totally confused, but I hopped right up and grabbed my coat - we're gonna make SNOW CREAM!
We used to make snow cream whenever we had a big snow when I was growing up. I remember making it a lot during Christmases in Kentucky (did it snow more often in Kentucky when I was a kid or do I just keep remembering the same Christmas over and over?). Snow cream is made from snow (obviously) and has a much smoother consistency than ice cream and best of all, it only takes a few minutes to make.
So Mom found the biggest bowl she could find and Dad and I bundled up to head out into the cold wilderness... um, the driveway.
You need lots of snow - as much as you can get in the biggest bowl you have.
Don't pack it down - you need it to stay light and fluffy.
This is why you can really only do it when there's some serious accumulation.
|(Note the bottle of Knob Creek and the bottle of Makers Mark on the island. It was a good Christmas.)|
You need fresh, pure snow - you don't want to get any that has touched the ground - so you need to be able to scoop up a big bowlful without scraping or packing it down.
And here's the thing about making snow cream - there's no measuring involved.
You just have to do it until it's "right".
Until it looks and tastes right.
Turns out it's super easy, and if I'd put a little effort into it, even with my pickled twenty-year-old brain I could have figured it out.
|Hey Dad... the Knob Creek is still there. Where did the bottle of Makers Mark go?|
Sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. That's it. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and add vanilla. Who knew?
You can add other flavor extracts to it too - but Dad and J are classic vanilla kind of guys, so vanilla it is.
Keep stirring until it's smooth and creamy.
So anyway, we had our yummy snow cream and J had his first snow cream experience. Taking the first bite...
Carefully savoring the first bite...
Yep - the verdict is in - he likes it!
(And nothing goes with snow cream like... beer?)...
I was all nostalgic about it and Dad got a kick out of the whole thing.
So did Mom.
This was such a treat and so much fun to make too. For those of you with kids that have never done this with your kids - do it! Or call me and I'll come do it with them.
(Special note to Shaina: I have dibs on doing this with your kids!!!)