" Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." (John Ruskin)
Snow is in the forecast for the first time here in 2012. We saw a few snowflakes in December, and this forecast is not calling for much snow either. That's okay with me. We got enough snow the last couple of winters to scratch my snow itch for awhile. The picture is from a January snow in 2010. That one piled it up on us. I don't mind a little snow, maybe one good snow a year as long as it doesn't stick around long. Then I tend to agree with this Carl Reiner quote. " Some people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water."
But I know plenty of people get excited by the prospect of snow. There are some things that you can't do without a little snow. Go sledding for one. When my oldest was six he got a sled for Christmas. It didn't snow more than a skiff for three or four years, but then we had three major snow winters in a row. He would stay out in the snow for hours. I thought he would have frostbite, but he just had fun. And you can't make a snowman without a good snow or dig out a snow fort and have a snowball fight. No snow means no days off from school. All kids need a few of those. And you can't make snow cream.
That leads me to one of the Christmas memories sent in by a reader. So if you're in snow country and you've ever wanted an actual recipe to make snow cream, here it is from Virginia. Here's her story.
My grandmother was 'the greatest cook ever' and used to make delicious snow ice cream. Fresh clean snow (yes, it was cleaner in the " good olde days", ) whole milk or cream, sugar, and vanilla. For some reason, I crave ice cream in the Winter--maybe because of Gran's "Snow Cream". One of my mother's favorite holiday treats from her childhood was "' boiled custard" (which you must not allow to boil). A rich, cooked drink similar to eggnog, boiled custard is actually a custard which is thin enough to drink from a cup. My grandmother used to make it and pour it into glass jars which she would set down outside in the snow to cool. Mom and her brother and sister would drink it outside straight from the jar and then get "switched" by Gran for stealing the family treat!
Fresh Snow Ice Cream
1 cup sugar
1 pint cream
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 to 2 gallons fresh, clean snow
In an extra-large, heavy mixing bowl, combine pudding mix and sugar. Stir in milk and blend until dry ingredients are dissolved. Blend in cream, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Cover and chill until ready to serve ice cream. To make ice cream: Stir mixture well and add in enough snow to make desired consistency. Do not over-stir. Serve immediately.
Thanks, Virginia, for sharing your story and your grandmother's recipe. So if you have a heaping bowl of clean snow - actually, the fun spoilers, er, I mean the experts, tell us that no snow is clean enough anymore, but it's still fun to think about snow cream.
Have you ever eaten snow cream? Let us know if you liked it. My mom used to make it sometimes too, but these days I just eat my snow sugar free and wait for summertime to make the real stuff by salting down some ice in an ice cream freezer and churning away.
Thanks for reading. Now to get back to those edits on my next Shaker novel. Maybe that's what I'll talk about Sunday.